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    Harry Winston, ‘An Important Diamond and Platinum Ring’, Lot 226

    Jewels, 9 December

  • Catalogue Essay

    At twelve years old, Harry Winston was already a success. His first purchase for 25 cents - an emerald ring, which he spotted in the window of a pawnbroker shop – he sold two days later for $800. This first and legendary transaction illustrates his passion, business acumen and instinct. These three characteristics, plus his phenomenal read of people, adroit marketing skills and philanthropic nature, helped to create the thriving international business the jewelry house is today.

    Harry Winston was a tour de force within the jewelry industry, establishing his namesake company, Harry Winston Inc., in 1932. Unlike his competitors, Winston focused on purchasing estate property. Having the rare and valuable instinct to measure the beauty of gemstones, he had large stones removed from their estate settings, and re-cut them to optimize their color, brilliance and liveliness. Upon completion, these newly fashioned diamonds and colored gemstones were placed into elegant platinum mountings, which provided a perfect backdrop to showcase their unique qualities.

    The following two Harry Winston rings illustrate examples of this practice, philosophy and superior knowledge of gemstones. The Burmese ruby ring, lot 227, was manufactured in 1968, and was designed with the intention to capitalize on the outstanding color and liveliness of this unheated gem. The diamond frame helps to promote the beauty of the center stone by adding contrast and brilliance. The color, saturation and play of light perform against each other, leading your eye to the center, reinforcing the depth of color. Similarly, lot 226, with a central emerald-cut diamond weighing 11.34 carats, has a minimal frame. This ring was designed in 1983, and was created with the intent to focus on the exceptional quality, color and clarity of the central diamond crystal. Harry Winston instinctively understood gemstones, as demonstrated by his first purchase, as well as in these two rings. His true love and passion for these gifts of nature has delighted women and men around the globe for the last 87 years both in his salons, private collections, and museums.

Property of a New York Collector


An Important Diamond and Platinum Ring

An emerald-cut diamond, 11.34 carats
Triangle-shaped diamonds, total 1.45 carats
Signed with maker’s mark
Platinum, size 3 1/2

Additional images on website

$500,000 - 800,000 

Contact Specialist
Susan Abeles
Head of Department, Americas and Senior International Specialist
New York
+1 212 940 1383


New York Auction 9 December 2019