Money & Me: ‘My best investments are property, gold and diamonds’

Gemmologist and jewellery designer Panos Melekkis says he always budgets for crisis situations

Panos Melekkis says he likes to spend on holidays with his family and enjoy the good life. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Panos Melekkis, a gemmologist, jeweller and diamond dealer, inherited his passion and craftsmanship from his family who worked in the field of timepieces during the 1950s. They later forayed into the jewellery industry.

Mr Melekkis, a Cypriot who lives in Dubai, graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in Florence, Italy, in 2008.

After his academic pursuits, he joined the family business and became a jewellery designer. Mr Melekkis later founded his jewellery boutique in Limassol, Cyprus.

“Since I was seven years old, I loved to go to my family’s workshops to learn work. I've always been by my father’s side and enjoy what I do. It's what I’m meant to do,” he says.

Mr Melekkis, 36, moved to Dubai in 2021 and opened a design atelier where he showcases his stock and creates custom-made designs for clients.

He lives in Damac Hills with his wife and four-year-old son.

Did wealth feature in your childhood? What did you learn from it?

My upbringing shaped my attitude towards money. The precious stones industry requires appreciation and care due to the constant turnover, purchases, orders and the fluctuating market rates of gold and diamonds.

That made me understand the need to always check and budget for crisis situations.

Being involved with the family business from a young age helped me understand the requirements of always having a full inventory and budgeting regime in place to ensure that financial losses could not disrupt my business.

I had an easy life as a child. But running my own business now is more of a reality check and makes me feel prouder of my success.

How did you start earning money?

My first job was in the jewellery and diamonds industry. I was about 15 to 16 years old and was always in the shop with my father.

I opened my first store in 2018 in Cyprus but following an incident in 2019, when everything was stolen from my shop, I had to start from zero during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was a traumatic time in my career and I thought I would not be able to bounce back.

It was a big challenge but we managed to recover all losses and open a new shop in Dubai.

Any early financial setbacks?

The robbery at my store in Cyprus in 2019. It is something I do not like to remember.

I learnt to never give up, fight back and realised that if God takes something from you, he always returns it threefold.

How do you grow your wealth?

By investing in gold and diamonds because their prices are flying high now.

I always invest in my collections, gold and my designs.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I am a spender. In this industry, I must always be ready to buy diamonds and stones when the price is right or when there are opportunities for unique stones.

I do end up purchasing a lot to help my business grow.

I also like to spend on holidays with my family. I like to have a good life, visit a nice restaurant and enjoy a nice evening with my wife.

Have you been wise with money?

Yes, because I invest in gold and diamonds – both personally and for my business.

The value of gold is never going to fade. Money comes and goes but gold and diamonds stay forever.

I never had a lot of money and my father did not give me bags of money to spend on whatever I wanted.

What has been your best investment so far?

My best investments so far have been properties in Cyprus, gold and diamonds.

They are appreciating in value and worth much more than what I bought at. My investments in gold and diamonds have rocketed in value.

Do you have any cherished purchase?

I made a beautiful four-carat Ceylon sapphire ring for my wife, priced at $75,000.

How do you feel about money?

I both like and dislike money. When I have money, I like to invest in gold and diamonds and provide the best for my family.

Money is important to have a normal life and not miss out on anything.

But money could also cause a lot of problems. People look at you in a different way when you have a lot of money.

Invest in items such as gold and diamonds, which always hold value, and ensure that you have strong assets in case of crisis
Panos Melekkis, gemmologist and jewellery designer

Any financial advice for your younger self?

Save as much as you can. Don't waste your money on branded items that don't hold value.

Invest in items such as gold and diamonds, which always hold value and ensure that you have strong assets in times of crisis.

What luxuries are important to you?

As a jewellery designer, important luxuries include access to high-quality materials and gemstones, state-of-the-art tools and equipment as well as a well-equipped studio.

Personally, gold and diamonds are important to me.

What are your financial goals?

As a businessman, my financial goals include increased revenue and profitability, expanding my business operations, building a strong financial foundation and achieving long-term financial stability.

I aim to invest in new opportunities, diversify my income and effectively manage my expenses to ensure sustainable growth and success.

By setting clear financial objectives and plans, I can work towards achieving my goals and secure a prosperous future for my business.

Updated: April 19, 2024, 6:02 PM