Invited by the American Gem Society we all waited noisily for the announcement. Ruth Batson, AGS Executive Director and CEO, quietly took the stage to announce that the American Gem Society (AGS), has acquired the remaining forty-nine percent (49%) interest of American Gem Society Laboratories (AGS Labs) that it does not currently own, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of the AGS. AGS previously held a fifty-one percent (51%) majority stake in AGS Labs since its formation in 1996.
A little bit of history may help you realize the importance of this move and the effect of the AGS Lab on the Diamond Industry...in particular in the area of recognizing the influence of CUT!
AGS Labs was created more than 15 years ago when the Society recognized the diamond world (suppliers, retailers and consumers) would benefit from a laboratory held to a higher standard of diamond grading. With that in mind, AGS and private industry investors founded AGS Labs to ensure consistent diamond grading reports that specialized in the Cut Grade.
The Society knew its cut grading system would change the world of diamond cutting, giving the consumer a more beautiful product, and providing the AGS retailer with an important tool that would help build value in their service.
In a nutshell, the AGS had what no one else had: a standard for grading cut on a round brilliant diamond. More than15 years later, AGS Labs is still the recognized leader for the Cut Grade.
“While AGS needed private investors to launch AGS Labs, the original intent was to always have it be a wholly-owned subsidiary,” said Ruth Batson, AGS Executive Director and CEO. “The buyout benefits the AGS members and the AGS Lab’s clients allowing the combined forces to work more closely together to better service the customers of the Labs and the members of the AGS. AGS Labs will continue to have its own board of directors and will keep its focus on consumer protection.”
“When our AGS committee; made up of myself, Mark Moeller, Andy Meyer and Bob Speisman, made the recommendation that AGS open a Diamond Grading Lab taking advantage of its strength of having a standard for Cut Grading diamonds, we all knew that we had a pretty solid idea that we could sell to jewelry industry investors that would help AGS deliver on its mission of protecting the consumer,” said Clayton Bromberg, Managing Member of the AGS Lab Investors and President, Underwood Jewelers, Inc. “What none of us knew then was that what the Lab did was going to change the world of diamond cutting for the better, not just for the consumer but also for the diamond cutting trade and the honest, ethical retail jeweler. The day has come when AGS now owns the Labs, wholly buying the investors out and we all look forward to watching both AGS and the AGS Labs continue to soar.”
Incoming President of the Board for AGS, David Gardner referred to the group of supporter/investors that got the AGS Lab up and running as "...the most visionary, risk taking group of individuals in the history of the AGS!"“I want to thank the AGS Lab Board of Managers and the investors for their forward thinking, which helped put the Lab on the map,” said David Gardner, of David Gardner’s Jewelers, and President of the AGS Board of Directors. “We’ve had an incredible past; here’s to an even more incredible future!”
Gardner also took a moment to recognize the diligent efforts of out-going President of the Board of Directors, Cathy Calhoun who was present for the announcement!
About American Gem Society
The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge, and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. The American Gem Society is a professional organization awarding credentials for its members, who are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their titles. Less than five percent of jewelers in the country have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership.
For more information regarding the American Gem Society, please call 866.805.6500, or visit
About AGS Laboratories
The AGS Laboratories, established in 1996, is committed to protecting the consumer by providing unbiased reports based on the highest standards of diamond grading. Well-known for its famous cut grade technology, the American Gem Society Lab offers the premier scientific, peer reviewed, and repeatable diamond grading methodology for the jewelry industry.
For more information on the AGS Performance-Based cut grade system, or any of the AGS Laboratories’ products and services, please visit www.agslab.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.