International Contemporary Jewelry Fair Brings the Bling During Art Basel

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. But rubies, opals, sapphires, emeralds and platinum will do in a pinch. So if you've got big bucks and a special lady in your life, the International Contemporary Jewelry Fair (ICJF) is the perfect place to score big points.

See also:
- MIA's Seafair Expo Sends Us Overboard
- Art Basel Installations Turn Miami's Waterways into Works of Art

Just in time for holiday shopping sprees, the haute jewelry extravaganza will showcase all kinds of exotic finery aboard the Seafair, a 228-foot luxury yacht, during Art Basel.

The premise of the fair is to "introduce jewelry as another form of collectible contemporary art," says David Lester, director of ICJF and Seafair's owner. There'll be items on display from designers including Arunashi, Emsaru, Oliver & Espig, Ray Griffiths, Vendorafa Valenza and numerous others, hailing from the Philippines to Australia.

"The works guests can expect to see at ICJF are innovative and unique designs. It will be respected international contemporary brands, contemporary designer jewelry, and studio jewelry," Lester adds.

But if you're more of a working stiff than a big baller, not to worry. There'll be treasures ranging in price from $500 to over $1,000,000. Something for (almost) everyone. Recession, what?

And in addition to gawking at the priceless pieces, the venue itself is something to see. The ship's sky deck overlooks both downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay, and features a glass-walled VIP lounge and Luxe Lounge, to boot. It's the same vessel that hosted the Miami International Art Fair during Basel week in 2011. (We're hoping they've improved the A/C since then.)

In addition to the jaw-dropping exhibits, the yacht will serve as host for several VIP events and educational sessions. They'll offer a full schedule of programming and events including lectures and meet-and-greets with various designers. For those interested in more in-depth access, a "Preferred Guest Program" lets members attend even more private events.

"These exhibiting designers are on the cutting-edge of their industry, utilizing new medias and techniques. They have the same connection to their creations as any artist and it's reflected in their designs. It's artwork you can wear," Lester says.

The ship will be docked at Miami's downtown Chopin Plaza at Bayfront Park, near the InterContinental Miami, and will offer public fair hours from December 5 through 9, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. They'll be hosting a preview on December 4, mostly by invitation only, but a limited amount of tickets are available for purchase. Visit expoships.com.

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