Our Story

The story of La Jolla Gems begins thirty years ago when Hossein Moradi, the oldest of six brothers came to the United States from Tehran, Iran as a college student. In 1981, he started working for an auction house in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego which exposed him to the world of antique furniture, rugs, objects of art, and jewelry. He learned to appraise and price all types of estate pieces, and to learn the ins and outs of the estate and auction business.

A warm, red colored jewelry store

Our mission is to find great high-quality estate and fine jewelry at excellent prices. We look for high quality diamonds and colored stones set in platinum or 18k gold, with exceptions made for vintage jewelry set in 14k.

In 1983, Hossein landed a job working as salesman for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Fine Jewelry department in the Mission Valley store. (Saks has since relocated to Fashion Valley Mall). Working for such an upscale store such as Saks with its focus on high fashion and good taste taught Hossein the value of customer service and salesmanship, a lesson he has never forgotten.

By this time, Hamid Moradi also made his way from Iran to join his brother in San Diego, attending university and eventually obtaining an undergraduate and graduate degree in Sociology.

In 1984, Pauline Beausoleil moved to San Diego from Houston, Texas, and immediately started to work for Saks Fifth Avenue, beginning as a salesperson in the fashion jewelry department, and eventually becoming Assistant Manager of both Fine and Fashion Jewelry. Needless to say, Hossein and Pauline met and fell for each other.

In 1986, opportunity knocked for Hossein when a friend asked him if he would like to take over his jewelry store in La Jolla. With the purchase of that store, Hossein, Hamid and Pauline began their careers as Fine and Estate Jewelers in La Jolla.

In 1991, Hossein and Pauline were married and eventually their two daughters, Hanna and Leah were born.

That first store has since changed owners, but in 1999, La Jolla Gems, located at 1237 Prospect Street, was born. Ten years almost to the day, Hossein, Hamid and Pauline signed the lease on their sister store located across the street from the original location, at 1230 Prospect. The second location allowed the family to spread out a little bit, allowing for more display space and office space, and still keeping everyone close to each other.

Throughout the years as fine estate jewelers in La Jolla, Hossein, Hamid and Pauline have stayed true to their main goal: to find pieces with great style and beautiful craftsmanship paired with excellent value.

A ring with a large yellow gemstone

We are constantly buying interesting and fine quality jewelry, watches, diamonds (loose and set)—from local estates and private parties, as well as from auctions, jewelry shows and estate sales from all over the country.

Our clients come from all over the world to buy, sell and trade beautiful and unique jewelry, diamonds, colored stones and watches. We are committed to providing a very warm and welcoming environment for our customers, and our goal is to not only sell beautiful pieces, but also to provide a very personal and gratifying level of customer service.