The American Gem Society

What Is the American Gem Society?

The American Gem Society was established in 1934 by a select group of independent jewelers and Robert M. Shipley, founder of the prestigious school of gemology, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

It was their vision to create an association dedicated to setting and maintaining the highest possible standards of business ethics and professionalism in the jewelry industry. Today, American Gem Society members continue their dedication to ethics, knowledge and consumer protection.

The Most Knowledgeable Professionals, AGS Members:
Only a small percentage of those who apply for membership in the American Gem Society are awarded membership. In order for a firm to become a member of the American Gem Society they must meet the following criteria:

The firm owners, principals, or employees must have a high level of gemological knowledge. This includes having at least one full-time employee who has studied and completed an Accredited or Graduate Program from the GIA or Gemological Association of Great Britain.  This individual must hold a title of either Registered Jeweler, Certified Gemologist, or Certified Gemologist Appraiser.

The firm must hold a reputation for unquestioned integrity in the business community and must be operated in a way that will enhance the confidence of the public in the jewelry industry.

The owners and principals must demonstrate that they are genuinely interested in high business ethics and the firm exemplifies this belief.

The firm must be a retail or supplier jewelry business that has been established for at least two years and has demonstrated financial stability.

The Highest Code of Ethics:
To ensure our members practice the highest standard of business ethics, the Society prohibits certain business practices, including:

Advertising which in any way is not the truth or has the intent to be misleading.

Advertising or setting artificially high prices as the regular price to allow a fictitious sale price or supposed discount.

Representing itself as a wholesaler and selling to the consumer.

Employing the technique of bait and switch, which is attempting to influence customers to buy an article carrying a high mark-up in place of an article requested.

Failing to advertise in accordance with recommendations set forth by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

Any member found in violation of the Society’s code of ethics is subject to investigation and possible expulsion.