5 Riveting Truths About the AGTA Audience of Readers

By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief

After four months of heading up content at AGTA, some fascinating facts about its readers have come to light. Some are likely not surprising but compared to other trade outlets for which I’ve written and am familiar with, I found many of these newer details to be super interesting.

Obviously, AGTA readers of ePrism and Prism are interested in gemstones and cultured Pearls, and ePrism even has the same numerical reach as other trade e-newsletters, but the open rates, interest level, topics, and audience itself are kind of wild. Here’s why.

They’re Engaged

The open rate for ePrism is a whopping 42–44%. Granted, that could have something to do with the once-weekly frequency—it’s challenging to hit readers with daily eblasts and get strong open rates—but it also has to do with the audience itself. I know numbers from other outlets, and nobody’s audience is that plugged in. And it’s not because I’m here—the open rate was already super high when I got here in late 2022. This consistent, and now growing, interest level is downright amazing. That’s ePrism subscribers—a mix of gem dealers, retailers, designers, labs, and others in the industry.

The open rate for the weekly ePrism newsletter is twice that of other trade e-newsletters.
The open rate for the weekly ePrism newsletter is twice that of other trade e-newsletters.
They Want Meaty Topics

For sure, ePrism content is limited—we produce two original articles every week, and lightly touch on other topics of interest in select newsletter spots (nothing lives on our website save for our original content and AGTA press releases). A staff of one journalist doesn’t have the bandwidth to cover new hires, auction house results, and other issues that bigger outlets do, but I love this limited scope because it allows me to address what’s truly meaningful to our audience. These topics include sourcing difficulties and gem prices, sales at relevant trade fairs, gem trends, and other matters of importance. ePrism is also a place for the occasional AGTA member opinion piece or deep dive into someone’s expertise, and I’m delighted to help these folks share their messages. The weekly articles that have been most popular to date are:

  1. Buckle Up—Japanese Akoya Pearl Prices Have Skyrocketed 80% with No End in Sight
  2. Ruby & Sapphire Pricing Challenges Continue at the Bangkok Jewelry Fair
  3. The Most Valuable Diamond Found in America (Esperanza) Is Up for Sale
  4. Dispatches from Afghanistan with Vincent Pardieu, I: Lapis Lazuli in Badakhshan
  5. Sri Lanka & Madagascar: What’s Happening in the World’s Most Important Sapphire Markets
Akoya Pearl strand from Mastoloni Pearls
Akoya Pearl strand from Mastoloni Pearls
They’re Passionate

This is also a kind way of saying the AGTA audience, which includes many members, is opinionated. That’s not a bad thing, as informed opinions help everyone learn and grow, but it is a responsibility to share your voice in a measured way in this multifaceted and complex industry. The goal for all AGTA-produced content is to share news and information that is meaningful and helpful to our audience, and the objective of shared opinions is to challenge peers to scrutinize efforts and elevate themselves for the benefit of everyone. Voices can get heated, but it’s important to remember that most share a common goal, especially AGTA members, who created the conversation surrounding ethics, transparency, and giving back to gem source countries when it was founded 40 years ago.

Afshin Hackman of Intercolor USA shopping for sapphires in Bangkok this year.
Afshin Hackman of Intercolor USA shopping for sapphires in Bangkok this year.
It’s Full of Swedes

I don’t know why, but after the U.S., the bulk of ePrism readers are in Sweden—not Germany, the U.K., or Canada, none of those places. Sweden. Okay …? I’ve not covered any topic unique (that I’m aware of) to the country, but we’re glad to consistently see those readers every week—tack själv! I’d love some Swedish reader to tell me why we have such a robust following in the birthplace of ABBA and IKEA. Reach me at [email protected].

The second largest group of AGTA ePrism readers are in Sweden.
The second largest group of AGTA ePrism readers are in Sweden.
They Want a Printed Prism

When I joined AGTA in late 2022, we examined different options for a reimagined Prism. One option was going all digital, like many publications have. Despite the cost, AGTA leadership listened to members and industry friends and kept printing. Granted, we’re only printing three issues in 2023, each edition timed for the show it will be reaching buyers ahead of, but it’s a big financial commitment at a time when many trade titles are online only. AGTA sees the value in providing a beautiful publication that is a true celebration of community, while the content casts spotlights on members and industry personalities like gem cutters and mine owners. When have these folks ever really had a voice? They do now. Click here to read Volume I, and pick up Volume II in the magazine bins at JCK Las Vegas and Couture.

Prism Volume 1 2023
2023 Prism Volume 1 Cover

Have suggestions? Email me at [email protected].

This is proprietary content for AGTA and may not be reproduced.