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Emerging Designer Membership

Emerging Designer Firm membership is intended to help growing businesses establish their wholesale jewelry operations. This membership provides valuable resources such as continuing education, mentorships, and a supportive community of like-minded professionals.

Emerging Designer members are gems and gemstone jewelry wholesalers and manufacturers that sell and distribute solely in a wholesale manner to industry retailers and not to consumers. As a member, you will have access to benefits that connect you with leading industry retailers, including the use of member mailing lists, value-added marketing opportunities, and networking. In addition, you will have access to Conclave, the industry’s premier education and networking conference.

Membership with the American Gem Society is a testament to your clients that they are conducting business with a firm dedicated to the highest standards of business conduct and ethics in the industry. Please review the details below to learn more about the membership benefits as well as the membership application process.

This firm membership can be held for up to two years, then the firm must meet the qualifications of Supplier Firm membership.

EMERGING DESIGNER MEMBERS

Any company wishing to apply for membership must have been in business for at least one full year and less than three full years, and must have an individual, either the principal or a full-time employee (whose primary place of employment is with the firm’s headquarters or North American office), complete the introductory portion of The AGS Way course, and successfully pass the 15-question final exam to cover the important details of the Society.

“The American Gem Society upholds professionalism and ethics, ensuring we are educated in what we are doing in our business.”
– Scott Berg, CG, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry

As a member of the American Gem Society (AGS), you have access to a variety of exclusive events, programs and services. Here are a few of the advantages of your membership:

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS

  • Certified Gemologist®, CG
  • Registered Supplier, RS

AGS awards professional credentials, known as Titles, designating members as skilled professionals once they have completed comprehensive gemological studies and courses on ethics and business practices. Additionally, each Titleholder is recertified annually. An AGS credential serves as a testament to buyers that they are purchasing from an ethical and knowledgeable supplier.

“The contacts I’ve made through the AGS have made a significant impact on the growth of my business, and the ongoing education has enhanced my career. I’ve made lasting business relationships through the American Gem Society, which I value greatly.”
– Ronnie VanderLinden, Diamex, Inc.

PROFESSIONAL CONSUMER MARKETING SUPPORT

AGS utilizes a dynamic mix of print and digital advertising, PR, publications, online and social media marketing. The goal: create awareness among AGS retailers on the importance of purchasing from a credentialed AGS supplier and drive traffic to your business.

“Supplier Spotlight,” a feature in the quarterly Spectra and semi-monthly e-newsletter, Spectra Update, places you front and center with AGS retailers. The exclusive American Gem Society Membership Directory provides vital information you need to contact influencers at AGS retail stores. Our social media highlights your beautiful jewelry to an audience of over 600,000, which includes consumers—and AGS and trade retailers.

CONTINUING EDUCATION AND NETWORKING

Members are invited to attend the American Gem Society’s annual Conclave, the industry’s premier networking and educational event. Throughout the year, we offer continuing education webinars as well as meetings hosted by the regional Guilds and member groups, such as the Young Titleholders, to advance members’ education and networking.

Conclave is a great way to meet decision makers at AGS retail firms.

“What first stood out to me about being an AGS titleholder is the networking and relationships I can develop with people, who are to me, the smartest in the industry. The outlet for these opportunities is Conclave. I’ve always said it’s the best-kept secret in the industry.”
– John Carter, CGA, Jack Lewis Jewelers

We have developed strategic relationships with the following companies in order to help our members increase the profitability of their business operations through lower rates, higher customer service, and incentive programs.

JEWELERS MUTUAL GROUP

Jewelers Mutual Group is the only insurance company solely dedicated to the jewelry industry. Find an agent to learn more about strengthening your business with Jewelers Mutual or discover some of the extra benefits offered to AGS members on your own.

JM SHIPPING SOLUTION

Rethink the way you ship! Compare options side-by-side, access incentive programs and intelligently insure your packages, all from one, easy-to-use platform – JM Shipping Solution™.

The American Gem Society has a number of tools that can help you stay on top of best practices, or allow you to provide thought leadership to the membership. Write articles for Spectra or Spectra Update, or abstracts and white papers for AGS PRO. AGS Go is our app, which has links to the membership directory, as well as a Find a Vendor search which allows AGS retailers to find you quickly and easily.

    1. Please complete the online application. The Membership Team can reach out to the references you provide on the application to assist in collecting the letters of recommendation.
    2. As part of the application process the firm must have at least one individual, either the principal or a full-time employee (whose primary place of employment is with the firm’s headquarters or North American office), complete the introductory portion of The AGS Way course, and successfully complete the 15-question final exam to cover the important details of the Society. The Membership Team will assist in facilitating the completion of this education upon receipt of your firm’s application.
    3. The Membership Department creates a membership file with the necessary details of your firm, and presents the file to the Chair of the Membership Committee. The Chair will carefully review your file, and make one of the following recommendations:
      1. Acceptance: Your Company has met the AGS standards to become a member and is officially an active firm.
      2. Rejection: Your Company does not meet the requirements or standards of AGS membership at this time. You may appeal this decision in writing to the International Board of Directors. There is a two-year waiting period to re-apply if your firm is denied membership.
    4. A summary of your file with the Chair’s recommendation is then submitted to the Membership Committee. The committee is a confidentially seated group of approximately 11 AGS members who are long-standing and active participants of the Society. Once a majority vote has been received, the status of your application is determined.
    5. If your firm is accepted into the membership, it is considered an active firm member of the AGS, and will gain access to the full membership benefits. Emerging Designer Membership is limited to two (2) years. At the end of the term, members have the opportunity to convert their membership into Supplier Members.
    DUES INFORMATION Annual membership dues are billed at the time of election. Titleholders and designees attached to member firms are billed an annual recertification fee during the recertification period. Invoices are billed to the firm at the launch of the period.

Questions? Email [email protected].

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