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Man Finds Antique Gold Pendant During Florida Python Hunt

Mark Rubinstein finds gold pendant at site of Eastern Airlines and ValueJet plane crashes in Florida Everglades.

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A Florida man hunting python's during the state's Florida Python Challenge 2013 in January found a different kind of prize in the form of an antique gold pendant encrusted with diamonds and sapphires during the hunt. Mark Rubinstein told NBC 6 Miami that as he was searching for pythons, he noticed a shiny object that was buried in the dirt and when he picked it up, was surprised with the find. He and his fellow hunters immediately noticed that the pendant would have some value to someone, as the area they were searching is the site of two plane crashes over the last 40 years; an Eastern Airlines Flight 401 which crashed in 1972 and ValuJet Flight 592 that crashed in 1996. So they did what anyone looking for something or someone would do. They posted photos of the pendant on the Internet.

The fact that the pendant is partially melted gives credence to the idea that it came from one of the planes that crashed in the area. The pendant was looked at by a jeweler who dated the piece to the 18th century and was indeed made of real gold. Robert Moorman told NBC 6 that the pendant was drilled by hand and everything on it was made by hand. The pendant features three Roman Catholic religious symbols, a cross, an M for the Virgin Mary and three leaves that stand for the Holy Trinity.


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After posting photos of the pendant online, a man has made contact who claims he may know a surviving family member of a woman who owned the pendant. She died in the ValuJet crash. "It would hopefully help heal a wound or something," Rubinstein told NBC 6. "It would be great and I would be honored to be a part of that if it's at all possible."