What started as an imaginative idea in August of 2013 has been transformed into a magnificent, record breaking masterpiece – the World’s Most Valuable Dreidel as certified by Guinness World Record on Nov 13, 2015.
Chabad of South Palm Beach appealed to the Guinness World Records, Inc. to create custom criteria for a new record category – the World’s Most Valuable Dreidel. Guinness responded with specific guidelines as to the value, structure, and proof package that the record attempt would require.
“The completed Dreidel meets and exceeds the Guinness requirements in every category,” says Rabbi Leibel Stolik. “More impressively, the beauty and craftsmanship of the dreidel far exceeds our most ambitious expectations.”
Pedro Maldonado of Artisan Jewelers in Manalapan, FL donated his prodigious skill and expertise to design and fabricate the magnificent dreidel.
Pedro was intrigued by the opportunity to create a Jewish ritual object that would be a community wide effort. Pedro is a scion to the storied Maldonado family of master jewelers of Ecuador.
For decades, the Maldonado family produced crowns, religious artifacts, and unique jewelry of the highest quality. Pedro remembers that his father spent many months creating a ritual chalice with materials donated by community members. “This dreidel represents for me, a coming together of faiths for a common good,” says Pedro.
Dreidel is Yiddish for a spinning top. There is a Hebrew letter embossed or printed on each of the dreidel’s four sides. These four letters form the acronym of the phrase: “Nes gadol hayah sham,” “A great miracle happened there”; a reference to the Chanukah miracle that transpired in the Land of Israel.
The four sided dreidel is built on a structure of silver Tiffany frames that were antiqued to contrast with the gemstone encrusted gold plates that have the requisite four Hebrew Letters: Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. The apex of the dreidel is a beautiful antique turquoise. The dreidel’s point is a diamond that the dreidel is balanced to spin on. Most excitingly, there are free hanging diamonds and gems that dance and move as the dreidel spins!
“We are grateful to Pedro Maldonado for the extraordinary effort and time that he invested in this project as a donation to the Jewish community,” says Shaina Stolik. “The dreidel has been a cherished sybol for thousands of years and we are so gratified that we are able to reinvent it just in time for Chanukah.”