The second set of tablets were eventually placed in what we have come to know as the Sacred Ark, a wooden chest made specifically to make the housing and moving of them dignified and convenient. The Ark may have also served indirectly to better protect the tablets from Moses' temper!
The Ark was made of acacia or shittim wood. It measured about 43 inches (1.1 meters) long, and about 27 inches (0.7 meter) both wide and high. It had 2 gold rings fastened on each side through which poles were inserted to carry it. The poles were to remain in the rings at all times. The lid on the top was called the atonement cover, or "mercy seat." On top of it were two carved cherubim, with their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover (Exodus 25:10-22). It was housed in the Tabernacle.
Where is the Ark now? The last mention of it in The Bible is when it was in the first Temple. Many believe that it was either destroyed or carried off, as early as 925 B.C. during an Egyptian raid on Jerusalem, or as late as 586 B.C. by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar when they devastated Jerusalem prior to the Jewish captivity at that time.
Others are of the belief that the Ark was safely hidden in Jerusalem, probably in one of the hidden tunnels under the Temple Mount itself, by a few Levites who saw the destruction of the Temple coming. If these few priests were then themselves killed in the siege, or carried off never to return, the knowledge of the location of the Ark would have been lost.
If the Ark was safely hidden under The Temple Mount, or somewhere else in the region, it could very well still be there today, intact and awaiting discovery (many very old artifacts, in good condition, have been found by archaeologists throughout The Middle East - the Dead Sea Scrolls are a fine example). The consequences for the region, and indeed the whole world, if the Ark were ever again located would be profound. Its existence would demand the construction of the next Temple - exactly as indicated so often in Prophecy.
Fact Finder: What was the Ark covered with?
(a) silver (b) gold (c) varnish (d) a sacred cloth