History / 1940

  • 1941, December

    After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Oscar Heyman & Brothers sends letters to General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Bausch & Lomb Optical, among others, offering to adapt its factory for wartime use.

    1943, March

    First sale recorded to Neiman Marcus, who continues today to be a retail partner.


    George Heyman begins to travel abroad, to cities such as Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Colombo to purchase gemstones. In this photo, George and his wife are standing outside a mine in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.

  • 1943

    The firm had converted the majority of its factory to the cutting and polishing of jewel bearings, components of precision mechanisms such as watches, clocks, compasses, and airplane instrumentation. A portion of the factory was reserved for the manufacture of jewelry, especially pieces with patriotic or military themes. This photo appeared in the August 1943 issue of National Jeweler describing the factory’s wartime transition.

    1950 (ca.)

    George Heyman designs the iconic ballerina ring.


    Oscar Heyman & Brothers provide jewelry to Laykin et Cie for the movie ‘Imitation of Life.’ Jewels in the film are said to cost one million dollars.