A French climber has found a trove of lost jewels while scaling a French glacier.
A man in his 20s, who wishes to remain anonymous, found the jewels wrapped in bags, believed to be from the wreckage of the 1950 crash of Air India Flight 245, CNN reported.
The discovery happened early this month on a glacier overlooking the southeastern French village of Chamonix, local police Chief Sylvain Merly said.
The climber found the jewels inside a metal box atop the glacier.
Merly declined to characterise the stones, which were being described in French media as rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
They're worth somewhere between €130,000 (NZ$210,000) and €246,000 (NZ$400,000), Merly said.
If the French authorities cannot find the owner of the jewels then the climber could receive a portion of the loot.
The Air India flight, named the Malabar Princess smashed into nearby Mont Blanc during a storm, killing all 48 aboard.
French authorities said it was also possible the gems could have been aboard an Air India Boeing 707, the Kanchenjunga, that crashed in nearly the same spot 16 years later. A diplomatic bag from that flight was recovered last year.
Adding a bit of intrigue to the story, the 1966 crash was the subject of scattered conspiracy theories suggesting the plane, which carried the father of India's nuclear industry, Homi Bhabha, was shot down by a fighter jet or missile.
Debris from the wrecks routinely emerges from the bottom of the glacier, including metal, wire and even a piece of landing gear discovered in 1986, according to a Mont Blanc tourist site.
- © Fairfax NZ News