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AGS Honors 'Extraordinary Individuals

August 13, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY HONORS ‘EXTRAORDINARY INDIVIDUALS'

Guests celebrate trade leaders, journalists at Ninth Annual Circle of Distinction Dinner

LAS VEGAS - A sold-out crowd celebrated industry leaders and trade journalists at the American Gem Society's Ninth Annual Circle of Distinction Dinner, held July 29 at New York City's storied Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Plaza.

"Tonight, we are celebrating the service of six extraordinary individuals," Society President Mark Moeller told the crowd. "They each walk different paths in this diverse industry, but every one of them works diligently and ardently to make their own contribution. Our honorees tonight have not only accepted their responsibility to make a change in this industry, they've already made an impact."

Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO of the American Gem Society, presented the Richard T. Liddicoat™ Journalism Awards to Jennifer Heebner, Carrie Soucy, and Russell Shor, saying the journalists "went beyond their call of duty and truly explored, researched, and delivered information that impacts both consumers and the industry today, and will serve us in the years to come."

Batson noted that 2008 is the sixth anniversary of the Liddicoat Awards, which were founded by the American Gem Society in memory of Richard T. Liddicoat, "The Father of Modern Gemology" and longtime president of the Gemological Institute of America.

Moeller presented the Society's Triple Zero Awards, for "members of the industry who have demonstrated the highest level of leadership and involvement," to Circle of Distinction inductees Hugh Glenn and Anna Martin. Glenn and Martin each addressed the crowd, with Glenn applauding the gem and jewelry industries' increased focus on serving and supporting charitable causes and Martin expressing her pride in being honored by an industry she has served for nearly 40 years.

Patti Geolat, interim president, CEO, and chairman of the board for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, presented the American Gem Society's Lifetime Achievement Award to Circle of Distinction inductee John J. Kennedy, president of the Jewelers' Security Alliance. Geolat said the award speaks to the "personal character that he shows daily in simple acts when working with the jewelry industry." Kennedy accepted the award, noting how far law enforcement agencies have progressed in recent years in protecting jewelers from violent crime.

After the awards ceremony, professional ballroom dancers invited attendees to the dance floor to enjoy the sounds of the Hank Lane Orchestra, a renowned musical ensemble and Rainbow Room mainstay led by Mike Herman. Guests danced to big-band classics and standards while enjoying panoramic views of the city.

"This is one of our favorite events every year," said Batson. "It's a fantastic opportunity to gather with colleagues in the industry, have a great time, and honor some of the best and brightest our industry has to offer."

Honorees at the American Gem Society's Ninth Annual Circle of Distinction Dinner

Richard T. Liddicoat™ Journalism Award Winners

*Industry/Trade Reporting Category: Jennifer Heebner and Carrie Soucy, "Seal of Disapproval," JCK Luxury Magazine

*Trade Journal Category: Russell Shor, "From Single Source to Global Free Market: the Transformation of the Cultured Pearl Industry," Gems & Gemology

Circle of Distinction Inductees

*Lifetime Achievement Award: John J. Kennedy, president, Jewelers' Security Alliance

*Triple Zero Award: Hugh Glenn

*Triple Zero Award: Anna Martin; senior vice president and regional manager, Americas; ABN AMRO Bank's International Diamonds, Jewelry, and Precious Metals Group

The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge, and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. The American Gem Society is the international professional organization awarding credentials of Registered Jeweler (RJ), Registered Supplier (RS), Certified Gemologist (CG), Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ICGA). Members are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their American Gem Society titles. Less than five percent of jewelers in the country have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership.

For more information regarding the American Gem Society, please call 866.805.6500, or visit their Web site at www.AmericanGemSociety.org.