J.K. Rowling to auction personally designed “Harry Potter” charm bracelet for Lumos

Last week we let you know that J.K. Rowling had been named Inspiration of the Year by Harper’s Bazaar, and in their latest issue, Rowling herself pens a very poignant article about her work with Lumos and reveals the story behind an upcoming December 10 auction where a bracelet that Rowling helped to design will be auctioned off to benefit the charity.

In the article, Rowling tells about the heartbreaking theft of her mother’s jewelry:

One day a burglar broke into the flat where I was living in Manchester, emptied my old wooden jewellery box and smashed it apart for good measure. I lost not just [a beloved charm bracelet from my childhood] but [also] the modest collection of jewellery I had inherited from my mother, who had died a mere three months previously.

Compared to the loss of my mother, it was nothing, and yet I was devastated. Jewellery does not change; it cannot decay. It is a way of holding tight to the past. To this day, I glance through shop windows at old jewellery in the vague hope that among the tarnished silver I will catch sight of that filigree egg.

Then, in her typical magical way, Jo ties this sad story into a story of hope and two other charm bracelets: one, a precious gift from her editor; the other, the unique item whose sale will provide better living conditions for institutionalized children.

On the day that the seventh Harry Potter book was to be released, my editor, Emma, and the head of Bloomsbury children’s books, Sarah, met me in London and gave me a small package to open. Inside was what would become (aside from my wedding ring) my most treasured piece of jewellery: a bracelet covered in gold and silver charms from the books. There was a tiny Golden Snitch, a silver Ford Anglia, a Pensieve and a stag Patronus. There was even a Philosopher’s Stone in the form of an uncut garnet.

Unfortunately, my personal Philosopher’s Stone did not last the night. Somewhere during an eight-hour signing session it must have broken against the table because when I got home the following morning it was gone. Vaguely, in my tiredness, it seemed a portent. The series was finished, and it was time to move on.

We are now having another fundraising drive, and this time we’ve decided that, as part of our money raising scheme, we are auctioning a unique piece of jewellery at Sotheby’s on 10 December. The first idea was a brooch, but I, of course, proposed a charm bracelet. I sketched some ideas based on my treasured Bloomsbury bracelet and took them to the Scottish jeweller Hamilton & Inches. With incredible generosity, they offered to make the piece free of charge.

The last – and the prettiest – of this story’s bracelets could have come out of a fairy tale itself. It carries a collection of unique handmade charms that allude to stories and magic, including a winged key, a tiny spell book and (for Harry) a bolt of lightning. The most precious charm of the lot is a little jewelled butterfly, which is the logo of Lumos – a symbol of transformation and liberation, of the beauty that can emerge from dark confinement.

Below are pictures of this beautiful bracelet, named Lumos Maximas, obtained from the Sotheby’s catalog page.

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The Harper’s Bazaar article featuring these quotes is now avaliable online. You can read it here. Thanks to Lumos for the tip!