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Beverly Loan Company

Beverly Loan Company was founded in 1938 and is the oldest pawn shop in Beverly Hills.[1] Beverly Loan Company is a family owned collateral lending company and second-hand dealer located on the third floor of the Bank of America building on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Beverly Drive.[2]

Beverly Loan Company
Industry Collateral loans
Founded 1938
Founder Louis Zimmelman
Headquarters Beverly Hills, California
Area served
Los Angeles and New York City
Key people
Jordan Tabach-Bank and Jean Zimmelman
Services Pawn Loans, Secured Loans, Personal Asset Loans, Collateral Loans
Website Beverly Loan Company




Beverly Loan Company was founded in 1938 by Louis Zimmelman with its original location in the city of Beverly Hills, California. Zimmelman worked as an employee of other pawnshops before opening his own business, which has continued to be family-owned throughout its existence.[3] Instead of opening a store-front, he chose to open the business on the 3rd floor of a bank building[4] to encourage the privacy of his patrons and allow collateral to be stored in bank vault security. From the beginning, the shop offered loans in exchange for high-value collateral such as watches, gold jewelry, diamonds, fine artwork, and memorabilia to Beverly Hills residents including socialites, businesspeople and celebrities.[5]

Hollywood clienteleEdit

A main aspect of the business from its inception has been the confidential arrangements the company has with its clients, a practice that continues today.[6] The company became famous in the 1960s, when musicians in the rock music industry began to find themselves facing difficult financial conditions.[3] However, "Hollywood star" customers had frequented the store in the 1940s through the 1960s. It is the oldest continuously running pawnshop in Beverly Hills and[1] by 1969 it was the best known high-end pawnshop in the Los Angeles area and mentioned by The New York Times as an example of the top national collateral lending companies in the United States.[7] Artwork from painters like Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso is used to decorate the office.[8]

Second and third generationEdit

The second-generation ownership of the company was led by Jean Zimmelman[8] and her sister Helaine - the daughters of the company's founder. The company was entirely women-run during this era,[3] leading Jean Zimmelman and her sister to be featured nationally in a photograph published by the Associated Press in 1999.[9] During the 1990s the shop was one of the only collateral lenders in the United States that offered loans in excess of $10,000.[10][11] In 2006, Jordan Tabach-Bank, became a co-owner of the company,[12] and took the position of CEO.[13] The company still specializes in collateral lending and the sale of high-value pre-owned merchandise, specifically jewelry and watches.[14] Its shop features a DeBeers hour-glass that pours diamonds between its bulbs that is not for sale.[15]

Loaning trendsEdit

In 1982 the company saw an increase in business due to the early 1980s recession in the United States.[16] Continuing from prior decades, in the 1990s loans were often sought at the company because the amounts went unreported to the credit bureau, allowing customers to borrow without harming their credit.[1] In 2008, during the Great Recession, the amount of items being used as collateral increased substantially, creating the largest gain in business in the company's history. Some loans exceeded one million dollars in value and 98% of that business was the pawning of jewelry and watches. The trend included businesspeople seeking loans to keep their companies afloat.[17] The customer base saw an uptick in white-collar clientele, including hedge fund managers.[18] The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike also contributed to a rise in business for the company, as screen and television writers needed capital to keep themselves afloat.[19] At the end of 2011 the CEO stated that his store saw an increase in professionals seeking loans in order to pay for personal matters, including the private school tuition of their children.[20]

Items that have been used as collateral at the Beverly Loan Company have included artwork by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat,[21] Keith Haring,[10] Marc Chagall, David Hockney, Joan Miró,[1] and Wassily Kandinsky;[22] large GIA certified diamonds, Academy Awards,[23] American Music Awards,[24] Super Bowl rings,[25][26] luxury watches, and signed jewelry, including Tiffany & Co and Cartier.[8][27][28] Strange items that have entered the shop have included a lock of Elvis Presley's hair[23] and the family jewels of the sister of King Farouk of Egypt[10] as well as those of a Saudi Arabian princess.[29] The company has long stated in the press that, "The B-listers come in to sell. The A-listers come in to buy."[21]

Business practicesEdit

In 2013 Beverly Loan Company claimed that more than 90% of clients that provide collateral for loans return to redeem their collateral.[23] Other clients sell their merchandise outright instead of taking a loan, which Beverly Loan Company then puts up for sale. Some of the items sold are the result of defaulted loans, however very special items are usually kept for a longer period of time in hopes that the owner will eventually repay the loan and reclaim the items.[25] Merchandise sold by Beverly Loan Company can be purchased in excess of one million dollars off of the retail price.[24] While some clients take loans from the company due to their poor credit, others take loans from the company in order to receive the funds more quickly than they could from their bank.[30] Items used as collateral are held for four months before they are offered for sale.[12] The company also hires gemologists to appraise jewelry and diamonds to determine the value of collateral.[8][31] In 2013 the company opened a sister location named New York Loan Company as a part of the company's 75th anniversary.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Alex Witchel (August 28, 2000). "The Deadbeat Odyssey; Down and Out in Beverly Hills". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NEWS SUMMARY". New York Times. February 18, 2003. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Reuters (September 6, 2000). "For the cash-strapped in Beverly Hills". New Straits Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Classified Ad from Beverly Loan Company". Los Angeles Times. July 7, 1942. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ Chuck Conder and Kara Finnstrom (February 21, 2009). "9021-Ouch: Recession trickling up to Beverly Hills". CNN. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ Gary Fields (January 2, 2009). "Pawnshops Clients Today are Driving BMWs". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ Robert Cole (May 1, 1969). "Personal Finance: Pawnshops Decline; Personal Finance". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d Charlie LeDuff (February 18, 2003). "Clinging to Beverly Hills Lifestyle, via a Pawnshop". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ Associated Press (May 19, 1999). "Uptown Pawn". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Calvin Sims (October 26, 1992). "A Pawnshop to the Rich: Business Is Picking Up". New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Associated Press (April 12, 1999). "Uptown Pawn". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Liane Bonin (November 10, 2005). "Let's make a deal: Haute jewels and low prices from the down and out in Beverly Hills". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Bio: Jordan Tabach-Bank". The Discovery Channel's Final Offer. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ Ben Tracy (December 4, 2008). "Pawn Brokers To The Stars". CBS News. 
  15. ^ Wendy A. Woloson (2009). In Hock: Pawning in America from Independence through the Great Depression. University of Chicago Press. p. 192. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Hard-Hit Rich". New York Times. October 24, 1982. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ Catherine Elsworth (December 16, 2008). "Credit crisis forces rich Americans to pawn their designer belongings". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Ook Beverly Hills voelt de recessie". NUzakelijk. April 14, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  19. ^ Debra Baer (November 27, 2008). "Pawnshops See Brisk Business In Economic Crunch". NPR. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ Anne Kadet (May 9, 2011). "Pawnshops Go Upscale and Online". SmartMoney. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Michael Janofsky (November 7, 2008). "Down and Out in Beverly Hills: Rolexes, Picassos Hit Pawnshops". Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Ricos empeñan sus rolex para sobrellevar crisis en Beverly Hills". Grupo RPP. March 9, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c Emma Brown (March 2013). "JORDAN TABACHBANK MAKES HIS FINAL OFFER". Interview Magazine. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Jane Wells (January 11, 2013). "Wealthy Flock to Pawn Shops". CNBC. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b Bob Pool (December 24, 2011). "The jingle of jewelry at a Beverly Hills pawnshop". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  26. ^ Shaun Assael (April 22, 2011). "Addicted to pawn". ESPN Magazine. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  27. ^ "In hock, and above the hoi polloi". Boston Globe. November 9, 2008. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  28. ^ "SOME BEVERLY HILLS GLITTER IS PAWNED". New York Times. January 4, 1982. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  29. ^ Muriel Dobbin (March 7, 1982). "Hard times in Beverly Hills". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  30. ^ Leslie Gevirtz (February 22, 2012). "Some U.S. pawnbrokers are taking liquid assets - literally". Reuters. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  31. ^ Sue Zeidler and Tim Gaynor (December 17, 2008). "Americans rich and poor pawn more to pay bills". Times of Malta. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 

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