Harry Winston (1896 – 1978) was born in New York at the end of the 19th Century after his parents left Ukraine to start a new life in America. His father ran a workshop and he learned stones and manufacturing from his father in the business. In 1916, Winston used $2,000 of his own savings to open his company, the Premier Diamond Company. He began by buying and selling diamonds and after a few years he started to buy unfashionable antique pieces and re-set the stones into contemporary styles. By 1925 bought the Heiress Rebecca Darlington Stoddard collection for $1 million. In 1932 Winston closed down the company and started Harry Winston Inc. Business was good and he continued to buy outdated antique jewelry and reset the larger stones. He bought the 726ct Jonker diamond (the 7th largest rough diamond on record) and had the gem cut in New York into twelve polished diamonds, the subsequent sale of which earned him in excess of a million dollars profit. The profit, and controversy earned him much publicity to which to took graciously. Winston continued buying and selling and purchased some of the most important jewelry, diamonds, and colored gemstones in the world. The famous Hope diamond, the Catherine the Great sapphire, the Napoleon diamond necklace of 1811, as well as the Indore Pear diamonds were all purchases he made. Harry married his wife Edna in 1933 and they had two sons, Ronald and Bruce. In 1949 he organized an exhibition of some of his most precious and important gems called ‘The Court of Jewels’ which toured the United States raising money for local charities. In 1956 the first international store was opened in Geneva followed by another in Paris in 1957. In 1960 the New York flagship relocated to 718 Fifth Avenue. Harry Winston passed away in 1978 leaving his wife in charge of the business who passed it to their two sons when she died. They subsequently sold it to the Swatch Group.