Harry Winston, jeweler to the stars
(CBS News) We don't know (yet!) the name of tonight's Best Actor or Actress, but we do know the name of Oscar night's KING OF DIAMONDS. Here's Serena Altschul:
When it comes to diamonds, one name in Hollywood shines brightest: Harry Winston.
Known as jeweler to the stars, the 81-year-old diamond company has outfitted celebrities off and on screen for decades.
Even Marilyn Monroe couldn't help but sing about it in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes": "Talk to me, Harry Winston. Tell me all about it."
Nina Garcia, creative director of Marie Claire magazine, and a judge on the hit reality show "Project Runway," calls Harry Winston "the jeweler of jewels."
"Really, it's another world. To enter into the Harry Winston world is to be in a dream," she told Altschul. "It's the stuff of legends."
And so for every Oscar night, Harry Winston loans out some of its finest pieces to nominees, presenters and Hollywood legends.
Spokeswoman Meredith Keller and her team help celebrities pick out that perfect item, like a bracelet with 400 diamonds, similar to one worn by Halle Berry to the Golden Globes. According to Keller, it's worth "a little over half a million dollars."
Big-ticket items like the bracelet and the $9.5 million diamond and tourmaline necklace come with their own security detail.
Garcia said what stars are seen wearing on the Oscar red carpet can drive jewelry sales: "What goes on that day sets the precedent for many sales around the world. The most important runway is that red carpet."
After the show, the jewels go back to Harry Winston. But in 1994, Sharon Stone claimed the diamond necklace she wore was actually a gift from the jeweler. The company said, "No way." The dispute was settled -- Harry Winston got its jewels back.
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