Think quick! You’re a jeweler. You’ve got a gemstone. And an organization is waiting for it some 225 miles away. What do you do? A merchant once pondered that very question. But it wasn’t just any jeweler shipping any precious stone to any old group.
It involved America’s foremost jeweler at the time, the most famous gem in the world, and America’s most celebrated museum. And how he wound up sending it will amaze you.To fully appreciate this story, you must first understand the players involved.
Harry Winston was the American Dream come true. Son of struggling Jewish immigrants from Russia, at age 12 something caught his eye in a neighborhood pawnshop. The boy recognized it as a two-carat emerald and plopped down a quarter to pay for it. Two days later he sold it for $800 (nearly $25,000 today).
No surprise then that he had his own jewelry shop at age 24. He made his name in 1926 by buying Arabella Huntington’s fabulous collection of some of the world’s most beautiful jewels. Her husband was a railroad magnate, and she spent a big chunk of his fortune on pretty things that sparkled and glittered.
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