Charred ring set with emeralds retreived from safety deposit box destroyed on September 11, 2001. Diamonds, previously included in setting, were removed prior to donation.
On September 11, 2001, Linda DiGennaro, a long-time resident of Battery Park City, experienced the terrorist attack first-hand. Wearing a beach cover-up, she was evacuated by boat to New Jersey, but given no real guidance about what to do or where to go. She eventually encountered a concerned policeman, who directed her to public transportation and emptied the change from his pockets into a cigarette pack for her. When Ms. DiGennaro stepped onto the bus not knowing where she was headed, the driver waived the fare and wouldn't let her pay. Ms. DiGennaro was eventually re-united with her family and saved the change and cigarette package as a token of remembrance of her experience. In addition to losing the use of her home after the attacks, Ms. DiGennaro also lost personal property. She held a safety deposit box in the Chase Bank branch located on the concourse level of the World Trade Center and soon was informed that none of the fireproofed boxes had survived the attacks. Later she was notified that her deposit box had been recovered. Inside, a diamond and emerald ring remain intact, but damaged. The diamonds were essentially unharmed however, and Ms. DiGennaro had them reset into new jewelry for her granddaughters and herself. The emeralds were tarnished and ruined. Ms. DiGennaro had also stored currency in the box, which was burned beyond ordinary recognition. The U.S. Federal reserve analyzed the ash however, and verified that it was United States currency in approximately the amount she had specified. Correspondence between Ms. DiGennaro and the Federal Reserve, Chase, and Tiffany's chronicle her efforts to address those matters in the aftermath of the attack.
Gift of Linda M. Di Gennaro
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Museum & Library Map
Floor plan & visitor information
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
New York, NY 10024