By Michelle Graff
Irving Korwin, left, with his son Richard at the 24 Karat Club banquet in New York in January 1999. The World War II veteran and longtime jeweler died April 3 at the age of 99; he would have celebrated his 100th birthday in August. (Photo courtesy of Richard Korwin)
New York—Irving Korwin, a World War II veteran and founder of Wideband Coin Jewelry, died earlier this month of natural causes at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

He was 99 years old.

Korwin was born on Aug. 18, 1920 in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Eastern Europeans who immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island.

He was raised during the Great Depression and entered World War II as an enlisted soldier right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

He served with top-secret clearance, training pilots and military VIPs on the use of radar and radar countermeasures at a base in Florida. Radar was credited with serving a pivotal role in the eventual victory of the Allied forces in both the European and Pacific theaters.

His role in the war effort earned him the nickname “Radar Irv.”

In 1951, Korwin started Wideband Coin Jewelry in New York, a company known for its creative charms that sometimes incorporated coins and, later, specialized in fine karat gold jewelry.

Clients included Bergdorf Goodman in New York and B.C. Clark Jewelers in Oklahoma City.

He worked alongside his son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Sharyn Korwin, for years, and together they created jewelry for a number of famous Americans, including Elvis Presley and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He was a longtime American Gem Society supplier member, a member of the American Numismatic Association—the nonprofit dedicated to the study and collecting of coins—and a 40-year member of the 24 Karat Club of the City of New York.

He was the club’s oldest member at the time of his passing.

20200417 Wideband adA Wideband ad from an October 1959 edition of The New York Times (Photo courtesy of Richard Korwin)

Korwin retired from the jewelry industry in 1994 and moved to Boynton Beach, Florida with his wife, Shirley, who passed away in 2009.

He moved to Arizona in 2016 to be near his other son, Alan Korwin.

In 2017, he penned his first book, “The Autobiography of Irving Korwin.” All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the USO.

As so many do in the industry, Korwin made a lot of friends along the way, and two of his closest were former National Jeweler publisher Milt Gralla, who died in 2012, and Morris Adwar, who passed away in 2018.

In a note to 24 Karat Club members, his son Richard expressed his family’s appreciation for all they had done for their patriarch.

“Each of you, in your own way, were special to him,” he wrote. “He will be missed.”

Korwin is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Richard and Sharyn, and Alan and Cheryl; four grandchildren, Arielle, Mariel, Spencer and Tyler; and four great-grandchildren, Calvin, Julius, Russell and Sloane.

Anyone wishing to express condolences to the family, or who wants to obtain a copy of Korwin’s book, can contact Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Alan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TAGS:   Obituaries
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