The AGS Laboratory Closing caught industry members off guard; but the GIA intends to integrate its light-performance tech and offer a supplementary digital report.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is integrating the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) into its operations. A GIA press release indicates the move will enhance their long-standing partnership in pursuit of their respective consumer protection missions.
The GIA and AGS are sibling organizations Beatrice, and Robert M. Shipley established in the 1930s. At the time, the GIA intended to provide a global grading standard for the diamond and jewelry industry. The American Gem Society served as a foundation of morals and ethics.
The GIA Gem Trade Laboratory (GIA-GTL) introduced its International Diamond Grading System™ in 1953. In 1996, the AGS launched the American Gem Society Laboratory, pioneering the AGS Ideal-0 Ideal Cut rating.
AGS Laboratory Closing End of 2022
It's official. The American Gem Society Laboratory is closing at the end of 2022 and will integrate with the GIA Gem Trade Laboratory. The GIA intends to utilize AGS's intellectual property, research, and technology to develop innovative products that ensure consumer protection.
AGS Laboratories AGS Laboratories research staff, technology, intellectual property, and the Las Vegas facility will integrate into GIA. According to the GIA, the research team will develop new services and products that enhance how consumers and trade professionals comprehend and appreciate diamonds.
Consequently, that includes AGS's light-performance research and the science-based standards for fancy-shaped diamonds. It remains to be seen whether this will close the gap between the AGS vs. GIA grading standards.
GIA-GTL Integrates Light Performance Technology:
AGS will close its laboratory at the end of this year. The GIA will offer a supplemental AGS Ideal® digital report beginning January 2023. In other words, GIA will only provide the AGS Ideal® report as a digital supplement to their 4Cs reports.
Eligible GIA Reports:
D-Z color, natural and lab-grown Round Brilliant, Cushion, Oval, Emerald, Radiant, and Princess-cut diamonds will be eligible for light performance grading. In keeping with current AGSL standards, only specific facet arrangements qualify for an AGS Ideal® Report.
The GIA intends to charge twenty-five dollars for the supplemental light performance digital report. Additional information on the supplementary AGS Ideal Report® from GIA will be available soon.
The Future of Light Performance Diamond Grading
The GIA hopes that this strategic partnership with AGS will assist in advancing the Society's retail initiatives and provide more education for members during the annual AGS Conclave and throughout the year. "With this exciting advancement, AGS will focus on our core mission and activities, enhancing benefits and services to deliver elevated value to our members and their customers as our industry evolves," said Katherine Bodoh, AGS CEO.
"This consequential agreement brings AGS and GIA even closer, driving our future with 90 years of shared history and elevating our founders' vision," Bodoh said. "AGS and GIA each have their unique perspective and expertise, and a steadfast focus on advancing ethics, standards, and education in the gem and jewelry industry."
"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," said GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques. "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."
AGS and GIA, Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter
It appears that GIA has come to its senses and is embracing AGS ASET and Light Performance grading. Most other labs doing performance evaluations utilize ASET-based standards but use third-party technology to produce the images.
We hold the AGS and GIA in high regard and wish them luck in this new chapter. Simultaneously, we're eagerly awaiting to see GIA's supplemental digital report and what it contains.
Potentially, this merger can strengthen the efforts of both organizations to address the challenges of a rapidly changing and dynamic business. Simultaneously ensuring GIA remains relevant in a rapidly changing world.