The 'Defeating the Virus' pin created by Franco Valobra of Valobra Master Jewelers in Houston and New Orleans salutes health care workers in the COVID-19 battle..
Franco & Nancy Valobra at the Master Jewelers Houston flagship opening last February. (Photo by Kirstin Gilliam)
The sterling silver pin, dipped in 18k gold features the familiar caduceus with its intertwined snakes and wings topped with a deep red garnet.
In New York, the 7 pm banging of pots and pans to salute healthcare workers during their shift change can be gloriously deafening, while the Light It Blue movement across the country has been a visually stunning nod to the bravery of those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now comes Houston jeweler Franco Valobra, creating a piece of jewelry in homage to the COVID-19 warriors.
The popular jeweler, who opened Valobra Master Jewelers in Houston not long after Hurricane Katrina disrupted his shop in New Orleans, consistently has philanthropy on his mind, as noted in the numerous nonprofits to which he’s contributed magnificent pieces for charity auctions.
“As it’s hard to stay idle in this perilous time, we at Valobra Master Jewelers created a symbol of the fight against the coronavirus,” Franco Valoba tells PaperCity. “We must show all of the brave men and women in our nation and, indeed, around the world, who are risking their lives while fighting the virus in the hospitals and in the labs, and searching for a cure that we are grateful beyond words.”
While social distancing with his family in home-base New Orleans, Valobra has already begun his altruistic project of gifting — operative word “gifting” — front-line medical personnel around the world with the custom-made Valobra Defeating the Virus pin.
The sterling-silver pin, dipped in 18K gold ,features the familiar caduceus with its intertwined snakes and wings topped with a deep-red garnet, which carries various meanings in various cultures, but in Valobra’s realm, it’s a symbol of healing and crisis resolution.
“This pin,” he says, “shall represent their sacrifice, hard work, and commitment, never to be forgotten.”
The program has just begun, and already 50 nominations for the pin have been received, some as far away as France and others as close as the Texas Medical Center.
Readers are asked to assist Valobra Master Jewelers in identifying outstanding caregivers in the healthcare field from anywhere in the world by sending nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those chosen will be sent the pin with the compliments of Valobra and the one who made the nomination.