Historic Downtown Los Angeles and the Jewelry District
One Thousand Years Jewelry is a women owned and operated, locally and ethically produced fine jewelry company. We produce all of our jewelry in Downtown Los Angeles - our hometown. Downtown Los Angeles’ “historic core” as it is called, is made up of buildings all originally built in the span of time between 1907 and 1931. Originally theaters, department stores and office buildings at the time, they had all been repurposed several times since their inception and fell out of favor when cars became the more popular method of transportation. Owning a family car versus using the original streetcars of the city for transportation allowed residents of Los Angeles to live farther away from city centers and enjoy dining and shopping in their own communities. This slowly changed the landscape, and the historic core of Los Angeles fell out of favor until the 1960’s when investment in gold became seen as a more stable means of generating wealth and jewelry retailers started moving into what is now known as the Jewelry District of Los Angeles, one of the worlds largest jewelry districts.
Los Angeles’ jewelry district really took off in 1978, when investors bought an office building and encouraged jewelers to set up in what eventually became the California Jewelry Mart. After a couple of years, more investors recognized the potential of the neighborhood, and bought another building and turned it into the Vincent Jewelry Center - which encouraged even more jewelers to the area. Buildings that originally housed grand theaters now house dusty jewelry manufacturing and repair kiosks. Old elevators with grand art deco details are now plastered over with ads for custom bling shops where someone with means can buy a giant diamond encrusted tweety bird pendant if they wanted to.
The area has become a true melting pot. First generation artisan jewelers from all over the world who established their businesses there decades ago, old manufacturing buildings have been turned into live/work lofts for startups, members of the unhoused population of Los Angeles cohabitate with street vendors and artists. English is barely heard. There are delicious ethnic restaurants, standing for generations, side by side with high dining restaurants sporting a brand new aesthetic and fancy clientele.
When we visit our manufacturers and suppliers in the jewelry district, we feel grateful to have access to the best quality materials and artisans who have been perfecting their craft for decades. Being in such close proximity allows us to share a meal with our manufacturers, discuss and learn the best methods of production for our jewelry in person, and hold and feel our products to ensure they are made with the highest standards of quality and to our exact specifications. The diversity in the fabric of the environment inspires us to continue creating jewelry that we hope will be passed down to future generations.