Facebook Favorites – January 2015

By: Amanda L. Colborn

With January coming to an end, we wanted to take a moment to recognize some of the awesome engagement we have received on our American Gem Society Facebook page.

January was one of our best months yet and features images from members including: Ritani, Forevermark, Steven Kretchmer Design, Omi Privé, Simon G. Jewelry and many more!

Of the posts that were displayed in January, the following five received the top engagement, which includes likes, shares and comments:



First up, we have gorgeous ring from Simon G. Jewelry.  This ring features a huge emerald cut stone, set in silver and surrounded by a halo of white diamonds.  This post really resonated with our audience, not just because of the jewelry but the awesome details surrounding the piece that accentuate it’s beauty perfectly.  We love this picture and that beautiful emerald ring!



Emeralds were popular this month because coming in at number four, is a stunning emerald ring from Molina Fine Jewelers.  This big, bold and beautiful ring features a square cut emerald.  The setting is unique, a yellow gold claw prong setting which helps draw the eye to the center stone. The diamond-encrusted silver band adds the perfect touch to really make this ring a show stopper!



Number three is a huge and amazing blue topaz ring from Goshwara.  If you love blue topaz, or you’re born in December — then this is the ring for you!  A giant stone, surrounded by sparkling diamonds making this ring an eye-catching embellishment to any outfit.  Our Facebook audience always responds well to large gemstones, and we can tell by the engagement that we hit the nail on the head with this image.



Multiple designs often do well on our Facebook page and these beauties from Steven Kretchmer Design were no exception. These designs are part of Steven Kretchmer’s Tension-Set™ Collection and are unique because it literally appears as if the stone is just suspended in the ring.  This gives you a 360 degree view of the entire stone, so greater detail while allowing you to really appreciate every aspect of the gorgeous gem.



Last and certainly not least, we found our winner for January in Forevermark. The fancy yellow diamond rings are each completely different, yet totally and equally beautiful. Ranging from no halo to a double halo, it is impossible to miss the level of detail and thought that goes behind each of these incredible designs.  Our audience loved commenting on this image and pointing out their favorite. To be honest, we couldn’t pick just one to love!

And there we have it, your January 2015 Facebook Favorites! Tell us which of these YOU like best!

So fancy!

By Alethea Inns, CG

Did you know that diamonds aren’t just round?  They are cut in all shapes and styles to suit any personality or occasion.

With diamonds, a “fancy shape” is anything other than a round.  Usually, the rough diamond crystal is shaped as an octahedron – a three-dimensional shape with eight faces, much like two pyramids stuck together at their base.  When the diamond crystal isn’t the typical octahedron because of how it was formed in the earth or transported to the surface, diamonds are cut into fancy shapes to get maximum yield from the crystal.

Fancy shapes are often cut by hand because they require extra attention to make sure the facets suit the individual rough.  This means that fancy shaped diamonds have a much broader range of proportions, and that has made it difficult for researchers to determine what the most pleasing proportion sets are to the human eye.

That being said, the American Gem Society Laboratories is the only diamond grading laboratory that has managed to create a comprehensive cut grade analysis on a selection of fancy shapes.  The American Gem Society Laboratories’ fancy shape cut grade is based on three-dimensional scans of the diamond that determine how light interacts with the diamond and returns to your eye.  If you are buying a fancy shape with superior cut, you want to be sure it is accompanied by an AGS Laboratories report.  With our patented technology, you can be sure you are getting consistency and accuracy based on science, and a truly bright, beautiful fancy shaped diamond for the one you love.

Diamond cut shapes

Diamond cut shapes

Gorgeous Garnets

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society

As someone born in January, I’ve become a big fan of my birthstone, the garnet. I have several pieces of jewelry featuring this gem, all the deep rich hue of red. My favorite is a pair of briolette earrings with two garnets dangling at the end. For the longest time, I thought, like many people, that garnets only came in that one color. Then about ten years ago, I came across a mandarin orange ring that I fell in love with and “just had to buy.”

Today, I saw this photo from AGS member Omi Prive of a spessartite garnet, and I have to admit, it’s my new jewelry crush. It’s a 7.86 carat cushion cut—which also happens to be my favorite cut. Though spessartite garnets don’t always come in this lovely shade of orange, it tends to be what they are known for.

Don't think just red when you think about Garnets!

Don’t think just red when you think about garnets!

Fun garnet fact: this delightful gem dates back to 3100 BC, when the Egyptians used it in inlay jewelry. Read more about garnets here.

To my fellow January babies, Happy Birthday, and enjoy your birthstone. It’s one of nature’s finest gifts to us!

Finding Your Jeweler

By Alethea Inns, CG

happy young romantic couple in love buy jewelry ring in luxury s






As a jewelry industry professional, I am often asked where to find a jeweler, how to find one that is trustworthy, or where to get professional appraisals.  My answer is always the same.  Find an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler or appraiser, and you are guaranteed a jewelry industry professional committed to your best interests.  AGS credentialed jewelers are pledged to consumer protection, business ethics, and continued education.  Jewelry stores that are AGS members are admitted to the Society after going through a series of approvals by an anonymous panel of fellow industry professionals, and their qualifications from education to business practices are examined.  Only one out of 20 jewelry stores qualifies for this prestigious distinction.

As an AGS member, each store has a number of Titleholders – individuals that have extensive gemological, jewelry, and appraisal education verified by the American Gem Society.  AGS titles are the only professional credentials in the jewelry industry, because they are the only ones that are the result of an assessment process, require professional experience, indicate adherence to a set of standards, have ongoing requirements in order to maintain them, and are awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization.  Often the educational requirements for an AGS Title include the Graduate Gemologist diploma (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), but Titleholders are also required to prove their commitment to the “AGS Way” through additional tests and an annual recertification exam.

There are a number of AGS Titles to look for when you seek out your jeweler or appraiser.  Registered Jewelers (RJs) and Certified Gemologists (CGs) have a background in gemology and business ethics, while Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGAs) and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers (ICGAs) have more extensive education and experience with appraisals.  No matter the AGS Title your jeweler or appraiser holds, they belong to an elite group of jewelry industry professionals committed to you, and backed by the American Gem Society.

To find an AGS credentialed jeweler or appraiser in your area, visit:



Jewelry Buying Tips from the Pros

By Donna Jolly, RJ
American Gem Society


cropped-blogbanner1.pngYou know it’s the holiday season when magazines and blogs run a “shopping tips” article. We thought, though, that you should hear advice from the people actually in the field who have learned a thing or two about best-buying practices: the jewelers. Of course, these are not just any retailers. They are American Gem Society credentialed jewelers.  Every day, they help their customers find the perfect piece of jewelry, whether it’s finding the right style or fitting the right budget—or both. Here is some solid advice straight from a few jewelers:

Catherine Fitzgibbon, CGA, from Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers:  “Buyer beware when it comes to 80% off sales, just remember 80% off of what?  An overinflated retail price that is not realistic?

Also, your buying experience should be fun and enjoyable. Ask a lot of questions and make sure you are comfortable with the answers.  The staff should be professional, well-educated with superior product knowledge and be able to provide detailed accurate answers to all of your questions.  If the salesperson doesn’t know what they are selling, then how do you know what you are buying?

Lastly, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  Go with your gut feeling on this one as it is probably right.”

Jim Summa, CGA, Summa Jewelry:  “If a man is shopping for a gift of jewelry for a woman, we recommend to try and pick up on the style of jewelry she wears before you even walk in a jewelry store. Does she like stud earrings or dangle style? Does she wear yellow, white, rose metals or a combination? Has she dropped any hints lately about what she would like to have or has admired on a friend? It helps to narrow down some choices when there are a lot to pick from. Also ask about wish list items that may be on file at the store. Many salespeople keep notes throughout the year when customers stop in for a routine visit.”

John Carter, CGA, Jack Lewis Jewelers:  “Don’t be afraid to take a chance and get something for your loved one that you’re not positive he/she will love. Go out on a limb and choose something that YOU think they will love.  Probing and asking too many questions can ruin the surprise and the holidays are about the magic of choosing something to express how much that person is appreciated. If you tip them off to what you’re planning it can take away from that moment and how they feel when they see it. Any reputable store should have a generous enough return policy that will allow for a return or exchange after the holidays. I always tell my clients, ‘I’ll take the risk if you do.’  So go out there and get them something that reminds you of them but most importantly, tell them why!”

Louis Smith, CG, Smithworks Fine Jewelry:  “Be sure to always buy from a jewelry professional and not a sales clerk. You will gain knowledge and feel confident in your fine jewelry purchases. Also, if something is less expensive, the first question should be why?”

We also asked Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company for their advice—because insuring your valuable is always a great tip, right?

“Whether you are buying jewelry for a loved one or are the lucky recipient this holiday season, consider how you’re going to protect your jewelry for years to come. Having worldwide comprehensive coverage, such as our Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance gives you freedom to wear and enjoy your new jewelry now and keep it protected for the future.”

Finally, we have one rock solid piece of advice for shopping for jewelry this holiday season. Shop with a knowledgeable, professional, credentialed jeweler. It will boost your buying confidence and make the shopping experience less stressful. You can find an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler here.

Happy shopping, happy holidays and here’s to a sparkling New Year! We’ll see you in 2015!


The American Gem Society Presents $ 10,000 Check to Local Charity

The American Gem Society recently presented a $10,000 check from the Jewelers for Children (JFC) to The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) as part of a Local Grant Program. JFC, a non-profit organization founded by the jewelry industry in 1999, is dedicated to helping children in need. The charity launched a Local Grant Program in 2013 and continued again this year.  The goal is to fund ten $10,000 grants for local children’s charities around the country. Organizations in the jewelry industry were asked to nominate their favorite local organization, and the American Gem Society nominated CHF.  Public voting on the Jewelers for Children Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JewelersforChildren) determined the charities to receive the grants.

“We are so excited to be able to help The Children’s Heart Foundation,” says Ruth Batson, CEO of The American Gem Society. “It was very personal to us. One our employees at The American Gem Society has a daughter who has been personally helped by The Children’s Heart Foundation, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them, and present this grant in hopes that it will help others!”

More than 15,000 people were motivated to visit the Jewelers for Children Facebook page and vote for their favorite local charity. The American Gem Society worked in conjunction with The Children’s Heart Foundation to encourage people to vote.  Their efforts paid off.

Left to Right: Karl Klein, his daughter Phoebe Rose, Kelley Mazur from the Children’s Heart Foundation and Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories

Left to Right: Karl Klein, his daughter Phoebe Rose, Kelley Mazur from the Children’s Heart Foundation and Ruth Batson, CEO of the American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories


Pantone announces the 2015 Color of the Year!

By Amanda L. Colborn



You’ve likely heard that Pantone has released their Color of the Year for 2015, a warm and spicy shade called “Marsala!”

Upon its release, the team at AGS noticed something very familiar about this shade…it perfectly matches the red garnet gemstone!

Red Garnet polished gemstone

Red Garnet polished gemstone

Because the colors match so perfectly, we wanted to show you some jewelry options that would pair perfectly with Pantone’s Marsala.

Garnet ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs

Garnet ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs

First is a gorgeous red garnet and 14 karat yellow gold ring from Parlé Jewelry Designs.  This ring features a stunning, oval-cut center stone, surrounded by yellow gold and diamonds.

Earrings by Parlé Jewelry Designs

Earrings by Parlé Jewelry Designs

Next, also from Parlé Jewelry Designs, these gorgeous garnet and 14 karat white gold earrings.  Each earring features a beautiful pear-cut garnet surrounded by diamonds.

Garnet ring by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers

Garnet ring by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers

Lastly, this ring by Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers is absolutely breathtaking.  It features a huge, round-cut center garnet, surrounded by white and yellow diamonds as well as more garnets, all set in beautiful rose gold.

You cannot go wrong with any of these options here among countless others to suit your Pantone preferences.  Use our Find A Jeweler tool as well to locate an AGS certified jeweler in your area for even more garnet options.  Enjoy!