Friday, August 1, 2008

Diamonds are a girls best friend

A little history on the Los Angeles Jewelry district: Los Angeles has the second-largest jewelry district in the nation, after New York. In the heart of downtown's jewelry district stands the Pantages Theater. It was once one of the city's most prestigious vaudeville houses. Theater manager Alexander Pantages built the nine-story structure in 1919, the 16th in a nation-wide chain of over 80 theaters. Pantages also built theaters on Broadway and on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. In the 1940's, Warner Brothers bought the theater and named it "Warner's Downtown". Although it still has it's "WB" shield, it has been sold many times. A church in the 50's, the building was bought in 1988 for 16 million dollars and turned into the Jewelry Center.

I decided to take a trip to the district because I've been taking up a new hobby/trade: jewelry making. So far, I've been able to find very nice stuff at Kings Road beads on Beverly Blvd (between La Cienega and Crescent Heights) and at Pearl art store. But Pearls stuff isn't made from the best materials-- and Kings Road beads is retail priced (pretty expensive but good quality). So if you don't want to take the trek downtown- that would be a place I would recommend.

BUT if you go downtown to the jewelry mart- not only will you find great prices on beads and findings, but also great ones on ready made jewelry. Stop in a 607 or 605 S. Hill street and you will find tons of vendors selling stuff at lower prices than regular retail stores. "Silver International" is in the 605 building-- had some great stuff chains, earings, charms, jewelry. "Bella's Findings" also in the 605 building is a GREAT place for beads and findings --not pre-made jewelry. Theres also Berger's beads on 413 E 8th St. All of those stores you can actually go online to their websites as well- and order online!
Bella's Findings
Bergers Beads
Silver International
But don't miss out on the adventure of exploring downtown. There are tons of places to go out to, see shows, eat delicious food, etc! Downtown News

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