Covid-19 has become a pandemic (WHO) and is affecting the whole world. It is a global health crisis. In the course being in this gemstones business. I have heard many stories of how people overcame crisis with gemstones and jewellery. Here are some stories which I heard
- Before the world world 2, there was this Jewish man, he had heard news that an impending war was coming. So he sold everything he had (it amounted to us$200,000) and bought an emerald pendant. To cut the story short, he survived the war. What do you think was the first thing he would do? You guessed it, to sell the pendant. He managed to sell it to a jeweller for us$300,000. He actually made some money! He then used the money to restart his life.
- During the 1997 financial crisis, there was this old lady that came to my father’s gem lab (Far East Gem Lab) to test a 0.70ct Diamond. After waiting and watching how my father did the valuation, she was satisfied that my father was a professional. She then opened her small little pouch and poured out several diamonds from 2 carats to 5 carats, telling Mr Tay to value them all. After the service was done, she said, if you know anyone who wants to buy them please let me know.
- There was this story before world war 2, there was this man who owned a pawnshop. He heard news that war was coming. He then took all the goods, and found himself a place in a piece of land and buried all the gemstones, jewellery and gold. He managed to survive the war. Many people came to look for him to retrieve their items which he claimed was taken during the war. I’m not sure what he did after. I’ll leave it to your imagination.
- Look at the Jewish people , the 2 businesses that they are strong in are the diamond business and technology. They have been through a long history of getting chased around they need to ‘pack and go’ fast. So the most portable are diamonds and technology (well most of them have great memory, so the technology is stored in their brain, or maybe that small USB stick!)
- I heard this story from one of my friends who is working in a pawnshop somewhere in the world. There is this boss of a company that does jobs for the government. They have a client who uses the pawnshop business often, she would bring really expensive jewellery to the pawnshop every now and then for the past few years to pawn off her items and then after a few months she would come back and retrieve them. The client mentioned that she would use the money from the pawn to pay off worker salaries and once she receive payment, she would then come back and redeem the pawn goods.
During this time, you can see many governments are pumping so much money into the economy to help people tide through. Many uncertainties but yes many opportunities. There would be people selling their gems and jewellery to get cash to tide through and many with cash and not sure what to do as the financial markets are volatile.
Gems & Jewellery I would say are great instruments to store value. Yes when you sell them at the wrong timing with the wrong sales pitch you would lose a lot of money. But can you imagine a world where we go back to barter trading when people do not believe in cash anymore?
If you are interested in opportunities during this period, speak to me email me at [email protected] . I would be happy to share with you my insights.
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Copyright The Gem Museum Tay Kunming 04 – 03 – 2020