Thursday, April 16, 2009

HOUSE OF HARRY WINSTON

When I read up on legendary jewelry designer Harry Winston, I was convinced that the brilliance and fire of the diamonds he uses were a direct result of transference. Winston was so passionate about how he displayed diamonds that he refused to incorporate precious metals in his creations that were visible.

He was so passionate about presenting his diamonds fluidly he set them in invisible platinum settings in order to enhance the radiance of the diamonds in turn enhancing the radiance of the woman who wears them. TRANSFERENCE COMPLETE.
 
A simple holly leaf served as the source of inspiration for the diamond settings for which Winston is world renowned. Winston encouraged his team of designers to take liberties with their creativity resulting in timeless, distinctive designs.

In 1932, Winston officially launched his company in New York under the moniker Harry Winston, Inc. Presently, however, the company's name is the House of Harry Winston. Since 1943, when Winston designed a necklace for then Oscar™ nominated actress Jennifer Jones, his name became synonymous with the word diamonds. For this reason, he was nicknamed The King of Diamonds.

The House of Harry Winston has designed and created some of the most memorable diamond jewelry pieces. Perhaps the most famous of Winston's pieces is the Taylor-Burton Diamond; a 69-carat, pear-shaped diamond pendant necklace given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton.

Another memorable piece from the Winston brand is the 6-carat, pink diamond engagement ring given to Jennifer Lopez by then fiancé Ben Affleck and the list goes on.

Winston's passion for diamonds resulted in his procurement of three of the largest rough diamonds in the world:

  • The Jonker (726 carats) discovered in South Africa in 1934 by an employee of diamond digger Johannes Jonker;
  • The Vargas (727 carats) discovered in Brazil in 1938 by Brazilian diamond diggers Joaquin Venancio and Manoel Miguel Dominiques. It was later named after Brazil's president, Getulio Dorvelles Vargas; and
  • The Star of Sierra Leone (970 carats) discovered in 1930 in South Africa

These diamonds were eventually broken down into smaller diamonds and included in Winston's designs. At one time, Winston owned the Hope Diamond but he donated the famous gem to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where it is now on display.
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