Sponsored Content: AGTA Lets You Buy and Sell Gemstones with Confidence

Ethical sourcing and transparency make it worthwhile to work with the American Gem Trade Association.

May 26, 2024  |  Kimberly Collins  |  SPONSORED BY: American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA)
Kimberley Collins image

I am grateful for the opportunity to continue sharing the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA) vision and principles with the readers of Rapaport Magazine. Our last two stories — written by Bruce Bridges of Bridges Tsavorite for the November-December 2023 and January-February 2024 issues — shared AGTA’s legacy of ethics over the last four decades. With the 2024 AGTA GemFair Las Vegas about to take place at JCK, I would like to share my thoughts on the advantages of buying from AGTA members.

AGTA advertises that you can “Buy with Confidence” and “Sell with Confidence” when doing business with its members, but I am not sure everyone understands the impact of these statements.

Buy with Confidence

Colored gemstones are the most profitable product for retailers to sell today. The colored-gemstone market is much more complex than the diamond market. There are many nuances, and the factors affecting prices go beyond the diamond market’s familiar 4Cs. These include a variety of enhancements and treatments that should be disclosed to buyers. AGTA’s Code of Ethics states that “an AGTA member must not misrepresent the nature, authenticity, treatment or origin of any merchandise,” and that “an AGTA member’s written disclosure of treatments and/or enhancements is mandatory at the point of consignment or sale in all documents.”

What else does “Buy with Confidence” mean? The AGTA Code of Ethics covers more than the transparent disclosure of the merchandise its members sell; it also includes the procurement of the product. A growing number of consumers are concerned not only about the quality of gemstones and jewelry they are purchasing, but about their sourcing as well. AGTA members are required to comply with all local, state and federal laws that apply to them or their businesses. The same is true of any foreign laws in the case of members that engage in international trade and commerce.

AGTA members are required to exercise due diligence in their business practices. This means that members should, to the best of their ability, determine that the gem materials they source and sell are mined responsibly, with concern for protecting and restoring the environment. It also means their gems should not be sourced or processed using child labor or in violation of any local laws or any applicable laws of the United States. Furthermore, members should ensure that efforts are made to protect the health of all workers involved in processing the materials, including miners, cutters and jewelers. Members must obtain all gem materials legally and make sure they are not associated with smuggling or other illegal activities.

More than words

“Buy with Confidence” sounds great, but how do you know if these are just words, or if they mean something a buyer can rely on? AGTA is an organization that self-polices to ensure its members are following the Code of Ethics. AGTA has an Ethics and Grievance Committee that adjudicates complaints made against its members. The complaints may come from another AGTA member or from any aggrieved party, whether a member of AGTA or not. The committee then makes a recommendation to AGTA’s board of directors as to how to resolve the grievance. The board can impose sanctions on a member and, if necessary, exercise the ultimate penalty: expelling the member. AGTA membership carries significant commercial value, and as such, those who have it are very protective of their membership privileges.

Sell with Confidence

So far, I have said a lot about AGTA’s “Buy with Confidence” statement and nothing yet about “Sell with Confidence.” Whether you are a manufacturer buying gemstones for resale, or a retailer buying loose gemstones or finished jewelry, you can only sell confidently when you are confident in the product. In today’s business climate, where protecting one’s business is paramount, sourcing AGTA products provides peace of mind in the form of knowledge about the goods you are selling. It also lets you demonstrate to your customers that you follow the highest possible ethical practices in your business. It is the duty of every AGTA member to protect its clients in the colored-gemstone and jewelry industry — as well as consumers — against fraud, misrepresentation and unethical business practices so that buyers can “Sell with Confidence.”

I invite you to visit the AGTA pavilion at JCK Las Vegas so you can “Buy with Confidence” from the largest selection of colored gemstones and finished colored-gemstone jewelry in the world. I also invite you to consider becoming a member of AGTA. We are an amazing family with a common interest.

Kimberly Collins is AGTA president and the owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems.

Image: Kimberly Collins. (Kimberly Collins)

This article is from the May-June 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

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Kimberley Collins image Sponsored Content: AGTA Lets You Buy and Sell Gemstones with Confidence

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