Business Corner: Estate Diamond Exchange

It didn’t take Brooklyn natives Neil Shanman and Richard Kaufman long to realize they had a lot in common. Both attended the same high school, albeit twenty years apart, and both were veterans of the jewelry industry who found themselves now on the West Coast.

Shanman started Estate Diamond Exchange in Agoura Hills in 1992. After meeting Kaufman, the two joined forces. Today, the family-run enterprise is one of the premier jewelry stores in the area.

“We buy, we sell, we do consignments, we buy estates, we do financial loans, we do repairs on the premises,” Kaufman said. “We’re a full-service jewelry store.”

They also rent out jewelry for events, movies and TV shows. Estate carries items from premium brands Rolex and Patek Phillipe to Cartier and Tiffany.

“If someone wants a $100,000 watch, and if we don’t have it, we can accommodate them,” Kaufman said.

What separates Estate from other jewelers, he continued, is their historical one-of-a-kind pieces.


“At a mall jewelry store, everything looks the same,” Kaufman said. “When you come to our store, it’s very eclectic.”

Visitors to the store will find an autographed Marilyn Monroe montage hanging on Estate’s wall alongside Chagall etchings and a Kinkade painting.

Drew Dionisio, a gold and silversmith, does repairs and restorations for the store. Utilizing a platinum mounting, the veteran bench jeweler recently restored a turn-of-the century, two-carat diamond ring to its original period style. Kaufman’s son, Chase, 26, specializes in fine watches, such as a rare 1975 Rolex Submariner, which commands $14,000. (Kaufman’s other son, Daniel, 24, works at a social-media start-up.) Estate also employs a gemologist, a bookkeeper and a front office manager.

The fruitful partnership of Kaufman and Shanman has its roots back East.

Kaufman had worked as a diamond dealer for more than three decades when he met Shanman and they realized they had both grown up near Flatbush in Brooklyn and attended the same public school. “He had lived around the corner from me,” Kaufman said.

Originally an auctioneer, Shanman opened a jewelry store for his mother on Avenue K in Coney Island in the early 1960s. After his mother passed in 1968, Shanman relocated to the Valley with his three sons and daughter and eventually started Estate Diamond.

After living on the road for 35 years, Kaufman was ready to join forces with him.

“Richard really has an extensive knowledge of fine watches,” Shanman said. “He is very informed in that arena.” Shanman considers Kaufman “a third son.”

Despite growing roots in the West Valley, Kaufman still enjoys a taste of his old life, traveling from Miami Beach and New York to Las Vegas to participate in trade shows. In August, he’ll represent Estate Diamond at the International Watch Jewelry Guild convention. When the North American Watch Clock Convention (NAWCC) comes to the Pasadena Convention Center this Saturday, Estate will have a booth there as well.

Estate Diamond has donated generously to philanthropic causes, including fundraisers for Malibu Jewish Community Center, the Malibu charity Art Heals, and silent auctions for nonprofits such as Denim and Diamonds and Ride On (both of which address autism, which one of Shanman’s granddaughters struggles with).

What Kaufman loves most about his work is “the people you meet,” such as entertainment-industry movers and shakers. Shanman loves “helping people. People get into trouble and we’re available to provide them with what they need.”

Estate Diamond Exchange, a licensed, bonded and insured business, is located at 5017 Kanan Rd. Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Visit For more information on this Saturday’s convention, visit

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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