As the oldest store in downtown Miami’s famed Seybold building, one might be forgiven for thinking Buchwald Jewelers is a Miami original. The truth, however, is that the store’s geographical history goes back even farther.
“My grandfather actually started the store in Atlantic City and then moved to 34th street in New York City,” says Jeff Buchwald, who now runs the store with his brother Marc. “In the late 1950s he moved to Lincoln Road – that was when you could drive your car down the street – and around 1960 he relocated to the Seybold building.”
As much as the store is steeped in South Florida history, it brings its own legacy within the Buchwald family. While Jeff’s grandfather Joseph started the store with his brothers, it was eventually taken over by his grandmother and uncle, who in turn handed the reins to Jeff and Marc ten years ago. “My Dad also works here,” says Buchwald with a laugh. “He retired and was working six days a week, but now he’s cut it down to three.”
The shop specializes in all types of jewelry and watches, catering mostly to a regular clientele who count on the family for a large selection of everything from loose diamonds to engagement ring mountings, necklaces and earrings, all of which are held to the highest quality standards. “All of our diamonds are GIA certified,” says Buchwald. GIA has long been held as the premier credential of a diamond’s authenticity and quality. “You know exactly what you’re getting. If you buy a diamond that’s not certified you’re going on someone’s word. There are many certifications, but GIA invented the process.” Buchwald says customers return year after year for the knowledge of, and advice from, the store’s staff as well as conveniences such as valet parking on 1st street.
Outside of engagement rings, Buchwald cites diamond studs and pendants as popular and timeless items but says watches are also a draw for customers. “Rolex is the most popular, both new and pre-owned,” says Buchwald. “Pre-owned are popular because they’re more budget-friendly than the new ones and ours are all in excellent condition. Take good care of them and they’ll last forever.” To that end, Buchwald’s enjoys the added benefit of a pawn shop license, a difficult license to get in the city. “I can buy over the counter watches, diamonds and jewelry,” he says.
Buchwald himself is honored to continue the family tradition, presiding over the oldest store in a historic building, the second largest jewelry building in the United States. “Seybold is a unique building,” he says. “We’ve seen a lot come and go.”
Buchwald Jewelers is located at 36 Northeast 1st Street, Suite 123, Seybold Building Arcade, Miami, FL 33132. For more information, please visit buchwaldjewelers.com, or call Buchwald at (305) 373-LOVE (5683).