News & Press: Jewelry and Industry

Top Four Holiday Shopping Tips

Tuesday, November 19, 2019  
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Trying on ring in storeIt's not unusual for the American Gem Society (AGS) to receive questions from shoppers seeking jewelry buying tips, especially during the holiday season. To help ease some of the pressure during this hectic season, we'd like to share our four most frequently asked questions.

“How do I know if I’m getting a good deal?”

Trust your jeweler. Do your research, read reviews of their store, ask friends and shop with a credentialed jeweler that holds an AGS title, such as a Registered Jeweler (RJ) or a Certified Gemologist® (CG). We take great efforts to vet all of our members, to make sure that they continue their gemological education and that they adhere to the AGS standards of ethics and integrity.

Click here to learn more about the importance of shopping with an AGS jeweler. To find a jeweler near you, visit americangemsociety.org/findajeweler.

“Before I buy jewelry with gems that have been altered to enhance their appearance, is there anything I need to know?”

Make sure that the jewelry comes with the proper disclosures and that you understand how to care for the gemstones. Ask your jeweler if the treatments are permanent. For example, fracture-filled diamonds can have their filling damaged by an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaning. Some irradiated stones are susceptible to color change with high heat such as that from a jeweler’s torch.

“What advice do you have when shopping for diamonds?”

Ask for a diamond that comes with an independent diamond grading report, specifically, an AGS Laboratories diamond grading report. AGS Laboratories is a nonprofit lab created with a mission of consumer protection.

A diamond grading report from AGS Laboratories offers a simple, straightforward grading scale and provides all the information you need to be comfortable with your diamond-buying decision. Visit americangemsociety.org/agsdiamondgrading to learn more.

“When should I get an appraisal?” 

There are different kinds of appraisals for different purposes. The most common reason for an appraisal is to obtain insurance to ensure a replacement of equal quality and value in the event of damage or loss.

For this purpose, either an Insurance Replacement Appraisal or Statement of Replacement Cost should be requested. The Insurance Replacement Appraisal represents the retail replacement cost with a comparable item.

The Statement of Replacement Cost is provided by the actual seller of the item of jewelry and will report the actual selling price based on the normal selling price of that item in that particular store. In general, you want to get your appraisal updated every two years, or if you have a significant life change, like a change of address. Of course, the best reason to get an appraisal is if the piece has significant meaning to you.

To find an AGS appraiser near you, such as a Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (CGA) or Independent Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (ICGA), visit americangemsociety.org/findanappraiser.

If you have more questions, you can reach out to any AGS member jeweler or AGS appraiser, and they’ll be happy to assist you.


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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

8881 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117

info@ags.org (866) 805-6500