Golden Brooch

24k Brooch
24k Brooch

My mother, aunt and grandmother were all given identical brooches by my great-grandmother during their engagements; a formal token of welcome into the family. Each brooch was hand-crafted from 24-carat yellow Iraqi gold and displays a crest with two doves and a flower at its center.  This design has served as a “family crest” that has been passed down in my family for more than four generations. In Iraq, being a goldsmith was a well-respected profession and ironically, on my maternal side, my great-grandfather was both a goldsmith and a jeweler. When both sets of my great-grandparents immigrated to Israel in the early 1950s, hand-crafted jewelry, such as this brooch, became a rare commodity, as many Iraqi jewelers and goldsmiths were unable to continue their professions in Israel. Because of this, it was even more important for them to bring with them whatever jewelry and other fine metal objects they could carry. Not surprisingly, this particular piece was valued deeply by my great-grandmother who decided to keep the tradition of gifting them to future brides of the family as a welcoming gift. When my grandmother and my mother were engaged, my great-grandmother was determined to find an Iraqi goldsmith in Israel that would be able to re-create the brooch and she was successful in doing so. Today, my family lives in Los Angeles and my mother’s brooch remains a treasured heirloom of the family and a symbol of my Iraqi ancestry and culture. It is inspiring to see the outcome of my great-grandmother’s persistence. I hope that one day I will be able to pass this brooch on too.

Place(s): Iraq, Israel, U.S.A.
Year: 1951

– Mor G.

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child