The Los Angeles jewelry industry is currently devastated at the recent death of one of its most well-known and celebrated jewelers. Graduate gemologist and co-founder of Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers in Los Angeles died on the 7th of February, just one day shy of his 96th birthday. Friedman had been an active part of the jewelry industry for 67 years. Back in 1946, he co-founded Crescent-Westwood Jewelers with his late wife. In 1998, this store was renamed Sarah Leonard Fine Jewelers. Originally a small, “mom and pop”-style jewelry store, the company has exploded in popularity and profitability, and is currently the oldest merchant in Los Angeles’ Westwood Village commercial center.
Over the course of his long and fruitful career, Friedman held many different positions in the jewelry industry. He served as president of the California Jewelers Association and president of the Jewelers 24 Karat Club of Southern California. He was a member of the American Gem Society, and once was honored with the organization’s Distinguished Service Award, as well as the Jewelers’ Security Alliance and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
In 1994, Friedman was inducted into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame, and was also a recipient of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Family-Owned Business Award. However, Friedman’s presence wasn’t exclusively in the jewelry industry. He was president of the Westwood Village Merchants Association, as well as the Westwood Village Rotary.
A proud veteran, Friedman served in the US Army from 1942 to 1946, and received commendations from Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, in addition to numerous members of Congress, city councilmen and county supervisors.
This past October, Friedman’s wife Sunny died at the age of 91. He is survived by his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.