Retail Firm Membership

Retail Firm members are retail jewelers with physical storefronts that sell gems and gemstone jewelry to consumers. As a member, you will have the ability to earn professional credentials, be active in the community of jewelers that set the standard for business conduct and ethics, and 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 shopping with an ethical, credentialed jewelry professional. Please review the details below to learn more about the membership benefits as well as the membership application process.

RETAIL FIRM MEMBERS The company must have been in business for at least two full years, and must have an individual, either the principal or a full-time employee, satisfy the requirements for the Registered Jeweler (RJ) title. The prerequisite education for the RJ title is the Applied Jewelry Professional (AJP) diploma and the 5-day Diamond Grading Laboratory or 5-day Gem Identification Laboratory, or equivalent education through Gem-A or other approved institutions. Following the prerequisite education, the individual must successfully complete the AGS Way course to earn the RJ title.
“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
  • Certified Gemologist® Appraiser, CGA
  • Registered Jeweler, RJ

 

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 your customers that they are shopping with an ethical and knowledgeable jeweler.

“American Gem Society credentials significantly differentiate our associates from everyone else out there because it means they have a dedication to education, and to being a professional.”
– Lisa Bridge, CG, Ben Bridge Jeweler

PROFESSIONAL CONSUMER MARKETING SUPPORT

Each year, over six million visitors come to our website and our Find a Jeweler platform, where we connect consumers to you. Our ongoing consumer campaign utilizes a dynamic mix of print and digital advertising, PR, brochures, AGS publications, online, and social media marketing. Our goal: to build consumer awareness of the importance of shopping with a credentialed, professional jeweler, and drive traffic to your store.

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.

Each summer, the American Gem Society hosts the Circle of Distinction Dinner. On this evening, the most prominent members of the jewelry industry gather to honor and recognize the achievements of their peers and colleagues.

“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 INSURANCE 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 SOLUTIONS

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™.

WELLS FARGO

Offers the American Gem Society credit card program that is designed to drive traffic to your store, grow business, and generate customer loyalty. Benefits of the program include consistent customer approvals, competitive credit limits, attractive quarterly promotions, and volume-based rebates that put money back in your pocket. Plus, they offer exclusive rates on their credit card processing.

JEWELERSHEALTHCARE.COM

JewelersHealthCare.com, a division of MyHealthily provides members access to complete healthcare coverage solutions. All plans through JewelersHeatlhcare.com include non-insurance benefits, Prosper Benefits, to help members save on out of pocket healthcare cost. 

The American Gem Society has a number of tools that can help you stay on top of best practices, such as informational articles in Spectra or Spectra Update, or abstracts and white papers for AGS PRO. AGS Go is an app that lets consumers find you through Find a Jeweler; log into the membership section of the app and access the membership directory or membership manual, or search for an AGS vendor who can help you with your business needs, and more valuable features!

  • Please complete the membership application, and submit to the American Gem Society (AGS) headquarters. Please be sure to include the two signatures on the second page as well as the total gross business volume as it drives your membership dues (further explanation to follow). The Membership Department can reach out to the references you provide on the application to assist in collecting the letters of recommendation. Please note that the photos and letter describing your business can be collected at a later date.
  • 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:
    • Acceptance: Your Company has met the AGS standards to become a member and may proceed with becoming an active firm. This will include completing additional education, and possessing a binocular microscope.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • If your firm is accepted into the membership, it is considered an elected firm member of the AGS, and will move on to completing the education requirements for active firm membership status. Your firm must have at least one titleholder on staff that has completed the education requirements within two (2) years of your date of election to achieve active membership status. Active status is required to take advantage of the full membership benefits. If active status is not achieved within two years, the firm risks the membership being withdrawn.

 

DUES INFORMATION

Annual membership dues are based on the volume of business done by your firm. Membership dues are billed at the time of election and may be prorated depending on the date. This shall be in addition to the dues paid by individual members (i.e. titleholders, etc.).

Email the completed application as an attachment to membership@ags.org.