Los Angeles Jewelry District Review

Los Angeles Jewelry District Review: These pages may reference products from companies that help to support PriceScope. 

The USA’s Largest Jewelry District

The Los Angeles Jewelry District, also known as the L.A. Diamond District, stretches between Hill and Main Streets, and 3rd and 9th streets. When established more than a century ago the area was a central part of the city. Unsurprisingly, the district has maintained its status as a hub for jewelry trade throughout the city’s development and expansion. 

While the number of stores has declined since it’s peak, the district continues to be an active hub for independent jewelers, jewelry marts, bridal marts, and industry suppliers. The location and history of the district make it one of the most historic parts of the city.

Caveat Emptor

Planning a visit to the Los Angeles Jewelry District? Buy nothing without reading Section 5, below.

Los Angeles Jewelry District Map

Jump to:

  1. What is the Los Angeles Jewelry District’s story?
  2. What is most appealing about the Los Angeles Jewelry District?
  3. What diamond and jewelry products does the Los Angeles Jewelry District
  4. What sets the Los Angeles Jewelry District apart from others?
  5. Are you the ideal Los Angeles Jewelry District customer?
  6. Is it safe to buy a diamond in the Los Angeles Jewelry District?

1. What is the Los Angeles Jewelry District’s Story?

Gold Rush

Prior to the 1970s the California Jewelry Mart, located on 607 S. Hill Street, was the local epicenter of diamond and jewelry trading. The district grew rapidly after the 1960s at a time when gold came to be seen as a safer investment than the U.S. Dollar. Though it’s now referred to as “downtown,” the district was originally at the center of the city. Half of the area falls under the greater “Historic Core” of Downtown Los Angeles.

The architecture of the district’s buildings are a celebrated part of its history. Planned in the art deco period, they were designed to feature retail spaces at street level with office spaces above. The retail spaces were the choice for two of Los Angeles’ earliest jewelers, Laykin Diamond Company and Harry Winston & Co. Other jewelers followed them to the center and the retail spaces quickly became filled with the largest collection of jewelry stores in the country.

At its peak, the Los Angeles jewelry district was home to over 5,000 companies offering various services and goods within the jewelry and diamond industry. Changes in buying habits and vertical integration have seen the area shrink to around 1,500 retailers and wholesalers today, but it remains a busy, vibrant hub of activity.

Like the NYC Diamond District and Philadelphia’s Jeweler’s Row, the Los Angeles Diamond District is a highly recognized and active diamond and jewelry trading center.

There’s no need to shop through 1,500 retailers and wholesalers, when you can browse through more than a million loose diamonds easily on Pricescope. With a wide variety of options, and seamless filtering options available, we have all the details you’ll ever need to pick the perfect diamond.

2. What is most appealing about the Los Angeles Jewelry District?


The L.A. Jewelry District is predominantly made up of early twentieth-century buildings; the median year in which the buildings in the area were built is 1923. The area rapidly developed in the first half of the 20th century but did not feature skyscrapers like in Chicago and New York because State Law limited buildings to a height of 150 feet. The oldest building to remain in the district is located on 543 South Broadway Avenue.

Architect Claud Beelman designed many buildings in the areas, including the distinctive building which houses the Los Angeles Jewelry Center. Its blue-green terra cotta piers rise fourteen stories to the roofline. A few original fittings remain within the building, including the original Art Deco elevator doors with abstract nature scenes. Beelman also designed the 1929 Garfield Building, the Ninth and Broadway Building, and the 1930 Eastern Columbia Building. 

The temperate weather in Southern California makes a walk through the district pleasant, with plenty of interesting sights, for those seeking jewelry or simply admiring the scenery.

3. What diamond and jewelry products does the Los Angeles Jewelry District offer?

The Los Angeles Jewelry District is a hub of business to business trading, as well as consumer-centric shops and stores. Every conceivable level of quality and craftsmanship is available if you know what you’re looking for. The newest products attributable to advancing technology, including all classes and categories of laboratory grown diamonds, also find their way into the district.

For Professionals

If you are a member of the jewelry trade, buying and selling diamonds, gems and settings in volume, the Los Angeles Jewelry District presents access and opportunity to engage with suppliers, manufacturers, and other industry professionals. Those meetings are typically arranged by appointment, in advance. If you are new to the industry, such appointments are best made with an introduction by a mutually respected colleague.

For Consumers

Buy absolutely nothing without reading Section 5, below.

Two men on a crossing, looking up to a jewellery advertisement in Los Angeles

Before you shop: Don't commit to a purchase in the Los Angeles Diamond District without comparing what you are offered with the price, reliability and long-term benefits offered by PriceScope's jeweler reviews, including Whiteflash, Blue Nile and JamesAllen.com.

4. What sets the Los Angeles Jewelry District apart from others?

The Los Angeles Jewelry District is like a larger, warmer, but watered down version of the New York Diamond District. Like it’s big apple sister, it’s culturally diverse. It’s also fast-paced, with aggressive sellers working hard to earn your business. The sheer size of the place is somewhat intimidating. 

Among its thousands of stores it can be challenging to find something specific, and when you do it may not come with the wrapper of benefits or guarantees you can find elsewhere.

The sales tactics used in the Los Angeles Jewelry District are somewhat more aggressive than those used in the big apple. Prices uniformly begin sky-high. This leads to repeated bargaining by the seller, where the price gets bumped down continually until the buyer is led to believe they’re getting a great deal. In fact, most consumer buyers still wind up paying more than they would for a comparable gemstone or jewelry item online. 

Rent in the Jewelry District is not cheap, meaning the cost basis for jewelry sold there has to be inflated for the merchants to stay in business.

5. Are you the ideal Los Angeles Jewelry District customer?

Read this before buying anything

Because of its status as a hub, many people presume the Los Angeles Jewelry District will be a great place to shop for an engagement ring or other jewelry. Before buying anything there, it’s important to understand some wider context.

The Gimmick

In the Los Angeles jewelry district the term “wholesale” is a gimmick. The only true diamond wholesalers are miners like DeBeers. There is an established chain the world’s diamonds follow, from miner to producer to domestic suppliers to retailers. By visiting the Los Angeles Jewelry District, you can move up one link in the chain, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a better deal than your local jeweler would offer. 

Any business using the term “wholesale” is trying to seduce you with an illusion.

The Downstairs

Buildings in the L.A. Jewelry District were designed to have retail spaces at street level and office spaces on the higher floors. The merchants on ground floor are well-aware of the district’s reputation and frequently promote themselves as “wholesalers to the public.” These stores compete vigorously for walk-in buyers. 

Unfortunately, such competition invites exploitation, and there is a well-documented history of dishonesty and bad deals with consumer buyers as the victims.

Jewelry Theater Center in Los Angeles, advertising gold and diamond wholesale retail

The Upstairs

Most of the real business in the Los Angeles Jewelry District takes place in offices above street level. While not as busy as the New York Diamond District, the area is a hub for business to business trading. The buildings there house west coast offices for many well-known entities in the diamond, gemstone and jewelry business; from diamond producers and jewelry manufacturers to national chains, luxury brands and gemological laboratories. 

Be aware that, without a warm referral and an appointment in advance, the average consumer generally has no access to these businesses.

Grey district building, with Los Angeles Jewelry printed down the side of the building

Save a trip to the district, and don’t get cheated out of your perfect diamond. For an outstanding online shopping experience and the highest quality of diamonds, take a look at Astor by Blue Nile, Whiteflash A CUT ABOVE and James Allen True Hearts.

6. Is it safe to buy a diamond in the Los Angeles Jewelry District?

Yes. It can be done safely. 

With the context in Section 5 understood, there are honest sellers in the district from whom it’s perfectly safe to buy. Here is a list of things we suggest you do to facilitate this.

1. Find Them Online

Many consumer-friendly jewelers in the district have an online presence and list their inventory where you can browse it ahead of time. Knowing what kind of inventory a store offers, understanding their policies and getting familiar with their proposition, is better than walking in blind.

2. Ensure Reliable Reporting

Be sure any seller you are considering offers diamonds with a recent grading report from one of the top-tier grading laboratories: GIA, AGS, IGI and GCAL. For natural diamonds, GIA is the industry leader, and the dominant grading lab used in the diamond district. For lab grown diamonds, IGI is the industry leader and dominant grading lab.

3. Check Proper Pricing

Buying a diamond in the district should not cost more than buying from a reputable online seller, should it? No. Compare the prices being offered with any of PriceScope’s vendors, apples to apples. You shouldn’t make a purchase in the jewelry district, only to learn you could have saved money with the click of a mouse.

4. Make an Appointment

Many of the district’s jewelers work in offices which aren’t an active retail space. It’s not always convenient to ‘drop in.’ Additionally, if you make an appointment in advance and tell the jeweler what you want to see, they might gather some extra items to show you that were not listed online.

5. Don’t Get Pushed

Beware sellers who tell you a deal will expire if you leave and/or do not offer an inspection and return period. Life changed after 2020. Everything you buy today, even goods ordered online, can be returned if it’s not what you needed, or arrives different than advertised. A diamond purchase should be no different. A minimum inspection and full return period should be an expectation.

6. Ask PriceScope

Register to post on PriceScope and share what you have been offered in a public post, here on the RockyTalky forum. The community is extremely vigilant and will let you know whether the deal you’re being offered is the GOAT (greatest of all time) or just … a goat.

Visit the RockyTalky Forum Now

Don’t commit to your diamond purchase in L.A’s district, when you can find exactly what you need in price and reliability with our vetted vendors. Whiteflash, Blue Nile, or James Allen offer high quality diamonds for a fraction of the price of LA’s diamond district.

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