Living the Moment
Harry Winston first opened its doors in 1932, but the story starts much earlier with Harry’s father Jacob. He had spent his childhood working in his father’s shop after the family immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. As the story goes, Harry was perusing the cases of a local pawn shop when he recognized a two carat emerald. He procured the emerald for 25 cents and sold it two days later for $800.
History of an Icon
At the age of 18, Harry moved back to New York with his father, who opened another Manhattan jewelry store, which he would operate until just before his death in 1929. With $2,000 saved from his California enterprises, Harry began to operate entirely on his own, buying and selling in the New York Diamond Exchange, which required sound, quick decisions and the boldness of a gambler. In 1916, at only 19 years old, he started his own company, called The Premier Diamond Company. In just two years, Harry was able able to turn $10,000 in cash and jewelry into another $20,000. It wasn’t all peaches and cream however, as an employee absconded with all of Winston’s cash and inventory. Through bank financing, Winston was able to rebuild the business while staying independent of the family. Harry soon ventured into the world of estate sales, where he would buy old, undesirable jewelry, remove the stones, and recut them for more modern settings. He garnered a national reputation near the end of 1930 when he purchased the jewelry collection of an old mining tycoon named B.J. Baldwin. This collection included the largest diamond ever sold in the United States, a 39 carat emerald cut along with a 26 carat ruby, one of the largest in the world at the time. After this purchase, Winston was inextricably linked to diamonds for the rest of his life.
A New Hope
Over the course of the next ten years Winston continued to acquire very large uncut diamonds along with cut diamonds through the same estate sales as before. In 1949 Harry Winston purchased the legendary Hope Diamond for $1 million. The oval cut 45-carat sapphire blue Hope Diamond was rumored to be a cursed stone, supposedly stolen from an idol dedicated to an Indian goddess. The original stone was rumored to be 112.5 carats, stolen by a French gem merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He sold the stone to King Louis XIV, who eventually died of smallpox. Tavernier himself was eaten by wild dogs at the tender old age of 80. After a string of deaths, including the new owners Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, the curse became more popular.
To Infinity & Beyond
Throughout the second half of the 20th century Harry Winston became more of a household name. In the 1953 musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, during the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” the line “Talk to me Harry Winston! Tell me about it!” is spoken. Today the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation operates eight locations in the United States as well as seventeen other locations internationally. Though the Hope Diamond is the most famous stone ever acquired by Harry Winston, the list of massive stones purchased throughout the years is long and just as storied. Harry Winston has produced some of the world’s top-notch jewelry for over a century, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
How to Pawn Harry Winston Jewelry
If you want to pawn your Harry Winston jewelry, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you get the highest possible valuation. For instance, simply cleaning your pieces can be very beneficial. Make sure to clean the jewelry thoroughly, taking special care around any stones and markings. You should also verify that all clasps and hinges are working properly, as your jewelry’s value significantly increases if it functions properly.
Another seemingly inconsequential factor that can have a huge effect on value is the possession of the original box and paperwork. This can help online pawnshops like Pawngo authenticate your piece and can contribute to the overall value. Also, if you have any prior appraisals for the jewelry, pawning them with your jewelry can potentially increase your loan amount.
Get The Best Pawn Loan at Pawngo
Pawngo has established a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy online pawnshop. Our simple process delivers a quick and secure solution for your short-term cash flow needs. We’ve also made the process as easy as possible – just fill out our online application to get started.
At Pawngo, the entire pawning process is safe and private. You won’t need to get the bank involved, and your credit score won’t be affected. We also offer fair value appraisals by our in-house GIA certified gemologists to ensure that you receive the best price for your fine jewelry. The entire process is insured, and your valuables are stored in our secure, state-of-the-art facility once we receive them. If you pay off your loan and want your items returned, we will gladly FedEx them back to you at our expense.