Jewelry District, Los Angeles
If you go to the intersection of 7th & Hill Streets in downtown Los Angeles, you'll be surrounded by jewelry stores/vendors on every side. I normally go to the St. Vincent Jewelry Center and do the vast majority of my shopping in there, but I've been lured to several of the other jewelry centers as well.
Some of the vendors I frequent are Orchid Jewelry (650 S. Hill, Booth F12) for silver jewelry, the Silver Center (640 S. Hill, Booth H23) for hair accessories, & Pailim Limma (650 S. Hill, Booth D16) for loose stones. Belle Epoque (625 S. Hill, #105) has exquisite (and pricey) antique-y jewelry.
PARKING TIP: Go to 9th & Olive Streets on Saturdays, and many parking lots offer all-day parking for $1.50-$2.00. Parking in the 7th & Hill area costs more like $1.50 every 30 minutes!!
What to buy: Silver, gold, loose stones (diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, tourmalines, citrines, peridots, aquamarines, etc.) are all incredible bargains. You can pick your own stones, pick your own settings, then have it set to your specifications within the course of that afternoon! Be sure to bargain over prices; you'll always get a better deal if paying in cash!
What to pay: Many silver earrings (with stones) are priced from $4-$10 a pair; silver chains are $5-$12 depending on design and length. Gold varies from 14K to 24K, but prices are generally at least 50% or more below retail. Battery watches are generally replaced for $5.00.
If you head south on Broadway Ave. off the US 101 freeway you will quickly find yourself in Los Angeles' jewelry District. Broadway and the sorrounding side streets are lined with jewelry stores selling gold and diamonds at discounted prices.
To get the best deal make sure you know what you are shopping for and how much you would expect to pay elsewhere.
This neighborhood is a great place to wander around in as you move outwards from this district you will find yourself in other districts selling discounted flowers, fabric, clothing and craft supplies.
What to buy: Jewelry and diamonds at Wholesaler prices.
Luckily, I was visiting my brother and his girlfriend refused to let me shop in any of the trendy stores until she took me downtown. A lot of stores and vendors buy there items for very cheap downtown and then bring them back to their stores, etc and set the price much higher. It was definitely an interesting experience!
The downtown shopping district is crazy!! Upon arriving you see signs pointing to the "Fashion District", "Toy District", "Jewelry District", etc. Not necessarily districts, but streets crammed with tiny shops selling whatever items described. Finding street parking is impossible so pick an inexpensive (that's a very relative term) and walk the crowded streets to your store of choice. It was insanley crowded with women dragging suitcases filled with purchases around with them and other ladies with strollers just running over people in their way. The "good" stores that my brothers girlfriend took me to were down a back alley and I can't even begin to tell you where they were as I was completely lost. As promised the stores she took me to had name brand designer clothing for less than the mall or other outlets. Keep in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to bargain with the store owners and if you pay cash sometimes the prices are even cheaper.
All in all, it was a great deal, but you have to be willing to deal with the crazy crowds...
What to buy: My interest was designer clothing, but honestly anything you could possibly want... downtown LA will not disappoint!
What to pay: It all depends on how your haggling skills are... but expect to pay less than in a regular store. Keep in mind that most of the stores DO NOT allow returns... in store credit only (if they take it back at all)
The whole area is not pretty like Beverly Hills but is relatively safe to stroll and has the better prices for precious pieces of jewelry.
What to buy: There are many options of dealer shops to see when you get there. These have some that have been highly recommended:
JB Newman JeBroadway Jewelry Plaza
606 South Broadway Los Angeles, CA
601 S. Hill St. Los Angeles, CA
600 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA
Oscar's Design Jewelry
550 S. Hill St. #725 Los Angeles, CA
550 S. Hill St. 1st Floor Los Angeles
Silver Discount Store
600 S. Broadway Los Angles, CA
550 S. Hill St. 1st Floor Los Angeles, CA
What to pay: Often, one can save 50-70% off retail prices of rings, necklaces and other pieces.
Okay, I recently had to purchase an engagement ring and I went to the typical jewelry stores with my fiancee. After a little while in these stores my stomache began to hurt as I began stressing about the crazy prices of engagement rings. To ease my pain, we went down to the Jewelry District in Downtown L.A. to check out what was available. Okay, everything is available, and at realy good prices. I saved a TON of money over what I was looking at in the traditional stores. Just be a little careful what you are looking at.
What to buy: Rings, necklaces, etc.
What to pay: A lot less than retail stores
If you are a bead junkie like I am the bead shops near the jewelry district in LA are a slice of heaven. The textile stores in the area are as well. Woo hoo! Can hardly wait to go back!
Go wander around east 8th Street. If fabric, trim, and beads are your thing you are sure to be impressed.
What to buy: Fabris, trims, and beads.
Jewelry District located in 4th street, downtown. Parking is quite expensive in this area as parking is usually in structured bldg. Averaging $9 per hour. There are many jewelry stores - from loose diamonds to pearls, even FAKE WATCHEs, gold, plat...
Of course there are authentc watches on display but you have to ask for the imitations since these are not on display. Cartier, a good one, can cost around $80. Rolexes, around $120 - Japan movements. Swiss movements are around $400.
What to buy: JEWELRIES
What to pay: cash for bargaining power.... if you use the credit card, you pay the regular price