From Prism Volume II 2023: Letter from the AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins

Hello, my fellow AGTA members!

AGTA kicked off 2023 with phenomenal sales at GemFair Tucson, and we are all hopeful to see the same robust business at our Las Vegas show.

I believe many of us entered this year with simultaneous optimism and trepidation, holding our heads high and persevering through media reports of doom and gloom. Ultimately, many of our Tucson exhibitors reported best-ever trade show sales, and the energy on the floor was great. Thank you to all who exhibited and attended. Future shows will just keep getting better!

From Prism Volume II: Letter from the AGTA Board President Kimberly Collins

Just ahead of the Tucson show, AGTA debuted an important initiative that’s now in full swing. AGTA announced the creation of a new Industry Terms Committee. Its intent is to clarify and formalize words like sustainability, ethical sourcing, and responsibility. AGTA carefully selected industry professionals who’ve had actual boots on the ground in all the biggest gem- and Pearl-producing nations (whether they’re AGTA members or not) to serve on that committee. Several of these individuals have a lifetime of experience, having traveled the world and setting foot in more gem-producing places than anyone else I know. The purpose of their selection is to better define these terms based on real experience, knowledge, and truth. This, coupled with our new research project with the R1 university Colorado School of Mines (Mines), demonstrates that AGTA is working hard to formalize best practices and terms for the industry and transparency for the end consumer.

As many know, AGTA pioneered this space 42 years ago. AGTA created the conversation involving these terms. Nobody else was even trying. And AGTA did this before it was considered cool! AGTA didn’t do it to impress others, though—the association did it to be responsible because that’s what our membership stands for. Many industry groups and organizations have since adopted the terminology and blueprint that AGTA originated.

Part of AGTA’s DNA has always been to do right for the people who supply our beautiful gemstones and Pearls, do right for the environment, and do right for the end consumer. These are responsibilities ingrained in the fibers of the group.

Thank you to all the members of the Industry Terms Committee including Jaimeen Shah, PrimaGems USA; Bruce Bridges, Bridges Tsavorite; Becky Scheffler, Rio Grande; John Bradshaw, John J. Bradshaw; Ron Rahmanan, Sara Gem Corp.; Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC; Jenna White, Jenna White, Mines PhD candidate; Ray Zajicek; Equatorian Imports; and Vincent Pardieu, field gemologist and world-renowned gemological expert.

Wishing all our Las Vegas exhibitors a healthy and prosperous show! If you have suggestions for the continued growth and improvement of AGTA, please seek out our board members at the show.

Thank you.

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This article first ran in Prism Volume II 2023. See the flipbook by clicking here.