About the American Gem Society | Jewelry Association
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About AGS

Robert M. Shipley, founder of the AGS and GIAThe American Gem Society (AGS) was founded in 1934 by a small group of leading jewelers. Their goal was to create an organization that could help protect the jewelry-buying public from fraud and false advertising. Today, we’re proud to say their vision has become a reality.

Approximately 3,400 jewelers, retailers, suppliers, individual titleholders and affiliates have joined the American Gem Society and have dedicated themselves to consumer protection, ethical business practices, and development and maintenance of superior gemological skills and knowledge.

Only one in twenty jewelers have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership. To join the AGS, every member must go through a peer-reviewed application process followed by an annual recertification exam. This process ensures that every AGS member you meet is at the top of their game, and more importantly, each one has pledged to protect you, the consumer.

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AGS and AGS Laboratories Corporate and Social Responsibility

Based on the AGS Code of Ethics, the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories are keenly aware of the corporate and social responsibilities under which we operate and the model we set for the AGS membership. We understand the economic and social choices we make can affect not only the ongoing mission of the AGS, but the businesses of each of the AGS members, our Laboratory clients, partners, employees and communities.

AGS and AGS Laboratories are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior in our interactions within the various segments of the jewelry industry and specifically with our clients who utilize the Laboratories for grading services. We are committed to fair business practices and the fair treatment of AGS members, AGS Laboratories’ clients and our employees.

Through the AGS Board of Directors and AGS Laboratories Advisory Committee, policies are reviewed to ensure effective strategies are in place to enhance membership and education programs as well as ensure the AGS Laboratories grading and testing capabilities are maintained to protect the consumer.

Our human resources policies protect the rights of our employees as mandated by applicable laws. Through the AGS Employee Code of Conduct, we maintain strict policies with regard to fairness and equality in the workplace, to provide a safe, respectful, open and honest environment for all employees, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or disability. Recognizing our employees are key to our mission, we strive to offer our employees engaging career paths, providing professional training in gemological, management and leadership fields where appropriate.

We maintain and encourage open, constructive suggestions from all members of the organization that relate to methods, procedures, working conditions and the nature of the work performed. We establish policies to provide wages, salaries and employee benefits that bear a fair and reasonable relationship to the work performed.

The most important contribution AGS and AGS Laboratories can make is to perform our activities as efficiently and responsibly as possible and to encourage our members and clients to do likewise. Our pledge is to adhere to the highest standards of business practices and ethics, respecting fundamental human rights and conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner.

At AGS and AGS Laboratories and within the AGS membership firms, our communities are important to us. We find it essential to support those causes that give back to children, disadvantaged families and other areas of the community where we are able to contribute. We do this through industry fundraising events, local fundraising efforts and local projects that provide the opportunity to engage and give back.


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