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Harry Winston
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    (March 1, 1896-December 8, 1978)
    Moved to NYC (1920)
    Created Premier Diamond Company
    Bought the 726-carat Jonker diamond crystal (1934)
    Bought the Hope diamond from Evalyn Walsh McLean's estate (1949)
    Opened a store in Geneva (1955), Paris (1957), Tokyo (1986) and Beverly Hills (1988)
    His cutter Bernard de Haan faceted the Niarchos Diamond (128 carats, 1957)
    Donated the Hope and Portuguese diamonds to the Smithsonian (1958)
    Son (Ronald) succeeded him as head of the company (1978)
    Harry Winston Inc. provides jewelry for the Academy Awards (1980)
    He didn't open a store in Beverly Hills until 1988, when it should have logically been the first place for him to do business.
    He never let a photo of himself be published until after his death.
    The Harry Winston Inc. website is surprisingly small and vague, considering the majesty of their pieces, past and present (2003).
    His company only opened six locations world-wide, and only two are in the US (L.A. and NYC).
    The Hope Diamond is considered priceless because of the history attached to it, but he gave it to a museum.
    As a result, the Smithsonian's tourism exploded.
    The Smithsonian's largest faceted diamond, the Portuguese, was a donation from him as well.
    He would often walk around his office, fingering a large diamond in his pocket or hand, deep in thought.
    It is estimated during his career, he had handled about one-fifth of all the famous large diamonds in the world.

Credit: Ryan Thompson

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