The word “certified” is a hot-button issue in the gemological world. It is important to you as a consumer of jewelry to ensure the items are appraised by an expert. But where do you go, and what do you look for?
Appraisers are not all the same. The initial appraisal is an important part of the quality control process. Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers—meaning appraisers who don’t work for the selling jeweler—are an important check and balance.
The American Gem Society
The “Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser,” certification is provided by the American Gem Society, “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.” Their top mission is to protect the consumer.
The AGS was founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley. The jewelry scene in the States at the time was a mess. Shipley made it his business to help standardize the appraisal industry. The jewelers and appraisers he trained would form the foundation of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Gem Society. The AGS would also innovate and develop its own cut, color, and clarity standards. It invented the industry’s first scientifically reviewed, objective, and repeatable Cut Grade Method.
It is the American Gem Society’s goal to go beyond governing law to ensure consumers are buying jewelry from those with the knowledge and skill to make sure they are making the best possible decisions.
The American Gem Society’s Ethical Practices
In order to maintain membership, jewelers in the American Gem Society agree to:
- Provide full disclosure of all facts pertaining to the products they sell.
- Never intentionally deceive their employees, consumers, vendors, or business partners.
- Compete fairly and never speak unprofessionally about their competitors. Likewise, encourage their colleagues in the jewelry industry to embrace these principals.
- Resolve any customer complaints relating to the sale of a product.
- Not sell conflict diamonds. AGS jewelers must make every effort to fully comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties.
- Continue their gemological and jewelry education, always improving their knowledge and keeping up with trends in jewelry and ethical business practices.
- Adhere to the Anti-money Laundering (AML) program, which is designed to comply with the USA Patriot Act.
The Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser
“This title is most highly regarded amongst peers in the industry… This title represents those individuals whose sole business is appraising. There are only 27 ICGAs in the entire world! ICGA’s do not purchase or sell diamonds, gemstones, or jewelry.” To receive the designation, the applicant has also received the American Gem Society’s other certifications as well—a Registered Supplier (RS), Certified Gemologist (CM), and Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), as well as extensive training valuing objects.
American Gem Registry:
An Independent Certified Gemologist Appriaser Since 2006
The American Gem Registry has been an independent certified gemologist appraiser (ICGA) since 2006, and has been renewing that certification annually since then. We are Colorado’s oldest Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser!
Follow the links below to learn more about the certifications, or schedule an appointment with us today!