Harry Winston

This article is about the person. For the company, see Harry Winston, Inc.
Harry Winston

A black and white photo of jeweler Harry Winston sitting in a chair, looking into the camera and holding his glasses in his hands

Harry Winston
Born (1896-03-01)March 1, 1896
Died December 28, 1978(1978-12-28) (aged 82)
Nationality American
Occupation Jeweler
Years active 1908–1978
Known for Extraordinary diamonds and jewels

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.[1] He also traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963.[2]


Winston's father Jacob started a small jewelry business after his mother and he immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. While growing up, he 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.[3] Winston started his business in 1920 and opened his first store in New York City in 1932.[4]

Winston's jewelry empire began in 1926, with his acquisition of Arabella Huntington's jewelry collection,[3] for $1.2 million.[5] The wife of railroad magnate Henry E. 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.[6] 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."

When he died, Winston left the company to his two sons, Ronald and Bruce, who then entered into a decade-long battle over the control of the company.[7] In 2000, Ronald along with new business partner, Fenway Partners, bought Bruce out from the company for $54.1 million.[8]


Harry Winston Jewelers, Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

Winston was among the most noted 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!"[9] The Lauren Weisberger comic novel, Chasing Harry Winston, was published in May 2008.[10]

In 2015, Harry Winston, Inc. operated 39 salons and numerous retail affiliates in locations such as New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Chicago, Costa Mesa, and other countries around the world.[11]

Noted diamonds Winston owned




The Hope Diamond



Napoleon Diamond Necklace

See also


  1. 1 2 "The Hope Diamond". www.si.edu. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Portuguese Diamond". www.mnh.si.edu. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  3. 1 2 Diaz Dennis, Alicia (December 11, 2008). "Fashion Influential #28: Harry Winston". www.zimbio.com. Zimbio. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  4. "Harry Winston – History". www.hautehorlogerie.org. Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  5. "Harry Winston Unveils New 'Belle' Engagement Ring". www.forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  6. "Harry Winston and the bridal Belle". www.thejewelleryeditor.com. The Jewellery Editor. June 26, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  7. Burleigh, Nina. "The Trouble with Harry Winston". www.nymag.com. New York. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  8. Pristin, Terry (December 22, 2000). "New Partners Hope to Expand Harry Winston". www.nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  9. "Diamond deal: Swatch swoops for Harry Winston". www.standard.co.uk. Evening Standard. January 14, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  10. Ward, Kate; Jordan, Tina (December 23, 2008). "Books: 5 worst of 2008". www.ew.com. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  11. "Locate a Harry Winston Salon or a retail affiliate". www.harrywinston.com. Harry Winston Inc. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  12. "Harry Winston The Ultimate Jeweler", third edition, 1988, by Laurence S. Krashes, edited by Ronald Winston. ISBN 0-87311-018-8
  13. Cohen, Tamara (October 25, 2010). "£24million pink panther: Rare diamond set to fetch record price". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  14. "Oscar Jewels: Where Are They Now?". People. March 15, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  15. Marc S. Malkin; Deborah Schoeneman. "Model Home Gets a Makeover". New York Magazine; New York Media. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  16. "CUTTING IS STARTED ON VARGAS DIAMOND". The New York Times. April 10, 1941. Retrieved December 7, 2011.

Further reading

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