(DALLAS) – The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has announced the AGTA Gemological Testing Center (GTC) closed effective July 29th, 2009. The GTC opened in 1998.
“The GTC has enjoyed great support over the past decade from the AGTA membership and the colored gemstone industry as a whole,” stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “But with this extended economic downturn and the expense of operating a facility in New York, the association can no longer devote the level of resources necessary to keep the laboratory operating. Our members and clients’ businesses are not functioning at a level necessary to sustain the GTC. In the eleven years that the GTC was in operation it attained a stellar and unassailable reputation for integrity in its reports and research. This is a great loss for the AGTA and the industry. I would like to personally thank our employees, the members who have given us the support over the years and most importantly all of the individuals who have served on our AGTA GTC Board of Governors.”
The GTC will not be accepting new gemstones for grading and all gemstones currently in the laboratory will be returned as expeditiously as possible.
Dr. Lore Kiefert, Director of the AGTA GTC since 2005, will be accepting a new position as Chief Gemologist, with the Gubelin Gem Laboratory (GGL) in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Please refer any questions to the AGTA headquarters in Dallas, at 800-972-1162.