As a man who made a great impact and created a great landmark in the world of jewelry, Harry Winston deserves the title “King Of Diamonds”. He was born on 1st of March, 1896 and passed-on on December the 28th, 1978. Harry Winston was a renowned American jeweler who left a great legacy. He is well known for his revolutionized modern jewelry and great watch designs. He is the founder of Harry Winston Inc. and is renowned for owning the Hope Diamond which is among the most famous jewels in the world, which later donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958.
There are many records that have spoken of Harry Winston’s high profile. He has several ownership and affiliates with jewelry companies. He held the ownership of Hope Diamond for a decade before the donation to the Smithsonian Institution. The King of diamonds also did Portuguese Diamond trading with the Smithsonian in 1963.
Harry Winston’s History
Harry Winston started learning about the jewelry business from his father. He worked at his father’s workshop at a very early age. Right from his younger age, he had the trait of being a successful jeweler. At the age of 12 years old, he randomly walked into a pawn shop and bought a two-carat emerald for 25 cents and sold it for $800.
Winston started out as a jeweler in 1920 when he became independent of his father, and he opened his own store in New York City in 1932. This was how Harry Winston started his jewelry business.
Harry Winston’s Stardom
Winston got into the spotlight after he took over Arabella Huntington’s spectacular jewelry collection for $1.2 million. Before Arabella’s death, she had a reputation of holding one of the world’s most prestigious jewelry collections, which are largely from great Parisian Jewelers like Cartier. After buying out the collection , Harry Winston had to redesign them because they were old fashioned. He redesigned them into more contemporary styles and designs which showcased his unique jewelry crafting skills.
Winston’s unique skills in jewelry crafting paved way for him in the jewelry business. After the great project, Winston’s handiwork was what adorned the necks of at least two dozens of great women in the world.
Harry Winston’s Legacy
Harry Winston was one of the greatest and most popular jewelers in the world. His legacy in the jewelry business crested a large footprint and fame to his name. Harry Winston’s fame expanded into special name features in movies and comic novels including the musical movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1953, Diamonds are a girl’s bestfriend, and the Lauren Weisberger comic novel titled ‘Chasing Harry Winston in 2008.
Harry Winston made a record of being the first jeweler to loan diamonds to an actress for the Academy Awards. He dressed the Best Actress Nominee, Jennifer Jones in his priced signature diamond. Afterward, Harry Winston became popular with Hollywood celebrities.
The Harry Winston Inc has operated 39 jewelry salons and has several retail affiliates in several locations including New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Bal Harbour, Costa Mesa, Honolulu, and other countries in the world.
Harry Winston’s Famous Diamonds
Harry Winston held several other notable diamonds aside from Hope Diamond. They include;
- Portuguese Diamond – this diamond was popular for its clarity and flawlessness. It is a large octagon cut diamond in faint yellow with blue fluorescence. It is an antique emerald cut. Harry Winston traded the 127.01 carat Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution for 3,800 carats of small diamonds.
- The Anastasia – best known for its D color, clarity, and flawlessness. They are three emerald cuts that weigh 42.95, 30,90, and 22.88, all having a D color. They are cut from a rough crystal weighing 307.30 carats. Harry Winston purchased his latest gem in 1972 named after the daughter of Czar Nicholas Anastasia Nikolaevna,
- The Blue Heart – Harry Winston purchased the blue heart diamond in 1959. He mounted the blue heart diamond on a ring and sold it to Marjorie Merriweather Post.
- The Deal Sweetener – this is a 45.31 carats diamond with four smaller stones. All D color & flawless emerald cut. In 1974, Harry Winston bought out the largest sale of the diamond worth $24,500,000 dollars. This was the last jewel to be included on the stash, hence the name ‘deal sweetener”.
- The Lesotho – was discovered by Ernestine Ramaboa in 1967 at the Letseng-la-Terai mines in Lesotho. It was sold out at an auction in Maseru to a South African dealer who sold it to a European dealer. The Lesotho has 18 different diamonds, in pale brown color and in various shapes.
Harry Winston Inc.
Harry Winston Inc was founded by and named after the American jeweler, Harry Winston. The headquarters of The Harry Winston Inc is in New York City. Harry Winston Inc. is a place to find great jewelry including diamond watches, rings, and necklaces.
Harry Winston designed beautiful and excellent styles for the company. Unique styles and designs that got all and sundry coming in every time. Harry Winston Inc became a notorious company where all Hollywood celebrities pay frequent visits to in order to acquire treasured diamond.
After Harry Winston’s death, the company was transferred to his sons, Ronald and Bruce. The duo however entered a lengthy battle of about a decade over who takes up the control of the company. Ronald alongside his business partner succeeded in buying Bruce out of the company ownership for $54.1 million.
Harry Winston Inc. never stopped making progress; it continued to get stronger. In 2010- 2011, the company’s sales were recorded to be € 246 million in watches. Harry Winston Inc got a new CEO, Fredric de Narp which formerly belonged to Cartier in North America.
In January 2013, Harry Winston Inc. announced the new agreement to sell the luxury brand diamond jewelry and time place division to The Swatch Group Ltd. The transaction was to include the brand and all jewelry and watch activities along with the employees all around the world and the Geneva production company.