MARKET COMMENTARY – High gems, jewels can serve as “safe havens” during geopolitical turmoil

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By David Brough

GENEVA – High coloured gemstones and extraordinary period jewellery can serve as safe-haven stores of value during geopolitical turmoil, a co-founder of GemGenève said.

“In difficult times, people do seek refuge in small items of value which can be transported in times of emergency,” Thomas Faerber told a news conference on the eve of the GemGenève trade show.

“In history it happened many times,” he added, referring to World War Two when some refugees fled Eastern Europe to the West carrying valuable gemstones to secure their futures.  

The present conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the Israel-Hamas war, fuel an uncertain backdrop for high-end gemstone and jewellery trade. 

MARKET COMMENTARY –  High gems, jewels can serve as “safe havens” during geopolitical turmoil

Press conference on the eve of GemGenève

High jewellery dealers said privately that prices remained well-supported against the present geopolitical uncertainty.

But the mood was cautious amid difficulty to restock goods at high prices.

Bertrand Ternat, a treasure hunter who collects rare natural pearls from around the world, told the news conference that prices of natural pearls were rising, buoyed by very tight supplies.

GemGenève, which offers a wide selection of loose diamonds, gemstones and contemporary and period jewellery, takes place from November 2-5, 2023, at Palexpo, near Geneva airport.

MARKET COMMENTARY –  High gems, jewels can serve as “safe havens” during geopolitical turmoil