At Harry Winston, it is not only our tradition to own the world’s most famous jewels, it is our tradition to nurture them. From the Lesotho Diamond… to our current collection of rare, one-of-a-kind gems, the history of the House of Harry Winston includes some of the most famous jewels in the world.
THE LESOTHO – The original rough diamond – over 601-carats uncut – was unearthed in 1967 by a woman in the South African kingdom of Lesotho. Fearing for her life, the woman fled on foot for four days and nights to sell the incredible stone under government protection. Purchased by Harry Winston, the cleaving of the Lesotho was broadcast live on television in 1968, resulting in 18 separate gems. The largest, LESOTHO ONE, is an exquisite 71.73-carat flawless emerald cut diamond. Aristotle Onassis purchased the 40.42-carat LESOTHO THREE for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ engagement ring.
THE JONKER - At 726-carats, the JONKER is the seventh largest rough diamond on record. Purchased by Harry Winston in 1935, it was shipped to the U.S. via regular registered mail for $0.64. The first major stone to be cleaved in the U.S. – the largest finished diamond, an exquisite oblong, emerald-cut, weighed an impressive 125.35-carats.
THE COURT OF JEWELS- By creating an unparalleled exhibition called the “Court of Jewels,” Winston’s collection of world renowned gems travelled major American cities from 1949 to 1953.
THE TAYLOR-BURTON – What became an eventual pairing of legendary beauties – a magnificent pear-shaped diamond and film icon Elizabeth Taylor – began in the skilled hands of a Harry Winston craftsman. The magnificent 69.42-carat pear-shaped diamond was cut by Winston from a 241-carat rough diamond purchased from the Premiere Diamond Mine. Selling the diamond in 1967, the exquisite stone was subsequently purchased by actor Richard Burton, for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, and renamed the TAYLOR-BURTON.