From Prism Volume I 2024: President’s Letter with Kimberly Collins

By Kimberly Collins, AGTA Board President

To my fellow AGTA members:

Happy 2024! I hope the New Year is off to a great start for everyone. By the time you read this, many of us will be at the AGTA GemFair Tucson—AGTA’s pride and joy! With the GemHall floor and Grand Ballroom filled to the brim, AGTA is meeting numbers it hasn’t seen as an organization in years!

As I enter my final year of presidency, I have reflected quite a bit on what we have accomplished. Thus far, AGTA has rebuilt its trade shows—making them bigger, stronger, and safer—increased membership, partnered with Rio Grande and the Colorado School of Mines, and revamped our Prism magazine and ePrism newsletter with actual journalism. Plus, we’re hard at work on a new website that will be more user friendly, offer more promotional spots for members, and highlight Spectrum & Cutting Edge Award winners.

Most importantly, AGTA is reaffirming who it is in this industry—pioneers in the responsible sourcing and ethics space! AGTA formed 43 years ago to create a group of likeminded firms interested in credible practices to benefit the industry and consumers. AGTA put this topic on the map, and while members are happy to see others follow our lead, AGTA remains the directional force driving the evolution of accountability in gemstone supply chains.

From Prism Volume I 2024: President’s Letter with Kimberly Collins

That’s why AGTA has a strict Code of Ethics (see Member News on page 12) for members to follow, unlike other organizations that tout ethics and responsibility but lack the teeth of governance.

Another way AGTA practices what it preaches is through CIBJO membership. AGTA rejoined the World Jewellery Federation in 2023 to help steer industry policies. AGTA CEO John W. Ford Sr. and I attended the CIBJO Congress in Jaipur, India, in October 2023; it was AGTA’s first year back as a member in almost five years. We arrived early to participate in committee discussions, especially regarding nomenclature in colored gemstones and Pearls and discussions surrounding lab-grown Diamonds. It was a powerful week, and we look forward to future interactions with our international partners.

Now we’re entering an election year, which will get hectic and loud, but keep your eyes on the prize: there is no better time to sell colored gemstones and cultured Pearls. More and more people recognize fine gems and jewelry and are buying heirlooms for offspring to treasure. Gemstone, Pearl, and metals prices are some of the strongest dealers have ever seen! Color is at the forefront of fashion, on the tips of influencers’ tongues, and AGTA members are uniquely positioned to keep offering the cream of the crop to retailers and consumers. AGTA members have the inventory, resources, tools, and talent to tell the stories of our beautiful gems, so don’t hush your voices when things get crazy later this year. Cut through that noise as color champions.

I wish you a successful GemFair Tucson and a prosperous 2024!

All the best,

Kimberly Collins

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This article first ran in Prism Volume I 2024. See the flipbook by clicking here.