Harry Winston is known for the prestigious jewelry that he has owned and sold around the world in his limited locations. He was born on March 1, 1896 to immigrant parents. He started working in the jewelry business at the age of 12 when he purchased a 2.0 carat emerald gemstone in a junk shop for 25 cents. Two days later, he sold it for $800 dollars. Winston showed at a very young age that he had an eye for gemstones and for making money.
At the age of 20, after developing his gem and diamond skills at his father’s small jewelry store, he was selling on the New York Diamond Exchange. His company was founded in New York City on 5th Avenue where it remains today offering his services to select clientele. He built his business by buying estate jewelry and turning them into more modern pieces. In 1925, he had his first successful estate sale and he was recognized for his masterful reinvention of pre-owned jewelry.
In 1932, Winston founded Harry Winston Inc. and was considered to be one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, even then.
In 1935, he bought the 726.0 carat Jonker Diamond for $700,000 owned by DeBeers. He risked everything he owned by successfully cutting this diamond into 12 smaller diamonds. The largest of the 12 diamonds was an enormous 126.65 carats. He sold the other 11 diamonds for $2 million dollars. Harry Winston is known for having owned the Hope Diamond as well and for donating it to the Smithsonian
He has supplied the diamond and gemstone jewelry to Hollywood celebrities for the Oscars, Tonys and the Golden Globe in the past and as Harry Winston Inc. does today.
Currently, Harry Winston salons are found in New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Honolulu, Bal Harbor, Chicago and Costa Mesa as well as twelve salons in other countries.