By Alethea Inns, CGA,
Director of Gemology and Education, American Gem Society
Buying jewelry can be intimidating—it’s a bit like buying a home. It’s a big purchase and you need help from qualified professionals—that you trust—to close the deal. And it’s an emotional purchase; it can represent a big life change.
This is experience talking. I recently bought my first house. It was scary. How was I supposed to spend so much money on something that was so unknown? I had the comps, knew the area, knew the specs of the house and all the data and statistics. But that wasn’t enough. How did I know if there weren’t issues that I couldn’t see? What if the foundation was cracked, or there was mold behind the walls? What if there was a weird smell no one knew the cause of?
That’s why I brought in the experts. I had an amazing real estate agent who knew the area and even researched the owners. I had an appraiser that was ethical who refused to raise the appraised value of the house beyond what he thought was fair. I had an inspector who I trusted to come in and point out every little issue that could be a problem later on.
These professionals were people that I trusted. I knew they had their professional credentials and licenses. They were experts in their fields and most importantly, upheld standards of practice.
This is the exact same reason why you need an American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler when making a jewelry purchase.
These jewelers are AGS titleholders, which means they are professionals who have pre-requisite gemological or jewelry industry education, verified by the AGS, and then tested by the AGS in their proficiency to grade diamonds. Not only that, they are required to write a Recertification Exam every year to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent developments in the jewelry industry. If they do not take the annual exam, they cannot maintain their title.
More than being knowledgeable, AGS titleholders are also required to sign an ethics agreement every year and are required to uphold the AGS standards for protecting you, the customer, every day, and in every interaction.
Why shop with an AGS jeweler?
For the same reason you see a certified professional accountant (CPA) to do your taxes, or a doctor that not only has a medical degree, but has their board certification, or the reason you rely on experts with any major purchase, investment, or life event.
An AGS jeweler is there to protect you, their customer. They are there to give you the information you need to make an informed buying decision. Yes, they are there to sell you jewelry, but more than that, they are there to share their passion for jewelry and help you celebrate the moments and reason you walked into their store in the first place.
Ask your jeweler, “Are you an AGS jeweler?” If not, find one that is.
As a credentialed gemologist, Alethea has some favorite gemstones, although it’s not easy to narrow the list down to just a few. Click below to get a closer look at these beautiful gems!