Retail Firm Membership
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Retail Firm

Retail Firm members are retail jewelers with physical storefronts that sell gems and gemstone jewelry to consumers. As a member, you will have the ability to earn professional credentials, be active in the community of jewelers that set the standard for business conduct and ethics, and have access to Conclave, the industry’s premier education and networking conference.

Membership with the American Gem Society is a testament to your clients that they are shopping with an ethical, credentialed jewelry professional. Please review the details below to learn more about the membership benefits as well as the membership application process.


The company must have been in business for at least two full years, and must have an individual, either the principal or a full-time employee, satisfy the requirements for the Registered Jeweler (RJ) title. The prerequisite education for the RJ title is the Applied Jewelry Professional (AJP) diploma and the 5-day Diamond Grading Laboratory or 5-day Gem Identification Laboratory, or equivalent education through Gem-A or other approved institutions. Following the prerequisite education, the individual must successfully complete the AGS Way course to earn the RJ title.

“The American Gem Society upholds professionalism and ethics, ensuring we are educated in what we are doing in our business.”
– Scott Berg, CG, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry

As a member of the American Gem Society (AGS), you have access to a variety of exclusive events, programs and services. Here are a few of the advantages of your membership:


  • Certified Gemologist®, CG
  • Certified Gemologist® Appraiser, CGA
  • Registered Jeweler, RJ

AGS awards professional credentials, known as Titles, designating members as skilled professionals once they have completed comprehensive gemological studies and courses on ethics and business practices. Additionally, each Titleholder is recertified annually. An AGS credential serves as a testament to your customers that they are shopping with an ethical and knowledgeable jeweler.

“American Gem Society credentials significantly differentiate our associates from everyone else out there because it means they have a dedication to education, and to being a professional.”
– Lisa Bridge, CG, Ben Bridge Jeweler


Each year, over six million visitors come to our website and our Find a Jeweler platform, where we connect consumers to you. Our ongoing consumer campaign utilizes a dynamic mix of print and digital advertising, PR, brochures, AGS publications, online, and social media marketing. Our goal: to build consumer awareness of the importance of shopping with a credentialed, professional jeweler, and drive traffic to your store.


Members are invited to attend the American Gem Society’s annual Conclave, the industry’s premier networking and educational event. Throughout the year, we offer continuing education webinars as well as meetings hosted by the regional Guilds and member groups, such as the Young Titleholders, to advance members’ education and networking.

Each summer, the American Gem Society hosts the Circle of Distinction Dinner. On this evening, the most prominent members of the jewelry industry gather to honor and recognize the achievements of their peers and colleagues.

“What first stood out to me about being an AGS titleholder is the networking and relationships I can develop with people, who are to me, the smartest in the industry. The outlet for these opportunities is Conclave. I’ve always said it’s the best-kept secret in the industry.”
– John Carter, CGA, Jack Lewis Jewelers

We have developed strategic relationships with the following companies in order to help our members increase the profitability of their business operations through lower rates, higher customer service, and incentive programs.


Customize your insurance coverage to fit your business with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group, and ask how mentioning personal jewelry insurance to your customers could earn you additional revenue.


The AGS Credit Card Program is available through Wells Fargo Financial National Bank and offers your customers convenient financing. This business tool provides members with options designed to increase customer loyalty and sales, such as consistent customer approvals, competitive credit limits, and attractive promotions

Wells Fargo Merchant Services provides payment processing solutions so businesses can easily accept credit and debit card payments. With options that are easy to set up and tailored for your business, you can quickly start accepting payments, have access to funds as soon as the next business day with a linked Wells Fargo deposit account, and access personal service and support when you need it. And as an AGS member, you’ll benefit from preferred pricing and a dedicated Account Manager.


GemFind has provided web technology solutions to the jewelry industry for over 17 years. From consultation, design, development, launch-to-complete online marketing, GemFind is a one-stop shop for many retailers. With their knowledgeable staff and consultants, they will understand your needs and can come up with a tailor-made technology solution.


Launched by MJM Global, provides access to healthcare coverage that offers immediate savings and simple enrollment. They know the diverse insurance needs required by jewelers, and thusly, strive to provide comprehensive plans that cover the well-being of your employees as well as the valuable tools that you use everyday.

  • Please complete the membership application, and submit to the American Gem Society (AGS) headquarters. Please be sure to include the two signatures on the second page as well as the total gross business volume as it drives your membership dues (further explanation to follow). The Membership Department can reach out to the references you provide on the application to assist in collecting the letters of recommendation. Please note that the photos and letter describing your business can be collected at a later date.
  • The Membership Department creates a membership file with the necessary details of your firm, and presents the file to the Chair of the Membership Committee. The Chair will carefully review your file, and make one of the following recommendations:
  • Acceptance: Your Company has met the AGS standards to become a member and may proceed with becoming an active firm. This will include completing additional education, and possessing a binocular microscope.
  • Rejection: Your Company does not meet the requirements or standards of AGS membership at this time. You may appeal this decision in writing to the International Board of Directors. There is a two-year waiting period to re-apply if your firm is denied membership.
  • A summary of your file with the Chair’s recommendation is then submitted to the Membership Committee. The committee is a confidentially seated group of approximately 11 AGS members who are long-standing and active participants of the Society. Once a majority vote has been received, the status of your application is determined.
  • If your firm is accepted into the membership, it is considered an elected firm member of the AGS, and will move on to completing the education requirements for active firm membership status. Your firm must have at least one titleholder on staff that has completed the education requirements within two (2) years of your date of election to achieve active membership status. Active status is required to take advantage of the full membership benefits. If active status is not achieved within two years, the firm risks the membership being withdrawn.


Annual membership dues are based on the volume of business done by your firm. Membership dues are billed at the time of election and may be prorated depending on the date. This shall be in addition to the dues paid by individual members (i.e. titleholders, etc.).


Download Application


Email the completed application as an attachment to


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