Investment Advisory Service: Fossils, Gems, Meteorites & Minerals
Collecting natural history specimens and gemstones is a rewarding hobby that can also have financial merit. One established benefit of investing in rare collectible assets is that they tend to appreciate in value even when other markets are struggling. For example, in 2018, luxury assets like rare wine and fine art increased in value over 10% - while nearly every other asset class suffered. Some volatility is expected in any collectibles market, especially in the short term. However, over a longer time frame the gains can be quite staggering, especially among the most exclusive items. For example, pink diamonds 1 to 2 carats in size increased in value 891% from 1995 to 2013. In fact, the majority of luxury assets - from autos to watches and rare coins - have appreciated significantly over the past 10 years (See Chart: Visual Capitalist, 2018)
Likewise, many high end fossils are rising in value as the worldwide demand continues to grow. A large prehistoric cave bear skull that we purchased 16 years ago sold for $2400 (retail) that year, whereas a similar specimen would fetch $12,000 or more today. And it's not just skulls and skeletons that are garnering attention - Canadian ammonites (gorgeous fossil shells consisting of the gemstone "ammolite") have tripled in value the past 25 years, in part due to rising demand in Asia.
A similar prehistoric cave bear skull sold for $2400 USD in 2003. It would retail at approximately $12,000 in 2019, a five-fold increase in value over a 16 year period. Source: Fossil Realm
The market for rare meteorites and fine minerals is also booming. For example, an "Admire" pallasite slice appraised at $10,000 to $15,000 sold for $27,500 at a 2019 Christie's auction. Increases in value are never guaranteed, but it's undeniable that these incredible items have intrinsic value and they will always be highly sought after. It's no surprise that some of the savviest executives and investors, like Microsoft's Paul Allen and Intel's Karl Kempf, have seriously invested in fine minerals.
Above all else, natural history specimens and gemstones are a pleasure to collect and they retain value over time.
However, this is a difficult area to navigate alone and many traps exist: outrageous pricing, misrepresented items and even outright fakes. We ensure that you avoid these pitfalls. Moreover, sourcing the best pieces is an intensive process, requiring research and specialized industry knowledge. Fossil Realm has developed an extensive network of primary source dealers, enabling us to offer phenomenal authentic specimens to our investment clients at lower than retail prices. When making a major purchase, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the market and work closely with an expert in the field.
Fossils that are likely to increase in value have the following characteristics:
- Unique and visually appealing
- Rare type, or in limited supply on the market
- From a famous locality (i.e., Green River Formation, Holzmaden Shale, Solnhofen Limestone)
- Excavated and prepared to high standards (exposing the surface details without damage)
- Minimal restoration (specimens comprised primarily of original bone/fossil material)
- Accompanied by detailed provenance and scientific information
- Sourced from a highly regarded dealer
Acquiring natural history specimens at - or below - fair market value is necessary to ensure that your investment is sound.
We recommend investing in fossil specimens from world-renowned localities, like this incredible Jurassic ichthyosaur from the Holzmaden Shale in Germany. Source: Fossil Realm
My goal is to help you build a distinguished collection of significant value - Peter Lovisek, CEO of Fossil Realm
Peter will work closely with you to develop a plan that suits your needs, interests and tastes. He has over two decades of industry experience and deep connections worldwide in these markets. He will work with you to choose a selection of well-researched, exceptional items that are positioned to appreciate in value.
Peter Lovisek, CEO of Fossil Realm, poses with beautiful Canadian ammonites (ammolite) in Calgary, Alberta. Large, bright and colourful specimens are valued at $50,000 USD or more in today's market.
"In any well diversified investment portfolio it is beneficial to own tangible assets that provide a hedge against inflation. Traditionally, investors have focused on gold and silver for this purpose. However, rare fossils, gems, and meteorites can also serve this purpose while at the same time providing you with a beautiful piece of natural history to enjoy on a daily basis.
When making any investment purchase it is wise to consult a professional with knowledge and experience in the investment. This is especially true for fossils, gems and meteorites where there is the very real potential for fakes on the market. Peter is an expert with many years of experience whom I trust to help me make the right investment purchase.
When making an investment purchase the old adage is that money is made at the time of purchase rather than at the time of selling. In other words, the purchase must be made at the right price and it is difficult to make money if the investment is purchased at an inflated price. Peter has exceptional knowledge and experience in the industry to ensure that you make your investment purchase at a fair and reasonable price.”
January 15, 2020
High end fossils are viewed as sound alternative investments by savvy investment professionals
Pictured above is an incredible 13.45 foot long Jurassic crocodile skeleton - among the largest and best preserved examples of the species. Such a rare and extraordinary fossil is bound to appreciate in value.
Dinosaur Skeletons - An Emerging Asset Class? (Swen Lorenz; Undervalued Shares, 2023). Explores how fossils are garnering attention as an emerging asset class. Probes whether they are undervalued compared to more established collectible assets like fine art. A thorough treatment of the subject by a well-known investor.
Chart: Investing in the Finer Things in Life (Jeff Desjardins; Visual Capitalist, 2018). Details the 10 year returns on luxury asset classes, including coloured diamonds, jewelry, fine art, autos, stamps, fine wine and more. Nearly all exclusive alternative assets appreciated considerably.
How Every Asset Class, Currency, and Sector Performed in 2018 (Jeff Desjardins; Visual Capitalist, 2018). Luxury assets like fine wine and fine art were among the few "winners" this year.
Forget the Old Masters, It’s All About the Old Monsters in the Booming Market for Dinosaur Fossils (Kate Brown; ArtNet News, 2019). A great piece on the growing trend to collect high end fossil specimens.
Are Dinosaur Fossils the Hot New Collectors' Item? (Leanne Mirandilla; Hong Kong Tatler, 2018). Another piece on the trend to collect dinosaur fossils, noting that specimens are selling higher than auction estimates in Europe and that there is an emerging demand for fossils in Asia.
The Hunt For Six-Figure Rocks (Missy Sullivan; Forbes, 2006). Highlights the trend of mineral collecting among elite executives and investors, like Microsoft's Paul Allen, Intel's Karl Kempf, and City Light Capital's Marc Weill.
3 Interesting Collectable Items You Didn't Know You Could Buy (Luxatic.com, 2019). Highlights fossil collecting as well as two offbeat collectable categories: cancelled cheques and celebrity hair.
Fancy Color Diamond Grading and Pricing (Jeffery Bergman, 2014). Excellent piece from an industry expert that includes a chart comparing the value of fancy pink diamonds to stocks and commodities. Fancy intense pink diamonds 1-2 carats in size increased a staggering 891% from 1995 to 2013 Download PDF here.