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A Gift from the Past

Vintage jewelry

By Kimberly Cunningham

A Gift from the Past

Leo Hamel bracelet

This bracelet has a story to tell. The two-carat vintage sparkler was recently acquired and refurbished by Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. When gemologist Beth Berger bought it, she learned the bracelet had been hidden behind the wall of a house in Nyalka, Hungary, during World War II, to protect it from the Nazis. “This was a very common practice during the time,” Berger says. The bracelet, made of platinum with mine- and rose-cut diamonds, was discovered when an American woman purchased the house and began renovating it. She passed the bracelet to her daughter, who now lives in Julian. Berger identified the piece as Edwardian, from 1901–10. The bracelet retails for $5,695, and, at more than 100 years old, would surely add a little history to someone’s holiday this December. 1851 San Diego Avenue, Old Town

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