Diamonds Aren’t Forever: 10 Abandoned Jewelry Stores


abandoned jewelry store Birmingham(image via: Harry Starling)

Flickr user Harry Starling brings us this ominously looming abandoned jewelers in Birmingham, England’s rough & tumble Brookfields district. Starling describes the building at 32 Frederick Street, Hockley, as a “Derelict Jewellers” though that might not be its actual name… too many letters have dropped off the sign. In any case, Brookfields is quickly morphing into the gentrified neighborhood of Handsworth and the old abandoned jewelry store snapped by Starling on November 15th, 2010 has been reincarnated as William Hill Bookmakers. Great, another retail venue with a bright and shining future.

The Friends of Michelson’s Cairo

abandoned Michelson's jewelry store Cairo IL(images via: Darren Snow, Michael Hamilton and Darren Snow)

The troubled city of Cairo, Illinois has seen its population drop from just over 15,000 in 1920 to only 2,831 in 2010. That’s not good for business and one such business is (or rather, was) Michelson’s Jewelry store. The triptych of images above depicts the store’s classic concrete terrazzo entryway from September of 2004 down to May of 2008. Flickr user Darren Snow brings us the first and last photos graphically depicting how Michelson’s fades from a barely viable going concern to just another failed downtown Cairo business, albeit one with non-shattered windows. Wonder what it looks like today?

Time’s Up

Gem Box abandoned jewelry store Ybor City(image via: XV)

Gem Box Jewelers in Ybor City, Florida, must have done a roaring business back in the historic Tampa neighborhood’s cigar-rolling heyday. The Great Depression signaled an end to the good times, though, and many of the trade’s dependent businesses (such jewelry stores), weren’t able to recover their past glory. Thanks to Flickr user XV for the idyllic and evocative image above, taken on a warm September day in 2009. One imagines the Gem Box’s complex neon sign along with an integral clock must have been a beautiful beacon enticing young cigar-trade workers to settle down and put a ring on it. “Come on in, dear boy, have a cigar, you’re gonna go far.”