Harry Winston is making some interesting moves in the diamond area. WWD reports on the fact that Aber Diamond Corp
., the mining company that owns Harry Winston is officially being renamed to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. What makes this interesting to jewelry industry watchers is that the firm has a 40 percent interest in the Diavik Diamond Mine in Lac de Gras in Canada's Northwest Territories which produces 10 percent of the world's diamonds. Those diamonds are sold to Winston and other suppliers. Now that Aber is officially Harry Winston, every diamond that comes out of the mine becomes a Harry Winston diamond, tying those stones to one of the most recognizable names in the jewelry world. This is just another layer to the trend we recently mentioned
in which branding the stone has become as important as branding the jewelry itself.
One interesting fact from the piece is that most of the diamonds that come from the Diavik mine are long and linear, so the company still has to outsource for round, pear and marquise-shape diamonds as well as other gemstones. Aber has also invested $2 billion in Canadian mining opportunities. Canada is the site of massive mining growth, not just for diamonds but for other gemstones such as rubies and sapphires.
Winston is also expanding their retail outlets into large 5,000 to 6,000-square-foot flagship stores, medium sized 2,000 to 2,500-square-foot stores and smaller 1,000-square-foot stores. All of them require deep pockets just to get in the door, the opening price point is set at close to $4,000 and of course, the sky is the limit. Check out the diamond-heavy wristwatch at right, it is a limited edition of 50 that cost $176,000 each. The company also uses only diamonds at the top end of the color grading scale, just diamonds graded, D, E and F (the scale starts at D for the whitest diamonds and goes all the way to Z).
The article also addresses briefly the huge robbery at Harry Winston Paris
in October. So far no arrests have been made in the theft of over $28 million in diamonds.