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Fact Sheet

PURPOSE: The American Gem Society is a not-for-profit trade association of fine jewelers, jewelry manufacturers and suppliers in the United States, Canada, and Europe who are dedicated to consumer protection, ethical business standards, and development of the highest gemological skills and knowledge.

MEMBERSHIP: The Society is comprised of approximately 1,300 retail, 200 supplier and nearly 3,500 individual titleholders and affiliates.

FOUNDING: Robert M. Shipley founded the Society in 1934 with the support of a group of leading independent jewelers in North America. The founders dedicated themselves to maintaining the highest possible standards of business ethics, professionalism and continuing gemological education.

MEMBERSHIP STANDARDS: To qualify for membership in the American Gem Society, a firm must meet the highest standards of business conduct. A member firm can, and will be, expelled for unethical or deceptive practices. To ensure excellence in our Society, individuals must pass examinations on diamonds and colored gemstones before advertising their AGS membership. Every member firm must have at least one Registered Jeweler or Registered Supplier on staff.

TITLES: The AGS awards titles that confirm the education and expertise of members upon completion of various courses and exams. AGS titles are renewed annually after re-certification exams are successfully passed. Titles are not renewed to jewelers who have not maintained the Society's standards.

Certified Sales Associate (CSA): The Certified Sales Associate classification is awarded to sales associates of member firms. CSAs must complete and pass the required course materials and exam and must pass annual re-certification exams.

Registered Jeweler (RJ): The Registered Jeweler title is awarded to retail jewelers who have completed courses of prescribed gemological studies and passed extensive exams.

Registered Supplier (RS): The Registered Supplier title is awarded to jewelry manufacturers who have completed courses of prescribed gemological studies and passed extensive exams.

Certified Gemologist (CG): The Certified Gemologist title is awarded to Registered Jewelers and Registered Suppliers who are either a graduate gemologist or graduate jeweler gemologist and have taken advanced courses of study and passed additional exams.

Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA): The Certified Gemologist Appraiser title is awarded to CGs who have successfully completed appraisal theory classes and passed the CGA exam.