A cut above
Investors can create a dazzling portfolio with Swiss Gem Assets – allowing them to diversify their assets with complete confidence
“Gemstones are quite unlike any other investment opportunity because they are tiny, tangible and transferrable, like hidden family treasure or a private collection – but they’re far more portable than property, art or even bullion.” It’s fair to say that Jeremy Sawas, founder and executive director of Swiss Gem Assets, knows his stones, as a Fellow of Gem-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, since 2010. In recent times, his company saw an upsurge in investors seeking to diversify and stabilise their portfolio with gems in the wake of the global uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Jeremy, however, has long recognised their beauty and potential.
“I’ve always been fascinated by gems but I delayed studying for the profession on the advice of my parents, who felt economics would be a more sensible choice,’’ he says. “It wasn’t until I was 30 that I finally entered the field, working in Sri Lanka and then Brazil where I met my mentor, a prominent gem dealer called David Epstein.” Following a year-long mentorship, Jeremy embarked on his career in earnest. He gained a decade of experience working in Belgium and Switzerland. It was here, amid the thriving banking and finance industry, that he finally followed what had been a long-held ambition: to combine his expertise in economics and gemmology in his own gemstone investment company, Swiss Gem Assets. Jeremy now shares his skills in sourcing, valuing, buying, storing and reselling gemstones with investors looking to add gems to their portfolio.
“I tend to focus on coloured gems, like rubies, emeralds, sapphires and spinels rather than white diamonds,” he says. “Because I spent so long working in the field, all over the world, I now speak five languages and have developed very strong international networks close to the mines. I don’t need to involve lots of middlemen in my transactions, so my prices are competitive – usually equivalent to buying gems at wholesale jewellers’ prices.” Jeremy’s innate passion for gemstones and his background in economics also contribute to his competitive edge. He carries out his own in-depth expert analysis of market trends, and his trained eye can identify undesirable stones that may have been artificially coloured. With very little reliable expert information publicly available online, and few other gem dealers being completely independent, Jeremy’s expertise is highly sought after.
Swiss Gem Assets offers several investment options, ranging from investing in more common gems with easy resale potential, to exceptional and scarce stones for which there is a more exclusive market but a chance of achieving record-breaking auction sale prices. Certificates of value are provided by Swiss Gem Assets for insurance purposes and certificates of authenticity are also obtained for clients from independent Swiss labs. Following their investment, some clients arrange for their gems to be set in jewellery for a loved one, others arrange safe storage of the gems themselves or ask Jeremy to arrange for their gems to be stored securely with a Swiss bank.
“Clients place a huge amount of trust in me, in terms of the initial valuation of their investment, and the long-term potential,” he says. “I have a healthy client list, which is expanding purely on recommendation, but I never take that for granted. I am always striving to deliver more, whether that be diversifying and increasing gem storage solutions, or helping clients with the eventual resale of their gemstones when the crucial time comes to maximise the return on their investment.”