Harry Winston - Jewelers
Phone number: +1 310 271 8554
Up for an Oscar? Then head down to the world-famous jeweler, Harry Winston on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills - purveyor of diamonds to the stars!
DIAMONDS MADE FAMOUS BY HARRY WINSTON
In its over 100 years, THE HOUSE OF HARRY WINSTON has held many of the world’s most fabulous jewels—more than any other individual, including governments and royalty. Many are described and pictured in the book Harry Winston: The Ultimate Jeweler. Here are just a few.
THE HOPE DIAMOND
Probably the world’s most famous diamond, the breathtaking HOPE DIAMOND is a 45.52-carat stone of chilling dark-blue color. Its unusual history dates back to 1642, when it was smuggled out of India and sold to Louis XIV—26 years later. In Louis’ hands, the stone was called the French Blue and remained among the French crown Jewels for more than 124 years. The aura of tragedy surrounding the HOPE began with Louis XIV, who wore it once and died shortly thereafter. Louis XV never wore it but did lend it to his mistress, Countess DuBarry, who lost her head in the French Revolution. Louis XVI’s wife Marie Antoinette was reputed to have worn it often, although in fact she probably did not; the legend of the diamond’s curse was fueled when she met her fate at the hands of an angry mob. The HOPE re-emerged twenty years later in the hands of a Dutch diamond cutter. His son stole it from him, the jeweler died of grief, and the son committed suicide. Finally, Henry Phillip Hope came into possession of the stone and he and his descendants were beset with tragedy. By the early 1900’s, the HOPE had traveled throughout Europe changing hands, being cut, re-cut, and re-set time and again. Legend insisted that tragedy followed its path. While in the hands and around the neck of Mrs. Edward B. MacLean, a leader of Washington society in the early 1920’s, her son was killed and her husband implicated in the infamous Teapot Dome scandal. In 1949, it was sold with other jewels to Harry Winston, who traveled with it frequently and never had a hint of bad luck. He donated the infamous gem to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958, where it now resides in the Harry Winston Gallery at the Museum of Natural History.
THE LESOTHO DIAMOND
THE LESOTHO DIAMOND is the largest diamond ever found by a woman. Mrs. Ernestine Ramaboa found the 601-carat rough diamond in Lesotho, South Africa in May 1967; nearly penniless except for the diamond, Ernestine and Petrus Ramaboa walked for four days and nights to deliver it into the safekeeping of a reputable diamond buyer. Harry Winston acquired it after intense international bidding, and the cleaving of the Lesotho into two pieces was broadcast live on American television in 1968, with the Ramaboas in attendance. The polishing was completed in a year and resulted in eighteen gemstones. These include the 40-carat LESOTHO III that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis received as an engagement gift from Aristotle Onassis; it was sold in 1996 for $2.59 million after a frenzied battle between two anonymous bidders at Sotheby's. Recently, the House of Harry Winston has regained possession of LESOTHO I, the largest of the eighteen, a 71.73-carat flawless emerald-cut diamond with a beautiful pale pink hue.
The STAR OF INDEPENDENCE
The STAR OF INDEPENDENCE began as a 204-carat rough diamond and was cut by Harry Winston in 1976 into the 75.52 pear-shaped beauty that it is today. In honor of the American Bicentennial, Ronald Winston christened it The Star of Independence. It was sold several weeks later for more that $4 million.
At 726 carats, THE JONKER is the seventh largest rough diamond on record. It was discovered in Africa and purchased by Winston in London. After heated debate about the safest way to get it back to the states, Harry Winston sent it via regular, registered mail for $.64 postage.
The DEAL SWEETNER.
In 1974, Harry Winston and Harry Oppenheimer, head of DeBeers, concluded the largest single diamond transaction history: a parcel of rough diamonds for $24,500,000. When Winston asked Oppenheimer for a “little something to sweeten the deal,” Oppenheimer pulled this 181-carat rough out of his pocket and rolled it across the table to Winston. “Thanks,” said Harry.
This 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond was cut by Harry Winston from a 241-carat piece of rough found in 1966 at the Premier Mine in South Africa. Mrs. Paul Annenberg Ames purchased the stone from Mr. Winston in 1967. In 1969, the stone was sold at auction in New York and sold the following day to the actor Richard Burton for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The diamond was subsequently named for them. It has since been re-sold.
The LAL QILA
The LAL QILA was purchased by Harry Winston from an Indian dealer in 1949 and re-sold to King Farouk of Egypt in 1951. There has been no public record of this 72.76-carat green diamond since the King was overthrown in 1952.
THE MABEL BOLL.
Actress Mabel Boll, “Broadway’s most beautiful blonde” in the 1920s, was known as the Queen of Diamonds and had a penchant for wearing all of her jewels in public - often $400,000 worth on one hand alone. This 46.57-carat emerald-cut diamond was a wedding gift to Mabel from a Colombian coffee king, one of her many husbands.