The Diamond and Jewelry business in the US suffered a serious interruption due the pandemic. Luckily that interruption was brief and the industry has remained resilient….and rebounding quickly!
The pandemic pushed hookups, dating sites like Tinder, and relationships to some of the highest levels ever…increasing engagements and wedding commitments for millions of couples in love, causing strong demand for diamond bridal jewelry.
Some segments like rare diamonds, collectable watches and diamond fashion are also seeing record demand in the US and globally.
The business has taken hits in the past, but people in the industry are survivors who know how to roll with the punches.
Unfortunately, the Jewelry District in downtown LA has suffered throughout the changing dynamics of the business, and over the past decades, with the advancement of the internet, and the decline of downtown due to homelessness and crime, many jewelers, diamond dealers and businesses moved out for good.
The majority set up their new headquarters on the West Side, and specifically Beverly Hills. But why?
Our Bling News team discovered the overwhelming answer among jewelers was…their safety and security!
The Beverly Hills Police Department is quick to respond to alarm calls or robbery attempts. In LA, you could wait 45 minutes or more for LAPD to arrive…too little, too late!
DOWNTOWN LA GREW DURING 1970s GOLD BOOM!
The Jewelry District buildings were first designed for general office use with retail spaces on the street level. Some outlying properties house the heavy jewelry manufacturing that was mostly melting, casting, stamping and die-struck machinery, all hand operated.
In 1969 gold was trading at $ 41 per ounce. By 1979 the price skyrocketed to $ 307 per ounce, perpetuating a gold jewelry business boom in at the LA Jewelry District.
But by 1999, Manufacturing moved overseas, so many surrounding building that were loaded with hundreds of workers in jewelry casting, setting, polishing, finishing, went out of business.
MIGRATION OF JEWELERS FROM DOWNTOWN LA TO BEVERLY HILLS
One of the pioneers to make the move to Beverly Hills in the 1980s is XIV Karats LTD. when wholesaler Haskell Faber moved his business XIV Karats LTD. out of the cut throat Downtown LA jewelry district to fashionable Beverly Hills. Faber told his customers, “What you pay for his jewelry is half what you read on the price tag,”
In 1986, Haskell Faber said he paid $3.1 million for the building, located at 314 S Beverly Drive, and an additional $1.3 million to renovate it. Today the business is run by Daughter-in-law Cheryl Alpert and continues to be one of the dominate jewelers in Beverly Hills.
Then in the 90’s, a slew of diamond dealer Titans, including Oved Anter from 1st International Diamonds, Mike Davidov from Mike Davidov Company, and Samir Bhansali from INDIAN STAR DIAMOND, INC, set up on Wilshire and Beverly Drive, a move that as residents of Beverly Hills, brought them closer to home!
Oved Anter supplies dealers and retailers worldwide with his bottomless supply of premium rocks! Oved is the owner and cutter of the famous 41 Carat D Flawless Diamond “LEGACY”, that premiered at the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show on SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
Mike Davidov built and ran a successful diamond network from Beverly Hills that spread his nephews across the US to Dallas, Miami, Chicago, New York, Honolulu and San Francisco. Today his granddaughter Suzanna Davidov continues the family jewelry heritage with her company, Palm City Los Angeles.
Another Diamond Titan, Alan Friedman, known as the “King of Pinks”, and his superstar Jeweler Wife Layna Friedman, set up their diamond and jewelry business in Beverly Hills in the 90’s.
Jewelry Industry Leader and Philanthropist, Leon Haytayan, moved from Hill Street to Beverly Hills in 2000, when Leon achieved a personal dream of opening a jewelry boutique on North Beverly Drive.
During the past 10 years many more Diamond and Jewelry Veterans left the district for Beverly Hills, including Ronen Cohen—Diamond Expert and CEO of Clean Diamond Inc., was the Creator of the famous 84.37 Carat D Flawless $ 16.1 Million Dollar “Chloe Diamond”, sold to Guess? owner George Marciano.
Orit Cohen, Ronen’s wife and business partner, Founded and owns SKU Diamonds. The pair set up an exclusive boutique at 222 North Canon Drive, featuring Diamond Fashion and certified loose, and have decades of experience together in the business.
Another prominent Downtown LA Diamond Dealer, Aria Ahdoot, moved his diamond distribution operation, DTC Diamond Trading Company, out of Downtown to Beverly Hills, where he handles the US market, in addition to overseeing his offices in Ramat Gan Israel and Hong Kong.
The internet and FedEx has allowed dealers, traditionally stuck in districts to stay alive thru trading amongst themselves, to expand their horizons and develop National and International business, all online!
NEW OPENINGS IN BEVERLY HILLS 2021
LA Diamond Industry Professionals and Brothers Shy Mesica and Zuri Mesica have settled on North Canon Drive, and just opened retail boutiques near each other!
RE-FINE is a brand new collaboration of husband and wife team, Shy and Leora Mesica, and family. Leora was the owner and founder of “Beauty Bar” on South Beverly Drive, where she conducted business for over a decade.
Brother Zuri Mesica set up headquarters and retail point of sale for his designer brand TZURI, also on North Canon Drive, at the old Alan Friedman location. The collection features a pencil design in necklace, earring, bracelet and ring variations, with gold and diamonds.
THE FUTURE OF BEVERLY HILLS JEWELERS
It’s inevitable that some businesses will survive and some won’t. Jewelry and Diamond Professionals, with great reputations, will last. Some wholesalers from Downtown won’t make it.
Example, Silver dealers and Flea market owners, who have been struggling for years downtown, are now selling diamond jewelry in Beverly Hills without knowing anything about diamonds or quality, making cheap copies of whatever they see from the competition, and saying its their own designs.
Some even advertise “Wholesale Prices” and pretend to be “Designers”.
One Jeweler and Diamond Mogul that is sure to succeed once he opens his business in 2021 on South Beverly Drive is Moshe Kraiem, founder of legendary MK Diamonds & Jewelry, one of the largest jewelry companies to ever leave downtown for Beverly Hills. Moshe purchased the building at 228 S. Beverly Drive several years ago, spending $Millions of dollars and years to gut and rebuild the property to immaculate condition. It’s a family affair, with his kids now taking the front seat of the business.
Looks like the battle of the titans is brewing with MK Diamond’s new Superstore a block away from 40 year anchor XIV Karats LTD!
With all these great jewelry and diamond leaders choosing Beverly Hills to plant their roots, it will surely continue to grow as a vibrant and progressive place for jewelers and jewelry lovers from all over the world…to find the best of the very best!