Paul Flato was born in September 1900 into a family of German descent. Flato’s grew up in Texas and was exposed to the delights of fine jewelry from an early age. His family was quite wealthy and so were friends and neighbors who often showed him their jewelry. He moved to New York in 1920 where he enrolled at Columbia University. He dropped out only a year later when his family cut off his allowance after he refused to return Texas. Flato remained in Manhattan and became apprenticed to a jeweler on Fifth Avenue for whom he worked. A few years in he opened his own shop. He started in pearls and built a reputation as a specialist in matching exquisite strands. He became friendly with a relatively unknown diamond dealer by the name of Harry Winston. Flato created jewelry set with Winston diamonds and even helped him to sell some exceptional stones. One of which included the 125.65ct ‘Jonker’ diamond which received huge press attention when it was unveiled set in the center of a Paul Flato designed necklace. In the mid 1930’s Flato established himself as the society jeweler. He employed a host of different designers as well as well as special designers like Fulco di Verdura who just left Chanel. In 1938 Flato opened a store on Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately his career was brought to an end when he was imprisoned in 1943 for grand larceny. He was found guilty of pawning gems and jewelry belonging to both suppliers and clients. Over the next couple of decades he went back to prison twice for fraud related crimes. After his final release from Sing Sing in 1966, Flato moved to Mexico City where he opened a jewelry store in the Zona Rosa district in 1970. He remained there for nearly twenty years and finally moved to Texas to be with family before he passed.