News & Press: American Gem Society News

Top Six Highlights of Conclave 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017  
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With an event as exciting as Conclave, it's a challenge to focus on just a few favorites. From the celebrity Keynotes to the always emotional Robert M. Shipley Award Luncheon, to the fun-packed President's do you choose? After much debate, we agreed that the following six are certainly among the best of the best!

#6 - The #AGSconclave Social Media Feed

Our social media feed was on fire from the get-go with the #AGSconclave hashtag. A close second was #puppiesatconclave and then #AGSconclave2017. Thank you to all our members who graciously uploaded their photos and shared their experiences. Those who were unable to attend Conclave lived vicariously through you! Here are just a few examples of these fabulous posts.

social media post social media post
social media post social media post


#5 - Joel Zeff

What can we say? We had a rollicking good time with our emcee extraordinaire, Joel Zeff! He made us laugh at ourselves, like his riff (or should we say, "ruff") on #puppiesatconclave.

Joel Zeff


#4 - Jay Leno's Live Auction

Following his performance at the Opening Lunch, Jay Leno conducted a special live auction, which was for a one-hour tour of his personal car collection. The bidding was hot! The final bid actually went to six lucky winners, with a total of $30,000 going to Jewelers for Children (JFC).

Congratulations to Susan Jacques; Cathy Calhoun, CGA; Chuck McCluer; Ronnie VanderLinden; John Barnes; and Sushil Chocksey!


#3 - Cathy Calhoun, CGA, Receiving Shipley Award

The "Queen" has been awarded the 2017 Robert M. Shipley Award. Cathy Calhoun, CGA, of Calhoun Jewelers, has received this most prestigious award for her commitment to the jewelry industry, and for her outstanding service and dedication to the American Gem Society. Congratulations Cathy!

People always wonder if the Shipley winner knew in advance. Cathy put that to rest this year, as she was so caught off-guard and surprised that Clayton Bromberg, CG, who presented her with the award, had to convince her to come to the stage, and that yes— she had actually won!

Clayton Bromberg presents Shipley to Cathy Calhoun


#2 - Alfred "Al" Woodill at Conclave

We were thrilled to have Al Woodill attend this year's Conclave! He's an extraordinary man who once worked side-by-side with Robert M. Shipley. A true industry icon!

Al Woodill and Katherine Bodoh Al Woodill at Shipley Luncheon


#1 - Tribute to Ruth Batson, RJ, the Outgoing CEO of AGS and AGS Laboratories

Conclave ended on a bittersweet note with a touching toast from the membership, led by Scott Berg, CG, president of the AGS Board of Directors. The toast ended with this video, a tribute from the AGS Board members. After the video, the houselights came up and Ruth's favorite song, "Dream On," by Aerosmith, played on the PA. 

Toast to Ruth Batson, RJ




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