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The Titans Of The Diamond World: Cartier, Harry Winston or Tiffany?

"If you’ve been waiting for an invitation, this calligraphy is it. Commissioned by Facebook, this is a hand-lettered design for a poster. Quote is Facebook mine "

- Massimo Vignelli

This is not an ordinary competition. The key word is “diamond”. Each of these three brands have gained prestige in the eyes and hearts of people, along an impressive journey of victories, challenges and of course, a vision of the perfect diamond jewelry. First, let’s see what are the key milestones each brand went through over time, while they mastered the art of diamond jewelry. The key points that we will take into consideration are the links with royal families, exclusivity and prestige. And now, let’s begin our journey in time: Cartier, founded in 1847, France. 1895 – Cartier has created the classic of 1895, the 4-prong setting; 1904 – was awarded the distinction called “Royal Warrant” from the royal house, becoming the jewelry supplier of the Royal Court

This is not an ordinary competition. The key word is “diamond”. Each of these three brands have gained prestige in the eyes and hearts of people, along an impressive journey of victories, challenges and of course, a vision of the perfect diamond jewelry.

First, let’s see what are the key milestones each brand went through over time, while they mastered the art of diamond jewelry. The key points that we will take into consideration are the links with royal families, exclusivity and prestige.

And now, let’s begin our journey in time:

Cartier, founded in 1847, France.

1895 – Cartier has created the classic of 1895, the 4-prong setting;

1904 – was awarded the distinction called “Royal Warrant” from the royal house, becoming the jewelry supplier of the Royal Court of England. Shortly thereafter, the royal courts of Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Siam, Greece, Russia, Belgium, Egypt, Romania and even Albania also were supplied with jewelry from Cartier.

Then it was the House of Orleans and the Principality of Monaco;

1910 – Cartier owned the Hope Diamond, 37 years before being purchased by Harry Winston in 1947;

Tiffany & Co, founded in 1837, USA.

1848 – Tiffany bought jewelry from French aristocrats fleeing the country, being among the first to bring gemstones in the US;

1877 –acquired and cutted the famous Tiffany Yellow Diamond

1886 – they created a unique design called the 6-prong “Tiffany Setting”, that became the most desired engagement ring;

1887 – Tiffany made a historic purchase: 1/3 of the French crown jewels that included Empress Eugenie’s famous diamond necklace;

1999 – Innovation find it’s home at Tiffany. They introduced the Lucida, a patented and innovative diamond cut;

Harry Winston, founded in 1932, USA.

1924 – Harry’s empire was founded by acquiring the famous jewelry collection of Arabella Huntington. It has one of the most prestigious jewelry collections in the world, most of which were purchased from jewelers such as Cartier;

1944 – Harry Winston is the first jeweler that borrowed its creations to an actress, Jennifer Jones, to show them to the world. This became the new standard and style on the red carpet;

Harry Winston has owned 31 major diamonds and each is worth mentioning:

The Hope, The Mabel Boll, The Niarchos, Porter Rhodes, The Portuguese, Napolean Diamond Necklace, The Nassak, The Crown of Charlemagne, The Indore Pears, The Briolette of India, The Qamar-I-Sultana, The Arcots, The Anastasia, The Ashoka, The Jonker, The Cornflower Blue, Lesotho, The Princess B, McLean Diamond, Countess Szechenyi, The Deepdene, Etoile du Desert, The Deal Sweetener, The Blue Heart, The Idol’s Eye, The Liberator, Louis XIV, The Nepal, The Oppenheimer, Star of Sierra Leone and an un-named pink diamond that was sold to Graff.

Recommended articles:
Giampiero Designs Your Dreams Through Artistic Jewelry
The History of An Innovative Genius: Cartier

Conclusions and awards

After you read and figure out what each brand realized over time, it can be quite difficult to pick the one that rises above and beyond in the world of diamonds. If we look from the perspective of time, Tiffany and Cartier were founded just 10 years apart and both have worked with crown jewels.

Tiffany stood out because it has acquired jewels from aristocrats leaving France and the French jewels at an auction.

But Cartier was appointed to create jewelry for royal families. The fact that they received “Royal warrants” from many other royal families, weighs more in terms of prestige.

It is quite clear that Tiffany is an innovator in the diamond industry by creating the “Tiffany Setting” and “Lucida cut”, along with setting a few gemological standards. However, Tiffany lacks ties with the royal lines.

Looking at Harry Winston and Cartier, it is not easy to make a clear decision. One clear thing that can surprise anyone is that Harry Winston held 31 very important diamonds and is the only jeweler who managed to do that.

Between the two brands, it is quite difficult to chose who deserves the crown.

Going through the timeline of each brand and how they made themselves noticed, you can see that Harry became famous when it bought the jewelry collection of Arabella Huntington, in 1904.

One of the major reasons this acquisition was an event of great importance, it’s because the collection included several Cartier creations. So, if you think about it a little, Harry’s success has partly to do with Cartier jewels.

Although Cartier has 85 years in advance and played a role in its success, I think Harry Winston surpassed Cartier in terms of customer exclusiveness, and because he was a diamond enthusiast.

Also, another detail that many might not know, is that in an auction, you’ll rarely find a Harry Winston creation, but you will find some Cartier pieces if you look carefully.

The brand that deserves the crown from the world of diamonds must be exclusive and very difficult to obtain. It can not be traded or auctioned, is in a league of its own, does business in a exclusive way with the elite of society, and ordinary people can only dream about owning one of its creations. The winner is…

Harry Winston – Harry Winston Ad

The Royal Crown, without objections, goes to…

Cartier – Cartier Tiara for Queen Elisabeth of Belgium

And the Innovator Crown can not be given to anyone else but…

Tiffany – Tiffany Yellow Diamond

I hope you enjoyed this journey into the world of diamonds. Do you think someone else would have deserved to be the winner? Leave us a comment below.

Recommended articles:
Giampiero Bodino: Making Jewelry is like Doing a Soul Portrait
The Meaning of the Engagement Ring
Fabergé The Color of Royal and Dazzlingly Beautiful Jewelry


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