In today's complex world – where business, science, politics and social issues often clash – the AGTA's most important role is providing leadership for the gemstone industry. The Association does this in a number of different ways. It produces trade shows and education programs, encourages creative competition, supports the marketing efforts of professionals, builds demand among consumers and operates one of the world’s foremost gemological laboratories.
Beyond all of these vital functions, the AGTA represents the gemstone trade to the rest of the jewelry industry, the news media, government agencies and international organizations. This frequently involves helping outsiders understand how the trade operates and how it can participate in solving large-scale problems. The Association also helps those inside the trade cope successfully with changing times and conditions.
AGTA Code of Ethics
This was one of the first standards of professional conduct established in the colored gemstone industry, and it’s still among the highest. The Code ensures that Association Members can rightfully earn the respect and confidence of the jewelry industry and consuming public. Click here for more details on the AGTA Complaint Resolution Service.
The US Federal Trade Commission regulates commerce in the American marketplace. Its official guidelines set many legal standards for the gemstone industry. For more than a decade the AGTA has advised the FTC on updating and improving its guides concerning gemstone enhancement disclosure and other areas related to colored gemstones and cultured pearls.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there were false reports that al-Qaida was involved in the tanzanite trade. In response, the AGTA met with key organizations (including the government of Tanzania) and drafted the Tanzanite Protocols. This led to a warranty system which now guarantees that tanzanite flows through legal channels all the way from the mine to the final consumer.
USA Patriot Act
This legislation was passed soon after September 11. Aimed at preventing further attacks on American soil, it includes anti-money-laundering provisions that apply to the gemstone industry. The AGTA assisted the US Treasury Department in making rules that protect the country without hurting legitimate business.
In recent years the market for rubies and sapphires has been affected by changes in supply and the use of sophisticated new treatments. The AGTA hosted an international conference in 2003 to examine issues created by these developments. The result was renewed confidence in some of the gem trade’s most important products.
GIA Research Endowment
In 2004, the AGTA donated $125,000 to the Gemological Institute of America’s Endowment Fund for Colored Gemstone Research. This marked the latest chapter in a long history of collaboration between the AGTA and GIA. The donation will be invested to earn money for research the Association requests. Thus, it will help the gemstone industry continue to meet challenges in the years ahead.