Merly said Thursday the metal box, slightly smaller than a shoe box, was filled with small bags of loose jewels, mostly emeralds and sapphires. Merly said debris from the Air India crashes regularly rises to the surface on Mont Blanc.
"Things come up from the glaciers," Merly said. "They're always moving."
Merly said the climber's decision to turn over the box immediately "means that there are still honest people."
"He could have kept them but he chose to turn them in because he knew they belonged to someone who probably perished," Merly said.
It wasn't immediately clear what would happen to the jewels if nobody claimed them.
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