AGS Diamond Grading Standards Summary: Talking Points for Your Customers
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When talking to your customers, please include this important piece of history in your sales presentation. It helps them understand the longevity and prominence of the AGS, and the role it has played in our industry for the past 50 years since the first publication. Some points to consider:

  • In 1966, the American Gem Society was the first organization in the United States to publish diamond grading standards.  
  • Only members of the American Gem Society are trained to grade diamonds using these standards.
  • Robert M. Shipley, the founder of AGS, was instrumental in creating the Standards. Mr. Shipley, also formed the Gemological Institue of America.
  • The AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual is historic in the jewelry industry because it was the first of its kind to provide written proof of why a diamond was graded a particular way.
  • The AGS Diamond Grading Standards were created as part of the AGS mission of consumer protection; the standards protect the consumer by spelling out the various aspects of diamond quality and value.  
  • One key significance of the AGS Diamond Grading Standards Manual is that it is the first of its kind to include standards for all 4Cs, including cut. This is important because cut can affect the value of a diamond by more than 50%.
  • To celebrate the anniversary, the American Gem Society has a special section on its website commemorating the release of the AGS Diamond Grading Standards. Please visit for more information. 

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