What would you do if you stumbled across an abandoned box full of jewels worth some $332,000 — in the middle of nowhere…with no one looking? Turn them in, right?
That’s what a French climber did after finding a trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires that had been buried for decades on board an Indian plane off of Mont Blanc. The plane had crashed onto the frozen landscape some 50 years ago. The climber/treasure-finder handed the jewel-containing box over to French police.
“This was an honest young man who very quickly realized that they belonged to someone who died on the glacier,” gendarmerie chief Sylvain Merly told AFP.
Merly added that some of the sachets containing the jewels bore the stamp “Made in India.”
Two Air India planes crashed into Mont Blanc in 1950 and in 1966 and climbers regularly find remains — human and otherwise — from the crash sites. French authorities are now reaching out to their counterparts in India to try and trace the owner or heir of the newly found treasure.
“He could have kept them but he preferred to give them to the police,” Merly said about the honest mountaineer.
No word yet on whether anyone has laid claim to the jewels.
In the event that the rightful owners are not identified, French law dictates that the jewels would be handed back to the climber, who would then be the lucky owner of both the treasure — and a clear conscience.
- via AFP
Photo: Mont Blanc, Credit: Corbi