Trading in law for gems

Trading in law for gems

SINGAPORE - Once, he helped put the bad guys behind bars.

These days, one-time deputy public prosecutor Kelvin Tan is dealing in gems instead.

The 42-year-old founded Genesis-Global Gems and Jewellery last September, after 16 years in public and private practice.

He has been a deputy public prosecutor, magistrate and coroner, and once served as a deputy registrar of the Subordinate Courts and a referee of the Small Claims Tribunals.

In private practice, he worked in major law firms like Drew & Napier, and was an in-house legal chief for multinational companies like Prudential Assurance and Aviva.

But to follow his passion, he took a 90 per cent pay cut and invested a six-figure sum in the business.

He says: "I only have one life. I want to do something I love - dealing with gemstones. They are luminous and radiant - Mother Nature's most beautiful creations.

"Whenever I was tired or stressed, I'd look at my gemstones and feel relaxed. They were like 'vitamins for the soul'."

Today, his customers are the crème de la crème of society, including businessmen, managers and socialites.

"Many people waste money by buying branded bags, shoes and watches.

"Why not save some money, and get a stone that you can keep for yourself or give to your loved ones?"

The bachelor's interest in jewellery started at age 13, when he saw his mother wearing some before going out.

He says: "She wore a simple design, but the stones sparkled. I'll never forget them."

When he entered the workforce, he began collecting rubies, coloured diamonds and jadeite.

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