More valuable than the crown jewels? Priceless Neapolitan treasure trove revealed

A visitor looks at the Mitre of San Gennaro during an exhibition in Rome on Oct. 29, 2013. One of the world's richest treasure troves went on display in Rome on Tuesday, including gem-studded chalices, sumptuous jewelry and golden trinkets collected over seven centuries. Tony Gentile / Reuters
The Necklace of San Gennaro is considered to be one of the most precious pieces of jewelry in the world. Tony Gentile / Reuters
A replica of the reliquary bust of San Gennaro. Known in English as Januarius, the bishop of Naples was martyred in the 3rd century. Tony Gentile / Reuters

A rarely seen Neapolitan collection of sumptuous jewelry, hidden away for centuries and estimated to be more valuable than England's crown jewels, opened in Rome on Tuesday.

The "Treasure of San Gennaro", precious objects donated in tribute to the patron saint of Naples, has rarely left the southern Italian city and spent centuries locked in a vault, largely forgotten by the wider world.

The 70 pieces were transported under heavily armed guard to a central Rome museum earlier this month and will be on display until February.

The hoard includes what is thought to be one of the most precious pieces of jewelry in the world - the necklace of San Gennaro, begun in 1679 to adorn a gold and silver bust containing the skull of the saint. Read the full story.

A detail of a golden monstrance. Tony Gentile / Reuters
A visitor looks at the details of emeralds and diamonds amongst other precious stones on the mitre, created in 1713. Andrew Medichini / AP
A security guard walks past a silver statue. This is the first time such a large selection of the 'Treasure of San Gennaro' has been displayed outside of Naples. Tony Gentile / Reuters
A cross of diamonds and emeralds, donated by French Emperor Napoleon, is seen on the Necklace of San Gennaro. Tony Gentile / Reuters