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The Finest Jewelry Shop in Hollywood

The finest jewelry shop in Hollywood, Robert Gail was a cut above the rest.

Its grand opening in 1929 was treated as a movie premiere—klieg lights illuminated the building on Hollywood Boulevard; inside, motion picture actresses served as hostesses, as a live band entertained. Every female in attendance received a French compact as a souvenir.

The star of the event was a $250,000 exposition ($4.3 million today, with inflation) of rare pieces: $40,000 marquise diamond; two diamond bracelets, one with emeralds and the other rubies, worth $24,000 each; and several $12,000 diamond chokers.

Should anyone try to help themselves to the merchandise, a dozen undercover agents mingled in the crowd to protect the jewels.

Robert Gail Reingold had modeled his shop after those in New York, London, and Paris, but he soon learned Hollywood’s pockets weren’t quite as deep—and it was the start of the Great Depression, no less.

The jeweler shifted to zircon, “the gem of romance” claimed a 1930 newspaper ad, retailing for as low as $50.

The diamonds did move off the shelves … in 1931 when two well-dressed robbers pretending to be customers tied up everyone and stole $30,000 worth of rings. Six months later, the entire stock was liquidated at half-price, before Robert Gail went out of business in 1932.

6368 Hollywood Boulevard today (Google)


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