Gen Y Invest Growing Wealth In Gems
Posted in News on July 13, 2012 by Elite Diams
Malaysia Chronicle Article
Ms Daphne Lim is just 26, but she already has an investment "portfolio" consisting of eight to nine diamonds worth over S$200,000. Said Ms Lim, a senior executive in human resource: "Unlike property, I like how I get to wear my investments."
It makes good investment sense, too, with Ms Lim explaining that prices of diamonds have been rising. For instance, a S$9,000 one-carat diamond she received as a gift from her mother five years ago is now worth an estimated S$14,000.
More young professionals in their 20s and 30s are investing in gems, jewellers at the Singapore International Jewellery Show 2012 told my paper yesterday.
The four-day event is being held at Marina Bay Sands and ends on Sunday.
Jewellers there said they have seen a 5 per cent to 20 per cent increase in young clients buying gems such as diamonds, sapphires and tourmalines.
Ms Yuli Foo, owner of Yuli Fine Jewellery, said young buyers tend to go for the relatively more affordable coloured gemstone, tourmaline.
Tourmalines can cost between US$500 (S$640) and US$2,000 for a one-carat stone, while sapphires cost at least US$2,000 per carat, said Ms Foo.
Ms Ivy Choa, general manager of DeGem Singapore, noted that, while gemstones such as spinels and tourmalines are "in" among young customers, their first preference is still for diamonds.
Mr Michael Koh, managing director of Caratell Diamonds, said some consumers ask specifically about the investment potential of gemstones.
He said: "They buy unset gemstones and store them away in safes."
Precious gemstones are an increasingly attractive investment as their value is generally more stable as compared to the volatile stock and currency markets, said Mr Ho Nai Chuen, president of the Singapore Jewellers Association.
He added that the jewellery industry here is currently worth about S$5 billion, double what it was worth five years ago.
Jewellery designer and maker Joon Courtenay, who is a permanent resident here, said in jest: "When men buy expensive cars, they will get scrapped after 10 years, and it's a waste. But the value of jewellery will increase over time."