The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) has just learned that an online gemstone vendor is currently offering gemstones purportedly accompanied by “laboratory reports” issued by the AGA.
This is deceptive: the Accredited Gemologists Association does not now, nor has it ever, issued laboratory reports, certificates, or any other type of gemstone identification and valuation document. The Accredited Gemologists Association is an independent, international nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to gemological education, research, accurate identification and quality evaluation of gem materials, and establishing and maintaining high professional and ethical standards of gemological analysis and practice.
The use of any “certificate of authenticity and value” showing the AGA as the organization issuing such a document is false and misleading. It is clear that such documents, seemingly issued by the AGA, is intended solely to provide false assurance that the stone being offered is what it is represented to be, and that the value shown on the “card of authenticity” is a reliable one.
The AGA is seeking help from gem and jewelry organizations worldwide, and from both trade and consumer media, to help alert the public to what is going on. This is especially important today with the internet providing instant international dissemination of information – both reliable and wholly unreliable – and in this case, the AGA is very concerned that knowledgeable buyers who know the AGA’s reputation, as well as unknowledgeable buyers who turn to the internet to verify the credibility of the AGA, may conclude – erroneously – that the documentation is reliable, and thus, aid the sale of gemstones that are wholly misrepresented. BEWARE: the use of any document appearing to have been issued by the AGA, with regard to the identification and valuation of any gemstone, by any seller, is intended to mislead prospective buyers and give them confidence to proceed with a purchase of something that may not be what is represented to be, or at an inflated price.
According to AGA Special Advisor Antoinette Matlins, author of the book Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide, she was just contacted by Italian gemologists Alberto Scarani and Francesco Sequino, both AGA members who live and work in Italy, reporting a phone call seeking confirmation of the genuineness of a lab report appearing to be issued by the Accredited Gemologists Association.
Below are links to the original sites Alberto and Francesco found, but note that after further investigation it is clear there are other gemstones being offered online, on numerous sites, with similar reports
It is urgent to make the public aware of what is going on in order to prevent another multi-million dollar scam such as that experienced in the late 1970s and 1980s. Many of us remember that terrible period, when millions of dollars were lost by people in a similar telemarketing scheme, including many older people who lost homes and life savings, forever altering their lives and quality of life.
We are writing to you, not only to explicitly deny the AGA has issued any report on any gemstone, and any involvement in this online telemarketing operation, but in the hope you will help publicize this, in whatever way you can, by contacting people you may know in the trade and consumer press, and also to other organizations requesting an alert in e-mails and newsletters.
Thank you in advance for anything that you can do to help in this important matter, and to prevent innocent people from becoming victims of yet another, potentially even more devastating, gemstone marketing fraud.
AGA President: Stuart Robertson, GG
AGA Vice President: Teri Brossmer, GG
AGA Secretary: Raymond Mason, GG
AGA Treasurer: Adam Ostrow, GG
AGA Immediate Past President: Donna Hawrelko, FGA, FCGmA
AGA Special Adviser to the AGA Board: Antoinette Matlins, PG, FGA
AGA Governors: Breanne Avender, FGA, FCGmA; Heidi Harders, GG; Ted Irwin, GG; Gary Smith, GG; Art Samuels, GG; Patti Schrag, GG
Learn more about the Accredited Gemologists Association at https://accreditedgemologists.org.