As we commemorate 100 years since The Titanic sank, many have been reflecting on the thousands of stories that have been told about this tragedy, from so many varying standpoints. This story in particular reflects on one man, a jeweler, who managed to send one piece of jewelry home to his family, but the diamonds he accrued were lost, possibly to be found in the not-so-distant future. Thanks to Stephanie Schaefer, Editorial Assistant at JCK, for this touching piece.
Ervin Lewy (photos courtesy of Stanley Lewy)
As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the descendants of a jeweler who made the fateful trip still hope that his lost inventory will be found.
In the early 1900s, Marks, Jay B., and Ervin Lewy established the Lewy Brothers Jewelry Company in Chicago, Ill. The store, which catered to the carriage trade, flourished until the time of the Great Depression.
In 1912, Ervin Lewy, the youngest brother, went to Europe on a diamond buying trip.
After poor luck purchasing diamonds in Amsterdam, Ervin decided to stay in Europe a few extra days and take the Titanic back to the United States. “I’ll be here about a week yet to see if I can’t do better. Can’t catch the Rotterdam as I expected but will probably sail on the Titanic from Cherborough the 10th,” Ervin wrote in a letter he sent home.
Ervin died when the ship sunk and never made it back to America, but a gift he sent his mother arrived in the mail shortly after the voyage. “He was in Paris and saw a sapphire with a cameo carved into it at Cartier and sent it to my grandmother through mail,” Stanley Lewy, Ervin’s great-nephew, says. “When the sapphire arrived my grandfather set the stone in a ring surrounded by baguette diamonds.”