05/28/2013 03:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mystery Gold Pendant May Be From Everglades Plane Crash (VIDEO)

Florida wildlife officials may not consider February's Python Challenge a resounding success; only 68 of an estimated 150,000 invasive snakes were harvested.

But one hunter, Mark Rubinstein, of Coral Springs, discovered something more precious than a Burmese python while searching the Everglades: a piece of antique gold jewelry.

"It was just a glint in the late day's sun," Rubinstein told NBC 6. "It kind of just glinted at me. It looked like it didn't belong."

Rubinstein and his friends were searching the swamp near two plane crash sites. They were about 300 yards east of the ValuJet crash of 1996 and in the debris area field of the Eastern crash of 1972, according to a release.

The found pendant is studded with diamonds and sapphires, and has three emblems: a cross, an 'M' for the Virgin Mary, and three leaves for the Trinity, reports NBC 6.

(Story continues after photo.)
mark rubinstein gold python

The medallion is also melted on one side, "which would be consistent with the scenario of either of these crashes," according to Walker Metalsmiths, New York jewelers helping Rubinstein identify the gold piece.

The gold is thought to be from somewhere in the 17th to 19th centuries and the Florida Goldcoast Gem and Mineral Society believes it could be worth up to $1,000.

But Rubinstein hopes to reunite the piece with the victim's family, if it indeed came from one of the two crash sites.

"Maybe we can bring a little happiness to somebody that's had some very bad sorrow,'" Rubinstein told NBC Miami.

ValuJet Crash Of 1996