Ruth levy shakes an armful of six shimmering diamond bangles and asserts that she would like to have more. The co-owner of Gail Jewelers in The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert takes great pleasure in updating clients’ démodé pieces for the times, converting a 1980s tennis bracelet, for example, into the modern bangle.
She also likes to style several long diamond chains as a single statement. They elongate the de rigueur billowy-top silhouette and adapt to different ensembles, from formal to T-shirt and jeans.
Repurposing jewelry accounts for a fun slice of the work at Gail, which remains nimble to trends of design.
“It’s all about earrings this season,” Levy says, displaying a sphere-shaped pair glittering with black, white, and chocolate diamonds.
Helping clients realize their wildest diamond fantasies and creating pieces from the Gail family’s imagination distinguish the jewelry enterprise that Levy’s grandparents, Seymour and Ruth Bilowit, founded in Hermosa Beach in 1949. Gail and Barry Benowitz, Levy’s parents, met while becoming gemologists in 1978 and have since kept Gail Jewelers on the cutting edge of fine design.
Gail, which also operates a store in Newport Beach, showcases only its own designs and crafts private commissions. From a butterfly-shaped hairclip with more than 50 carats of monarch-hued yellow, black, and white diamonds to a diamond-encrusted tooth, the jeweler has earned a reputation for its creative prowess. “There are diamonds of every color of the rainbow, and Gail was at the forefront [of designing with them] 20 years ago,” Levy says.