A gold bar found at the bottom of a lake by a German teenager last summer is hers to keep, meaning the young lady is now about $18,000 richer thanks to her lucky find, Market Watch is reporting.
Back in August of 2015, the 16-year-old girl, whose name has not been made public, was swimming with her family in Germany’s Koenigssee Lake, a popular attraction near Berchtesgaden, in southeast Germany.
While swimming, the teenager somehow — it’s not clear how — managed to find a gold bar on the bottom of the lake, in about two meters (about six feet) of water. It’s not clear, as of this writing, if she and the rest of her party scoured as much of the rest of the lake as they could, looking for more gold bars. Regardless, she immediately turned the gold bar over to police in the nearby city of Berchtesgaden.
The bar, weighing in at 498 grams (or about 17.6 ounces), had its serial number scratched off, according to The Independent, but police were able to re-create it forensically.
Mystery over gold bar found in German lake https://t.co/3WM9e4sDpf
— The Independent (@Independent) February 5, 2016
As The Independent reports, local police began a search for the owner — a search that would ultimately prove futile. About all they could say conclusively about the gold bar was that it was manufactured by Degussa — a conclusion they made by seeing the word “Degussa” stamped onto the bar.
Interestingly, the lake where the gold bar was found has some connections to Nazi-era history. Adolf Hitler was known to vacation in the area, and he and other top Nazi officials had homes and offices in the area up until the end of World War II. The area was then occupied by the U.S. Army for a time after the war.
Further, the Nazis are known to have looted untold millions of dollars in gold (as well as other valuables, such as jewelry and fine art), and how much of it has been recovered remains a mystery to this day. In August, 2015, according to the Daily Mail, two German men claimed to have discovered a so-called “Nazi Gold Train,” purportedly containing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of looted Nazi gold, in a tunnel in Poland. Most experts believe that claim was likely a hoax.
Nevertheless, the gold bar found in a German lake turns out not to have any connection to the Nazis, according to local police. And after a months-long search, police were unable to locate the bar’s rightful owner. That means that the bar now belongs to the 16-year-old girl who found it.
Police commissioner Günther Adolph publicly thanked the teenager and her parents for turning the gold bar over to the police.
“It is a great example for others. That they can now keep the valuable find is even better.”
The teenager is expected to reclaim the gold bar from the authorities “in the coming days.”
As of the time of this writing, gold is worth $1,175.20 per ounce, according to Apmex. The teenager’s gold bar weighs in at 17.6 ounces, making it worth $20,683.52, before any taxes, fees, and commissions she may have to pay if she sells it. Or she could hold on to it: gold is traditionally a solid investment, according to Market Watch.
The German teenager who found the gold bar in the lake has declined all requests for interviews at this time.
[Image via Shutterstock/sumire8]