Harry Winston (March 1, 1896 – December 28, 1978) was an American jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade. He also traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963.
Harry Winston's father Jacob started a small jewelry business after Harry's mother and he immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. While growing up, Harry worked in his father's shop. When he was twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat emerald in a pawn shop, bought it for 25 cents, and sold it two days later for $800
Winston's jewelry empire began with his acquisition of Arabella Huntington's famous jewelry collection. The wife of railroad magnate Henry Huntington, Arabella amassed one of the world's most prestigious collections of jewelry, largely from Parisian jewelers such as Cartier.
When Winston bought the collection after her death, the designs of the jewelry in the collection were quite old fashioned. Winston redesigned the jewelry into more contemporary styles and showcased his unique skill at jewelry crafting. According to the Huntington museum, "He frequently boasted that Arabella's famous necklace of pearls now adorned the necks of at least two dozen women around the world."
Winston was among the most famous jewelers in the world, well-known to the general public. In the 1953 musical film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" includes the spoken interjection "Talk to me, Harry Winston, tell me all about it!" The Lauren Weisberger comic novel, Chasing Harry Winston, was published in May 2008.
Today, the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation operates eight salons in the U.S., in New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Chicago, and Costa Mesa, as well as seventeen salons in other countries...
Quotes by Harry Winston
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