A French mountain climber atop Mont Blanc stumbled on a treasure trove of precious jewels, including emeralds, sapphires and rubies estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The climber discovered the cache in a box marked “Made in India” along an alpine glacier on Mont Blanc, according to French police. Authorities believe the chest came from one of two Air India flights that crashed on the mountain decades ago, according to reports.
The box was slightly smaller than a shoe box, filled with small bags containing the jewels, Sylvain Merly, a spokesman for the French police in the Savoie region, told the Associated Press. He said debris from the 1950 and 1966 crashes are routinely found on the mountain’s glaciers.
“Things come up from the glaciers,” Merly told the AP. “They’re always moving.”
After descending the mountain, the climber, who remains anonymous and unidentified by police, turned the cache over to police.
“He could have kept them but he chose to turn them in because he knew they belonged to someone who probably perished,” Merly said. His decision not to keep the jewels “means that there are still honest people,” he said.
Authorities would not say what would become of the jewels if nobody claimed them.