Chapter 2 – Where did you go??

At this point, I hadn’t started documenting my research, I was browsing casually and found myself running into dead ends. It was only after hours of searching with very little meaningful information did I start getting strange vibes about this whole thing. The aspect which struck me as really strange was stumbling across and seeing his name listed under the page ‘High Profile Engineers’ near the bottom. Wtf is engology?? I mean aside the copy they’ve put on the website. Rafael was initially a mechanical engineer so the listing is understandable, however, I did find it odd that this “Famous International Jewellery Designer” cannot be found anywhere else online. So the search continues.

The order in which the information I did manage to find is a bit murky now, however, slowly but surely, details started coming together. The blog Lucky Patina has a good entry from 2014 which describes Rafael as Toronto designer from the 1970’s who made a number of different items including jewellery, clocks, sculptures, mirrors, and planters. More details were filled in by the blog entry on BlueCollarRedLipstick which mentions that celebrities like Prince, Mohammad Ali, and Margaret Trudeau (Justin’s mom) have worn his pieces. A blog post on H is for Home Harbinger also mentions these details but we also see an image of Rafael and his [first?] wife Esther.

Photo by Dick Darrell for the Toronto Star

I had more luck doing visually searching through pictures on Pinterest and from there, checking websites based on the pins others have saved. This led me to a page on, an auction website, which thankfully had a decent biography and thus some answers to my questions. Similarly, listings on the auction website WorthPoint provided a little more information, just enough to keep me from becoming bored and discouraged.

Searching the university library’s website did turn up one article from 2006 that I was able to read, only for it to mention Rafael’s work in passing. The magazine MoneySense published an article titled ‘Trash or treasure?’ by Duncan Hood about collectibles, where he states “So is jewelry by Rafael Alfandary (signed simply “Rafael”), who worked in Toronto in the 1970s and created unique pieces for Maggie Trudeau, Lome Greene and Liberace.” That’s it; more leads with few answers.

‘Trash or treasure?’ by Hood, Duncan for MoneySense, Toronto, Vol. 8, Iss 1. (Feb/Mar 2006): 49.

Chapter 3 – Suspicions arise…