Climber Allowed to Keep $84,000-Worth of Jewels He Discovered on Mont BlancDecember 16, 2021
A climber who found a trove of emeralds and sapphires on Mont Blanc in 2013 is now allowed to keep half of the stones, according to a Facebook post from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc council. The treasure is worth 150,000-euro ($168,700), and the unnamed French climber is now able to keep his half after authorities were never able to locate the family of the original owner in India.
The council will put its share of the stones on display at the Chamonix Crystal Museum, which has been under renovation but is set to reopen on Dec. 19.
Two Air India planes crashed into Mont Blanc — one in 1950 and a second in 1966. Authorities believe the gems likely came from the Boeing 707 flying from Mumbai to New York that crashed on the southwest face of Mont Blanc on January 24, 1966, killing 117 people.
When the climber discovered the gems, local gendarme chief Sylvain Merly said, “You can say the climber who made this find is someone very honest,” according to a report by The Guardian. “He saw very well that what he had in his hands was something very valuable, realizing straight away that it was precious stones that had been very carefully wrapped.”
Image source: CNN