By Alethea Inns, CG
As a jewelry industry professional, I am often asked where to find a jeweler, how to find one that is trustworthy, or where to get professional appraisals. My answer is always the same. Find an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler or appraiser, and you are guaranteed a jewelry industry professional committed to your best interests. AGS credentialed jewelers are pledged to consumer protection, business ethics, and continued education. Jewelry stores that are AGS members are admitted to the Society after going through a series of approvals by an anonymous panel of fellow industry professionals, and their qualifications from education to business practices are examined. Only one out of 20 jewelry stores qualifies for this prestigious distinction.
As an AGS member, each store has a number of Titleholders—individuals that have extensive gemological, jewelry, and appraisal education verified by the American Gem Society. AGS titles are the only professional credentials in the jewelry industry, because they are the only ones that are the result of an assessment process, require professional experience, indicate adherence to a set of standards, have ongoing requirements in order to maintain them, and are awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization. Often the educational requirements for an AGS Title include the Graduate Gemologist diploma (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), but Titleholders are also required to prove their commitment to the “AGS Way” through additional tests and an annual recertification exam.
There are a number of AGS Titles to look for when you seek out your jeweler or appraiser. Registered Jewelers (RJs) and Certified Gemologists (CGs) have a background in gemology and business ethics, while Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGAs) and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers (ICGAs) have more extensive education and experience with appraisals. No matter the AGS Title your jeweler or appraiser holds, they belong to an elite group of jewelry industry professionals committed to you, and backed by the American Gem Society.
To find an AGS credentialed jeweler or appraiser in your area, visit: