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City’s Iconic Jewelry District Faces Uncertain Future

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‘I’m lucky to sell one piece a week.’

The Financial Times reports that some business owners in the jewelry district of Los Angeles are seeing their worst business slump in decades.

The district, which got its start in the 1970s, had trouble shaking off the effects of the Great Recession. And now it faces a variety of other challenges, including internet competition and rising raw-material prices.

“It was easy to conduct business before,” said Raymond Moutran, who operates a shop in the district. “I used to see people every day but now I’m lucky to sell one piece a week.”

At its peak about a decade ago the area had about 5,000 jewelry businesses operating in over 30 buildings. The article didn’t provide current figures.

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Local jewelry professionals say the district will survive, but likely on a smaller scale. The jewelers who thrive will be those who adapt to the times.

“If a jeweler who has been working the same way for years is unwilling to change his way of functioning, he needs to understand that it will be very challenging,” Diana Singer, president of the American Society of Jewelry Historians, told the Financial Times.

Read more at Financial Times

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