The jewels we wear reflect our very souls. Some shine like the brightest stars, while others are content to glow softly and quietly, away from the spotlight. Some have stories to tell, stories of joy and sadness spanning years, decades, or even centuries, connecting us to the past.
Adira, a stunning 2.66 carat round brilliant diamond, has a story woven through more than a century of history, taking her through two world wars. Her name means “strength” in Hebrew, and her story began in the winter of 1912 in Geneva, Switzerland.
A young Austrian Jewish man named Lukas proposed to the woman he loved, Rachel, on the steps of Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Geneva. At that time, Adira’s home was the engagement ring that Lukas placed on Rachel’s finger in the hope that she would spend her life with him.
Rachel accepted, and they moved to Vienna, wearing the ring she so cherished. Over the years that followed, they were blessed with two wonderful daughters, Abigail and Sarah, both of who were in their twenties when the German invasion of Austria changed their lives forever.
In 1939, Lukas disappeared. Rachel and her beloved daughters’ fears came true - he was imprisoned at the Mauthausen concentration camp. He was never seen again. Filled with grief and fear for their own safety, mother and daughters sought safe passage from Austria.
Their passage was fraught with peril and the exhausted trio were forced to leave by separate routes. Rachel traveled by land with the underground resistance, heading east, while Abigail and Sarah fled for the Italian coast, where they would travel east by boat.
Travelling light in the cover of night, they made haste to avoid capture. Rachel concealed her beloved engagement ring among her carefully chosen belongings, fearful that her only remaining memento of Lukas’ love might be forever lost if taken from her hands.
Rachel reached Israel and awaited news of her daughters, but none came. Days became months, and months became years. It was after almost five years of longing that news came - a perilous escaped fraught with setbacks had finally brought the girls to Italy.
Unable to go further, both of Rachel’s daughters had reluctantly started over, both joining the war effort and later getting married. Yet they still had hope, and listened every day for news of the mother they longed to see again.
Rachel, desperate to embrace her daughters, searched relentlessly, and in 1950, following an eternity apart, mother and daughters were finally reunited. Life began to attain some semblance of normalcy despite the loss all had suffered.
Abigail and Sarah began families of their own, content that their own children would never experience the strife of war. Although Rachel remarried, she wore the ring every day, often lost in the memories of Lukas and the love they shared.
Years went by before Rachel passed away. Her anchor to her first love was inherited by her daughter Abigail, who wore it as a memory of her loving parents until her own passing.
Carrying the essence, strength, and love of family, the Adira ring was held safely with a trustee until it was handed down to Abigail’s son, Albert who, even in his old age, knew of its rich past through stories and the study of his family history.
Although the ring fell into disrepair, Adira herself was preserved, safely kept for many years before being placed in the hands of Imperial Jewellery’s talented artisan, Sarina, to be redesigned, and restored with care and intention.
She now, at 110 years old, rests in a crown setting on a diamond-encrusted platinum engagement ring crafted to be her home. And so, Adira, a true keeper of memories, moves forward into a new chapter of her life.
FEB 2024 update: Adira ring has found a home. Shop more antique jewels with a story HERE.
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