Harry Winston’s Big Post-WWII Diamond Boom

In the Spartan days of World War II, American women went without diamonds. Even after the armistice, ladies wore jewels only when going out on the town. But Harry Winston had a different vision. In 1946, he fashioned 219 diamonds (26.18 cts. t.w.) into this giant Maltese cross brooch. The next year, Carol Channing was singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” on Broadway, and in Paris, Christian Dior debuted his New Look of ladylike, cinched-waist suits—all of which cried out for sparkly jewelry. “We were coming out of a dry spell,” says Joyce Jonas, president emeritus of the Ame
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