The Origin - From France to Brazil
Jules Roger Sauer, a French born from Alsace-Loraine, immigrated to Brazil, alone, in 1939, when he was just 18 years old.
Although he could speak four languages, Portuguese was not among those he knew. Jules was very young and had no idea of which profession to pursue.
After being introduced to some precious gems, he became immediately fascinated by them and decided to establish himself in the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte , which had the richest diversity of colored stones in the world at the time.
Traveling in the vast and wild landscape of Minas Gerais, Jules first got involved in prospecting for diamonds . After a while, though, he realized the untapped future potential of the colored stones business. Armed with that knowledge, he began channeling his efforts at becoming an industry expert on colored gemstones.
With a minimal start-up capital of approximately ten thousand dollars, Jules founded his company in 1941 . He named it Amsterdam Limited. The city of Amsterdam, Holland was the world’s benchmark for excellence in the cutting and trading of diamonds. Sauer also had wonderful memories and a tremendous admiration for the Dutch people.
In just a few years, Amsterdam Limited became an important Brazilian gemstone trading company, involved in mining, purchasing, cutting and wholesaling fine colored stones. The company mainly worked
with aquamarines, tourmalines, imperial topazes, amethysts and citrines at the time.
Moving to Rio de Janeiro
Jules married Zilda in 1950 and the couple decided to move to Rio de Janeiro, the capital and the financial center of Brazil. There, the Sauer added jewelry manufacturing to the company’s list of business activities.
The first retail store was inaugurated, in 1953, beside the famous Copacabana Palace Hotel. The store was initially named SAUER. Later, the company became a single entity named AMSTERDAM SAUER, as it is commonly known today.
Jules and Zilda built Amsterdam Sauer into the only 100% vertically integrated Brazilian company. From mining to retailing, Amsterdam Sauer controls every step of the jewelry production - never losing the focus on quality. Due to this precise expertise the company consistently displayed in the jewelry industry, it earned international recognition through its global clientele and various prestigious industry awards.
Amsterdam Sauer was the first South American Jeweler to be awarded, in 1966, the coveted De Beers - Diamond International Awards, with the Constellation Ring. The company holds a total of three De Beers - Diamond International Awards.
The emerald was only first discovered in Brazil in 1963. Jules Sauer was the pioneer in mining and marketing Brazilian emeralds. Again, Jules saw the great potential of this universal gemstone. He obtained the historical certification from the Gemological Institute of America for the Salininha Brazilian emeralds. Following this momentous event, the world began to recognize Brazil as a major producer of emeralds - a landmark and definitive turning point in the history of the Brazilian gemstone trade. Amsterdam Sauer evolved with these changes, becoming the most respected specialist on Brazilian and Colombian emeralds in South America.
Amsterdam Sauer is a modern company employing over 300 highly motivated associates, blending state of the art technology with traditional handcrafted techniques to meet the highest standards through its unique jewelry creations. The continued international success of the company is a direct result of the consistency of high quality products and services, unique expertise of fine gemstone jewelry and the personal dedication of its multilingual consultants for catering to a broad international clientele.
Independent from the business side, the Sauer family’s fascination for gemstones inspired the formation of its own private and rare gemstone collection over the past six decades. It is the most diversified in South America and is now available for public exhibition at the Amsterdam Sauer Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Parts of the collection may also be viewed at special displays in various Amsterdam Sauer stores.
The story and the quest of Jules Sauer and his family can also be found in the three books written by him:
Brazil Paradise of Gemstones - 1982 (available in many languages)
Emeralds Around the World - 1992 (available in many languages)
The Eras of the Diamond - 2002 (available in English and Portuguese)
Presently, Amsterdam Sauer has 25 retail stores in Brazil and representatives in larger cities around the globe. The company is managed by the second generation of the Sauer family. The Sauer third generation is already in the process of joining the group.