Membership Process | American Gem Society
Share |

Membership Process

Membership is NOT as simple as filling out an application and being accepted.  It is a process involving many steps and time.  The length of time it takes to become a member is different for every firm. 

The First Step

1. Fill out your application entirely (complete with signatures) and turn it in to AGS Headquarters. Make sure to also include as many items as possible that are described on the checklist of required materials.

2. Continue to submit items from the checklist one-by-one or all at once.

3. Once all materials and information have been received, and the investigative process is complete, the Membership Department will compile the details and present the file to the Admissions Board Secretary. After a careful and thorough review, the Secretary will make a recommendation. This process normally takes about a month.  A summary of your file and a ballot are submitted to the AGS International Admissions Board. The IAB is a confidentially seated group of approximately thirteen American Gem Society retailers and suppliers who are long-standing and actively participating members of the Society. Once a majority vote has been received, the status of your application is determined. One of three outcomes may take place.

ELECTION: Your Company has met the American Gem Society's standards to become a member and may proceed with becoming an active firm. This may include acquiring specific material or completing certain levels of education.

ABEYANCE: A violation of AGS policy was noted with your operations and you will be given a sufficient amount of time to correct or improve the discrepancy. After that time, a review is conducted and another ballot and vote is submitted.

TURNDOWN: Your Company does not meet the requirements or standards of AGS membership at this time. You may appeal this decision in writing to the Executive Committee and disclosure may be revealed as to why the decision of turndown was made. There is a two-year waiting period to re-apply if your firm is denied membership.

After becoming an elected member, your company has up to two years to meet the requirements to become an active AGS member. In order to go from an elected firm to an active firm member you will need to have:

  • A binocular microscope (not required for sustaining members)
  • Completed the AGS Way Course.

The AGS Way Course: The AGS Way Course provides the foundation to the AGS principles of proven ethics, knowledge and consumer protection. The 6 chapter program can easily be completed in three months. A title of Registered Jeweler (retailer) or Registered Supplier (wholesaler) is awarded after successful completion of this course.

Those holding a Graduate Gemologist degree from GIA prior to completing the AGS Way Course will be upgraded to Certified Gemologist (CG) after maintaining their initial AGS title actively for one year.

Upon completion of the AGS Way Course, an AGS title is awarded and your firm becomes an active member. At that point you are entitled to advertise and promote your membership and take advantage of our fabulous marketing programs and member service benefits.

Criteria for membership in the American Gem Society requires exacting knowledge, performance and commitment to the highest standards in the jewelry industry. Not everyone who applies will make the grade. Find out if you have what it takes. Fill out a membership inquiry and you will be contacted by a Membership representative.


Member Applications

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
ICGA Firm Application PDF (176 KB) Administration 6/30/2020
Sustaining Firm Application PDF (178.9 KB) Administration 8/9/2017
Supplier Firm Application PDF (153.85 KB) Administration 8/9/2017
Retail Firm Application PDF (185.52 KB) Administration 6/30/2020

Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society