A treasure chest filled with gold and jewels valued at more than US$1 million (AU$1.4 million) has been found in the wilderness, after being hidden for nearly a decade.
89-year-old Forrest Fenn, who hid the treasure chest full of valuables in the Rocky Mountains, North America, in 2010, told the Santa Fe New Mexican that a finder located the chest last week.
“It’s true,” Fenn said, adding the treasure had been found “a few days ago.”
"The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned," he said.
Fenn said an estimated 350,000 people had gone on the hunt for the treasure, with many quitting their jobs to pursue the hunt full-time, and some dying in the quest.
The Vietnam War veteran wanted treasure-hunters to take part in an adventure, and had posted clues online and in a 24-line poem published in his autobiography, The Thrill of the Chase.
It was one of the clues that led the finder to the chest, Fenn said in a statement on his website.
“It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago,” Fenn wrote.
“I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.”
Fenn said he packed and repacked his treasure chest for more than a decade, sprinkling in gold dust and adding hundreds of rare gold coins and gold nuggets.
Pre-Columbian animal figures went in, along with prehistoric “mirrors” of hammered gold, ancient Chinese faces carved from jade and antique jewellery with rubies and emeralds.
The told The New Mexican in 2017 that the chest weighed a whopping nine kilograms, and its contents weighed a further 10 kilograms.
"I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries," he said on his website.
Of the find, Fenn said it was bittersweet.
"I don’t know, I feel halfway kind of glad, halfway kind of sad because the chase is over,” Fenn said.
Are you a millennial or Gen Z-er interested in joining a community where you can learn how to take control of your money? Join us at The Broke Millennials Club on Facebook!