For the past 25 years, Yossi Dina, a Beverly Hills collateral lender (a polite term for pawnbroker), has relied on his intuition when sizing up clients and their assets. The 50-year-old former Israeli army captain is known to have granted multimillion-dollar loans for rare colored diamonds, estate jewelry, and art masterpieces—including a Rodin sculpture and a van Gogh painting. Because of his reputation for negotiating fair terms and delivering cash promptly, Dina has become popular among those who possess the trappings of wealth but find themselves in need of liquidity.
However, not all of Dina’s patrons are in dire straits. “Over the past few years, clients have started coming to me with special jewelry requests,” says Dina, explaining that he initially entered the jewelry business by selling pieces to private clients and became a pawnbroker only after a number of those clients subsequently sought to exchange their rings, necklaces, and brooches for cash loans. Usually, his customers return with the money to redeem their valuables, and he profits from the interest that he charges. If clients fail to reclaim their items, Dina sells the jewels through Christie’s, Sotheby’s, or other high-end dealers. When he received a request last year for a 40-carat diamond that would serve as a 40th wedding anniversary present, Dina decided to establish a collection of his own. Now, rather than waiting for clients to bring pieces to him, Dina pursues valuable estate jewels and large diamonds of 20 carats and more for his recently unveiled Dina Collection, which is showcased in his South Beverly Wilshire Jewelry and Loan boutique.
Among his treasures are a 1920s La Cloche Egyptian revival bracelet and a 1750s diamond floral tiara. Dina’s cache also includes an assortment of exceptional timepieces, including a 1920s gold-and-diamond Vacheron Constantin Kalla watch worth about $200,000 and a 1920s Patek Philippe gold minute repeater valued at approximately $300,000.
In his determination to acquire extremely rare pieces, Dina will fly across the country at a moment’s notice. “I’m a serious buyer, and I don’t fool around or waste time,” he says, noting that he recently received a call from a member of a famous political family in Greenwich, Conn., and departed the next day to assess the jewelry. On that particular excursion, he landed several significant items, including a set of four sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamond La Cloche bracelets valued at $450,000 and a rare 1920s diamond Cartier necklace.
The Dina Collection, 310.888.1818