Why AGS Is Closing Its Lab, Merging It With GIA
CEO Katherine Bodoh said the merger will allow AGS to focus on its “original vision” as a trade organization and grow Conclave.
The AGS Labs research staff, intellectual property, technology, and Las Vegas facility will be integrated into GIA, which will utilize the facility as a center for research.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
AGS Labs will continue to provide services until the end of 2022; it said it will contact clients with details of the transition.
In addition, a “client checklist” as well as a list of frequently asked questions about the lab’s closure is available on the AGS website.
AGS and GIA said they will combine their gemological research efforts to develop new products and services to protect consumers and support the trade, like light performance research and a science-based fancy cut grade standard—an avenue of research that is a “very active pursuit” at the lab, it confirmed recently.
The collaboration will allow AGS to focus on its retailer programs and additional member education opportunities, building up its signature event, AGS Conclave, event and exploring new possibilities for members, CEO Katherine Bodoh told National Jeweler in an interview Thursday.
“As an organization, we’re constantly challenging ourselves about how we can exceed expectations for our members, how we can utilize the technology and tools available to us to do what we need to do,” she said.
“That journey led us back to our original vision as a trade organization while also asking how we can make the biggest impact and adjust that vision.”
Robert M. and Beatrice Shipley founded both GIA and AGS in the 1930s. AGS launched AGS Labs in 1996.
With their shared missions for the trade and consumers, the two organizations have collaborated in the past.
“The wonderful thing about being founded with the same vision is that we’re both asking, how can we make the biggest and best impact for the industry, and it makes it easy to say what does that look like, how do we do something bigger than both of us?” Bodoh said.
AGS headquarters will remain where it is in Las Vegas, near the facility where GIA and the combined research teams will be located.
With the collaboration, GIA will create an endowment to support AGS and its membership through education and credentials.
GIA also will make the new AGS Ideal Report, which grades light performance, available as a digital-only supplement to its own diamond reports for round brilliant and fancy shape diamonds.
This will combine the AGS Ideal Report with the four Cs grading from GIA.
AGS’s popular cut grading system—which grades cut on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being “Ideal” and 10 being “Poor”—will remain with it.
GIA said clients will be able to request the supplemental reports starting in January for an additional $25.
More details about the “AGS Ideal Report Brought to You By GIA” will be available soon, it said.
“By harnessing each other’s strengths to move forward boldly, consumers will be better protected, and we will ensure the longevity of the Shipleys’ vision,” GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said in a statement from the lab.
“I would like to thank the AGS International Board of Directors and the GIA Board of Governors for supporting this new phase in the close relationship between our two organizations.”
Annie Doresca and Michelle Graff welcome Reggie Johnson and Sheryl Jones for a frank conversation on the state of DEI in fine jewelry.
Jeff Gennette will step down in February 2024, passing the torch to the CEO of another notable retailer.
Artisan Martin Roberts fashioned lunar meteorites into 48 beads to create this out-of-this-world necklace.
Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.
As for new members, the organization welcomed Jewelers of America’s Annie Doresca and Parag Jain of Parag Diamonds.
Jacob & Co.’s new “Billionaire” timepiece features more than 200 carats of yellow diamonds.
Heidi Horten, wife of department store magnate Helmut Horten, collected jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.
De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.
The jewelry industry insurer and solutions provider is celebrating 110 years in business this month.
The statement came as the National Retail Federation released its retail sales forecast for 2023.
Sotheby’s will auction the diamond, which it says is “arguably the most significant pink diamond to ever appear at auction,” in June.
The retailer, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, will lay off 119 employees in July.
The Swiss watchmaker introduced 17 new models at Watches & Wonders Geneva.
As part of the promotion, Smith will share his sales expertise during a 90-minute training session.
At Watches & Wonders, the Swiss brand unveiled a follow-up to last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante.
The “rêve” collection’s engagement rings and wedding bands are geared toward “sustainability minded customers.”
A new word appears on the dial each day of the week.
Bensons Jewelers closed for good Feb. 24, impacted in part by the decline in foot traffic downtown since the onset of the pandemic.
Kolja Kiofsky has been with the crystal and jewelry company since 2010.
The Kruse GWS Auctions sale will include the replica “Taj Mahal” necklace Elizabeth Taylor made with Avon as well as a costume piece Marilyn Monroe wore.
Massimo Basei is moving up, while Chief Commercial Officer Martino Pessina is stepping down.
AGTA GemFair and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show also will have a presence on the show floor.
Sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, this masterwork of complications now holds the record for most expensive watch ever auctioned online.
The watch company expects first-quarter sales to fall as much as 15 percent due to inflation and tough comps.
Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox Lab, has taken on the new role and will report directly to Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.
The watch marketplace gathered data from 1.3 million collectors, highlighting the most popular timepieces and exploring value appreciation.
Burgundy has opted not to exercise its option to buy the mining claims Gibb River Diamonds currently owns.