Your Vote Counts! Help American Gem Society nominated Children’s Heart Foundation receive $10k.

CHF Logo

The American Gem Society has nominated the Children’s Heart Foundation to receive one of ten, $10,000 grants being offered by Jewelers for Children.  This local charity has a special place in our hearts, as it has helped the child of one of our own.

The Foundation has Four Main Goals:

  • to provide a carefree camp experience for children with heart conditions
  • to educate healthcare professionals and the general public on pediatric cardiology issues
  • to lend support to families as they deal with the emotional and financial toll exacted by a child’s heart problems
  • to support research in the area of pediatric cardiology

The grant will go a long ways to ensure that they are able to continue to deliver on their goals.

This is our opportunity to give back. Voting for the grant runs through today. The Children’s Heart Foundation must be in the top ten when voting concludes in order to receive one of the grants. We ask that throughout the day everyone that can, please vote and share the information with as many people as possible. We want to give back to an organization that has given so much.

Voting is simple. Click here and click vote. Just a few seconds of your time can go a long way in helping children with heart problems. From all of us at the American Gem Society we thank you in advance for your Vote and support.

Staying Current: Updating Your Jewelry Appraisal

diamond rings

Photo Courtesy of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company

by Jessica VandenHouten, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company

Did you know that your jewelry may not be covered for its current value?

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company offers an option to protect your treasured jewelry with their Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage. Given how easily a loss may occur, coupled with the financial expense of replacing the piece, insuring your jewelry for its current retail replacement value is important.

Your jewelry is likely worth more now than when it was purchased.

With an increased risk of loss and theft during the holidays, now is the time to visit your local AGS jeweler for an updated appraisal or evaluation. Then adjust your coverage limits accordingly.

Without yearly jewelry inspections and re-evaluations, you run the risk of being underinsured and incurring additional out-of-pocket expense for repair or replacement in the event of loss or damage.

Visit your AGS jeweler to update your values. Then contact Jewelers Mutual to ensure you get the right amount of Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance coverage.

Jewelers Mutual is an alternative to other insurance companies. Coverage is subject to the provisions, limitations, exclusions and endorsements in the policy and the level of coverage you select.

Can Crazy be the 5th “C”?

By Katie DaCosta, Craig’s Fine Jewelry


I remember learning about the 4 “C’s” long before I had any business thinking about diamond rings. Years later, my college roommates and I would spend hours on Tiffany’s website, driving ourselves crazy, creating the perfect ring. At that point, it was so much more about the ring than the guy. Did any of us know what type of Ramen we were eating that night? Nope. But we knew what we wanted our rings to look like and that was enough for us.


For centuries, diamonds have been at the very heart of some of the world’s biggest heists, wars, and most importantly; romances. But what is it about these elusive gems that causes people to do everything from falling in love to carrying out robberies? Love and lust are two of the most powerful human emotions and drive people to actions they might have never considered.

What else could drive a sorority girl to leave behind the sunny skies of California and travel across the country to enroll in Harvard Law School a la Elle Woods in Legally Blonde? Elle’s mission from the very start of the film is to secure her boyfriend’s family heirloom ring. She discusses the supposed impending proposal with her friend:

“But I’m not positive it’ll happen tonight. Hello! He just had lunch with his grandmother. You know he got the rock. Why else would she fly in from Newport? She wouldn’t FedEx a six-carat diamond. Do you really think? I can’t believe you’re getting engaged!”

Alas, Elle has gotten so crazed over acquiring this “rock” that she doesn’t even realize her boyfriend is breaking up with her instead of proposing. Nevertheless, it is this crazy desire that spurs Elle to go to Harvard and actually realize her dream to become an attorney.


So, do diamonds make us crazy? Maybe. But I like to think that they’re crazy beautiful and you’d really have to be crazy not to think so.

The American Gem Society

by Beau Davis, CSA Shelton Jewelers – ABQ, NM

What it is all about

A diamond is the world’s most precious gemstone. Between their unique optic qualities and sheer hardness, these little beauties, though miniscule, have become a valuable part of civilization today. But how do you know that you, as a consumer or buyer of diamonds, are getting what you’re paying for? With such small sizes and high values, there can be much ambiguity and misinformation throughout anyone’s shopping experience. These are some of the primary issues the American Gem Society works tirelessly to prevent.

How the AGS was formed and why

In the 1920’s Robert M. Shipley had put together a group of qualified jewelers to work together as a team to better the buying experience for their customers. They would use their tools of good ethics and their training and education to help reduce the misinformation and subsequent deceptions in the jewelry industry. However, one day, Mr. Shipley realized he had been wrong on a number of critical topics.


With this new insight, Mr. Shipley travelled abroad and received the best education for the industry in that period of time. Upon returning to the states in 1929, he went right to work in founding the Gemological Institute of America, which is now known as one of the best educational institutes in the world for gemology. However education simply was not enough. Robert Shipley wanted to extend that knowledge to his own clients rather than just his staff. So in 1934, The American Gem Society was founded, designed to protect anyone buying diamonds or jewelry from being deceived or misinformed.

AGS ideals and ethics

Since its creation, the AGS has epitomized consumer education and protection throughout the diamond and jewelry industry. Both jewelry and diamond vendors and jewelry retail stores and outlets may become members of the AGS by continually following the AGS code of ethics- the highest standards in the industry. In fact, in order to remain an AGS member, the titleholders of any store or vendor must undergo a recertification process every single year. This way all AGS members are kept fully up to date on everything jewelry.

AGS Laboratories


The American Gem Society Laboratories are the other side of the AGS mission. AGSL is committed to providing certificates, or grading reports, for diamonds. Anyone shopping for a diamond has heard of the 4-C’s of a diamond, carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. Of these 4 grades, only the carat weight had been 100% objective until AGSL created a new method of measuring the grade of the cut of the diamond for the Round Brilliant Shape, thus making 2 of the 4 C’s impartial to comparisons or opinions.

The Remaining 2 C’s, the color and clarity, still remain subjective to comparative analysis, however, the grading specialists at AGSL are devoted to providing the most accurate diamond grading available, and sticking to the AGS ethics will grade a diamond down to a +/- one grade tolerance. Overall, there is no grading report or certificate that will be more accurate or precise as a report issued by the American Gem Society Laboratories.

Now, what does all of this mean for you?

First off, members of the American Gem Society are dedicated to the highest standards in their business and educational practices, so you, as the consumer may feel just as comfortable with the purchase, as they are with the sale.

Secondly, when working with any AGS members, you will be offered any and all available information about what you are buying. Above and beyond is an understatement for the knowledge within the walls of an American Gem Society store.

And lastly, the grading reports issued by AGSL are among the most trusted and reliable certificates throughout the diamond industry. These grading reports will reference the qualities of the diamond, allowing your AGS member gemologist to provide you the most exact value. This is a major detail of any diamond purchase, because it will prevent any sort of under or over payment for the diamond in question. All in all, the American Gem Society is here, not for the retailers, but for you, the consumers, the shoppers, anyone interested in buying a diamond really, and they are truly committed to their ethics and ideals.