K K 1 K S TA

Jewelry in Jerusalem: Ophir

Nestled inside a building near Zion Square on Jaffa Street, you’ll find the custom jewelry shop “Ophir.” The shop is named for the famously wealthy biblical region of Israel, where King Solomon received a cargo of gold, silver, sandalwood, pearls, ivory, apes and peacocks  every three years.

Owner Abraham Lor, now 83, is a 7th generation Israeli born to in Jerusalem.  His father was one of the first jewelry-making students at the Bezalel Art School, and when he first opened his shop, then 11-year-old Abraham was immediately enthralled and would often sneak out of school to work in the shop, he says. Abraham eventually opened the Jaffa Road store in 1956 and expanded in 2005 when they acquired the space next door. He currently runs the shop with his son Sefie (Joseph).

The antique wooden cabinets and glass shelves are full of rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and broaches.

Displayed in antique wooden cabinets and glass show cases are rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and brocahes. Each piece is a one of a kind, rich-looking and original, utilizing numerous different design styles, gemstones, and ancient Jewish and Roman coins.

“We also have the largest collection of antique jewelry, mostly 150 years old and younger,” says Sefie.

Sefie has been working in the store for the past 24 years and studied at the college of professional manufacturing jewelry and setting stones; in 2007, he graduated the course for diamonds and precious stone grading and evaluation of gemological studies.

A few months ago, Sefie was joined in the store by his wife, Ravit, who couldn’t be happier.

“It’s like a museum where the unique designs emphasize the special jewelry and antique style. You smile all day long to be among beautiful things,” she adds.

Abraham still works in the back shop, designing and making new, original jewelry.

“Design is my first wife,” he says with a chuckle.

“He’s addicted to jewelry,” Sefie concurs.

Store details

Where: 38 Jaffa Street, Jerusalem
Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm