Vintage Chic at the Miami Beach Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

Don’t let the laid-back locale fool you. Millions of dollars change hands at the Miami antique show

Miami Beach is known for its bathing beauties, Art Deco architecture, and see-and-be-seen nightclubs. But when the Annual Miami Beach Antique Jewelry & Watch Show comes to town, ­jewelry takes center stage.

From Oct. 14 to 16, estate jewelers from around the world will descend on the Miami Beach Convention Center to peruse the finest selection of estate jewels this side of the Atlantic. The event welcomes members both of the trade and the public, so the range of merchandise runs the gamut.

For example, Paul Lubetsky, president and CEO of Windsor Jewelers in New York City, is bringing some closeout pieces that he’ll sell below cost. But he’ll also have a $5 million Oscar Heyman ring featuring a 1.75 ct. red diamond and 5.81 cts. t.w. colorless stones. He’ll offer the ring with another collectible: a J.E. Cald­well box (that merchant closed its doors in 2003 after 164 years).

Lubetsky has been a Miami exhibitor for 20 years. “It is probably the largest action jewelry show we ever sell at,” he says. “It’s the one place to see more estate and antique jewelry than anywhere in the world. At a normal jewelry show, people show new lines, but at this one, you can see one showcase with multimillions of dollars of merchandise—in just one showcase—and there might be as many as 70 vendors with the same amount.” This year, nearly 150 ­dealers will be exhibiting; the show is anticipating 3,000 attendees.

Last year, Lubetsky sold a 9 ct. pink diamond ring to a buyer from Antwerp for $9 million, and a blue and pink diamond butterfly pin to an Indian buyer for $10 million. This year, he’s expecting more of the same. “Middle-of-the-road sales are soft,” says Lubetsky. “[But] anything high-end is selling immediately.”