Celebrating over 50 years of AGS Diamond Grading Standards
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Celebrating 50+ years of Excellence

With the publication of this Manual, the American Gem Society seeks to achieve standardization of diamond grading among its own membership — a significant segment of the American jewelry industry. Diamond Grading Standards will establish a basis for understanding between the AGS jeweler and the diamond purchaser. They will afford protection for both the buyer and the seller by spelling out the various aspects of diamond quality and value, and by providing a strong framework for fair competition.
-Excerpt from the Diamond Grading Standards Introduction. April 22, 1966

In 1966, the American Gem Society (AGS) launched their now historic AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual to its membership. The Standards were the first of its kind.

While nomenclature had been established by 1966, the AGS Standards was the first standardization of a diamond grading methodology. It also was the first of its kind to include grading systems for all 4Cs.

The AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual was the result of ten years of planning and research by a committee of retailers, diamond cutters and world-renowned gemologists. Published to support the AGS mission of consumer protection, the AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual protected the fine jewelry consumer by clarifying certain aspects of diamond quality and value. The Standards served as a tool for the jeweler to use at the sales counter, which in turn, gave AGS jewelers a means to clearly communicate the qualities of a diamond, and build a more trusting relationship with their customer.

The anniversary of the Diamond Grading Standards coincides with another important milestone: the 20th anniversary of the AGS Laboratories. In 1996, AGS leadership recognized a need in the jewelry industry for a diamond-grading laboratory that shared its mission of consumer protection and optimal business practices and ethics. Twenty years later, AGS Laboratories is the only nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with that mission. In the past two decades, AGS Laboratories has developed a reputation for providing diamond grading reports that offer consistency and accuracy based on science, and gives both the jeweler and the consumer peace of mind about a diamond purchase.

To celebrate, the American Gem Society has created this page, commemorating the anniversary of the Standards. Click below to read the original Standards, watch a video from former Executive Director of the AGS, Al Woodill, and one from AGS Laboratories Director, Jason Quick. Additionally, we've created a summary to help you better discuss the significance of the Standards on our industry.


1966 Diamond Grading Standard

Al Woodill Discusses the American Gem Society Diamond Grading Standards

Celebrating 50 Years of AGS Diamond Grading Standards


AGS Diamond Grading Standards Summary

Photo Archive





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