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via People Magazine

Jean Zimmelman runs the Beverly Loan Co., an haute hock shop for celebs whose cash isn’t flowing.

The pawn shop has valet parking. It boasts a Hockney, a Chagall, a Picasso-and an hourglass filled with diamonds. This is Beverly Hills, after all-the Beverly Loan Co., to be specific, the place many a Holly-wood star turns to when living easy leads to hard knocks.

Not that Jean Zimmelman, who in­herited the shop from her father Louis, in 1987, would ever name names. “Our customers want to come in quietly,” she says, “and leave without being seen.” She adds that, although she has had offers over the years, no Oscar has ever adorned her shelves. “Oscar” she says, “cannot be bought or sold.”

Zimmelman, 56, says the priciest item pawned in her place was “a very big solitaire” diamond ring that fetched $600,000 for its owner, who redeemed it seven months later paying four percent a month in interest. “Anyone can get a cash shortage,” says Zimmelman, who has two grown children with hus­band Bradley, 57, a lawyer. “A lot of customers come in after a divorce. Maybe a woman wants cosmetic work; she borrows against her wedding ring. Attorneys and plastic surgeons don’t wait for their money.”

If clients default on their loans, Zimmelman sells their baubles “for about two-thirds of retail,” she says–which makes her store a hot shopping spot. “Wealthy people,” she notes, “love a good deal.”

And they’ve gotten savvier. “Celebrities have managers now so they don’t get into [financial] trouble like they used to,” Zimmelman says. “Good for them. Bad for us.”

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