The history of the jewelry house sung by Marilyn Monroe, who owns the second largest collection of jewelry pieces. The history of Harry Winston, an exceptional diamond cutter.
Harry Winston, An Extraordinary Story
New York. 1932 – Harry Winston is a passionate gemologist when he founded his house in the Big Apple. A passion for stones and diamonds certainly, but above all a business sense. Three years later, Harry Winston bought his first major diamond – rough uncut 726 carats, it was called ‘Jonker’.
12 individual stones result from it. The largest, an emerald-cut diamond, represented a total of 125.35 carats.
Bold, Harry Winston certainly was. He sent the stone to New York, then decided to send the rough diamond himself by registered mail. For 64 cents. In 1938, after having heard in the press of the discovery of a rough diamond of 726.60 carats in Brazil, Harry Winston did not hesitate a second and flew in search of the treasure.
He eventually finds his trace, acquiring it in Antwerp – the extraordinary rough diamond called Vargas entered his collection! Its ornaments are so exquisite that Harry Winston is the first jeweler in the world to adorn an actress with his diamonds. Today, a common practice, Harry Winston has thus become the “Jeweler of the Stars”. From Elizabeth Taylor to Marilyn Monroe, adulation is mutual.
An Iconic Logo
In his creations, Harry Winston signs them of a very innovative spirit for the time – at his place, the precious stones dictate the design of each around, and not the frame. This philosophy can be seen in a logo that has become synonymous with the King of diamonds. An eight-sided logo makes it an emerald engraved with the initials H.W.
Harry Winston adoring this stone cut more than any other, the emerald has become a strong symbol of the house. A logo that underlines a flawless commitment to first-rate quality.
In 1948, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor met him for the first time. A few weeks before, the Duchess of Windsor had written to Harry Winston in a letter “My friends tell me that you have such wonderful things”
Among these wonders, legends like the Taylor-Burton diamond, offered in 1966 by Richard Burton to his wife Elizabeth Taylor. A pear-shaped diamond of 69.42 carats fashioned by Harry Winston from a rough diamond of 241 carats.
Marilyn Monroe already entered her name as a legend, in 1953, in the no less mythical film “ Men prefer the Blondes”. In the film’s key song, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, she sings “Talk to me Harry Winston!” Tell me all about it! From New York, London, Paris, Geneva to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, the name Harry Winston is on everyone’s lips!
LIFE magazine, again, claimed that Harry Winston actually had the second largest collection of jewelry after the Queen of England.