Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Most Beautiful Jewelry Store in the World

A. Andrews Diamond Palace

"Like the fine diamonds and beautiful pocket watches he sold, his store was no less spectacular. Located at 50 Kearny Street, a landmark was built. Beautiful paintings adorned the tall ceilings supported by marvelous pillars. Mirrors were everywhere, reflecting the elegance of the display cases that were filled with only the finest articles of adornment that had been procured form the four corners of the world."

The store’s founder was no less impressive than his glittering store. Born in London, Col. A. Andrews emigrated to the United States in his youth and founded a successful jewelry emporium in St. Louis. Seized by gold fever, he went to California and established a jewelry store in Sacramento; it prospered, but fire destroyed it. He started another store in San Francisco in the 1850s to serve the needs of the Gold Rush era, went east again, and then returned to the West. He lost a fortune in the Esmeralda Mine; engaged in the Civil War, but left it for reasons that are not clear; and worked as a magician and managed stage acts. Finally, he made his fortune in San Francisco and in the 1890s opened the sparkling Diamond Palace on Montgomery Street, which quickly made the short list of must-see sights in San Francisco. Destroyed by the 1906 fire, it was rebuilt at 50 Kearny Street and at various locations over the following decades.
From 1905, Joseph Goldstein managed the store, which passed into the possession of the Goldstein family. Joseph and his sons opened a Diamond Palace at Fifth and Market streets, which was the last, largest, and most glitzy of the line. His son, Edward W. Goldstein, a jewelry designer, closed the Diamond Palace in 1990 after the death of his father and brother, and the San Francisco Shopping Centre subsequently was built on the site. In 1986, when Edward Goldstein was interviewed about renewed interest in estate jewelry like the Art Deco creations of the 1930s, he said: “The growth factor is the beauty of second-hand jewelry. You can appreciate it, while it appreciates.”
A History of the New California: Its Resources and People

The Diamond Palace
Colonel A. Andrews
Edward Goldstein -- noted S.F. jeweler

1 comment:

Laurie said...

`swoon` I want that postcard!

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