Diamond That Survived the Holocaust and Two World Wars Is Rescued in Manhattan
A New York newlywed said she was horrified when an heirloom diamond fell out of her engagement ring and disappeared into the underbelly of a newsstand refrigeration unit on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Danielle Gelfand's 1-carat diamond had been in her family for more than 100 years.
“I went to grab a bottle of water. I reached in, and all of a sudden, I heard a click,” Gelfand told a reporter from CBS2.
The click was the sound of her diamond caroming into an abyss.
The NYPD's Emergency Services Unit removed a few panels from under the soda case's refrigeration unit but were unable to complete the rescue without cutting the metal frame. The officers said they needed permission from the cart's owner, who, they learned, wouldn't be available until after the weekend.
Gelfand and the Emergency Services officers weren't about to give up easily. Her engagement ring had been a cherished keepsake of not only her 88-year-old mother, but her mother's mother, as well.
“A ring is just a ring, but this ring is so much more,” Gelfand told CBS2. “My mother is a Holocaust survivor and it’s a ring that lived through two wars, the first World War and the second World War. And she gave it to me.”
When Gelfand told her mom that the heirloom diamond was stuck under a newsstand soda case, the Holocaust survivor returned a steady, unemotional response.
"You know what?" the mom said. "We have our health, and if it’s meant to be, we’ll get it back.”
On Monday, Gelfand and her husband returned to the newsstand to meet its owner and to try a newly purchased piece of equipment. It was a snake camera that could easily squeeze between crevices of the refrigeration unit. Within a few minutes, the Gelfands were able to confirm the exact location of the diamond.
Using some other specialty equipment, they were able to finally rescue the diamond that has been through so much.
Danielle Gelfand told CBS2 that she will be keeping her family's tradition alive by one day passing the ring down to her own daughter.
Credits: Screen captures via newyork.cbslocal.com.