The French climber delivered the Mont Blanc gems after the 2013 discovery – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

A climber who stumbled upon a treasure trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires buried for decades on Mont Blanc in France received half of the gems he found in a box.

The unnamed climber discovered the precious gems in 2013.

The box is believed to have belonged to someone aboard an Indian plane that crashed half a century earlier.

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The mountaineer was praised after delivering the cassette to the police, as required by French law.

But now he has been rewarded with half the treasure of hundreds of precious stones, while the Chamonix local authority has taken the other half after a failed attempt to locate the owner’s family in India.

The gems have now been shared in two equal lots worth around € 150,000 (£ 128,000) each, Chamonix Mayor Eric Fournier told AFP news agency.

He praised the climber for his “integrity” in delivering his discovery to the police.

Two Air India planes crashed on Mont Blanc, the first in 1950, killing 48 people. In 1966 a second flight operated by the Indian flag carrier struck the mountain, with 117 on board.

Officials believe the gemstones likely came from the 1966 flight, which was en route from Mumbai to New York when it crashed.

Human remains have since been found on the mountain, as well as luggage belonging to those on board.

In 2012, a bag was found carrying diplomatic mail from India. The bag contained newspapers, calendars and a personal letter from 1966.

The physicist known as the “father” of the Indian nuclear program, Homi J Bhabha, was among the victims of the 1966 accident.

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