AGTA NewsFlash 

April 2007


AGTA GemFair™ Las Vegas
May 31 - June 4, 2007

The AGTA GemFair™ Cultured Pearl & Jewelry Pavilion is the best venue to buy colored gemstones, cultured pearls and the latest trends in jewelry. The AGTA booth (#34700) will showcase a variety of its colored gemstone and cultured pearl related products and services.

The AGTA is committed to education and professional development of the colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry as well as providing resources and merchandising support materials for the industry. Visit the AGTA booth to learn more about the following:

The AGTA GTC Mobile Laboratory (booth #34702)
NEW GemCards!
NEW Add More Color To Your Life Brochure!
AGTA Stock Photography Program
Birthstone Collection CD
2006-2007 AGTA Source Directory
Membership Information
AGTA Spectrum Awards™ & Cutting Edge Awards

Show dates and hours for the AGTA Pavilion are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Thursday, May 31 and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Friday, June 1 – Monday, June 4.

The main JCK show opens and closes a day later.

Join us on Monday, June 4 for the Membership meeting at 8:00 am around the Windows of Color Café.

Current exhibitors, the JCK Exhibitor manual is available at

Don’t forget to make your travel reservations through the JCK Travel Desk at or 888-254-0937.

For exhibiting information, please contact Mary Lou Keen or Patti Taylor at 800-972-1162.


AGTA and AGTA GTC to Launch New Brand
The AGTA and AGTA GTC will unveil its website which has been redesigned to incorporate the new brand image for AGTA at the JCK Las Vegas Show. Improvements will include easier navigation through the site, updated content, more thorough gemstone information and much more.

Be sure to visit on May 31, 2007.



Time to Update Your AGTA Electronic Source Directory
Your company should have the most current names, addresses, phone numbers and product information for all AGTA Members. Update your AGTA Electronic Source Directory with the click of a mouse.

Updates in the AGTA Electronic Source Directory are simple and fast. Click the "UPDATE" button located in the bottom left-hand corner of your directory, or click the "yes" button when the update reminder appears on your screen.

When you click the "UPDATE" button, you will be prompted to connect to the internet. This process is simple and should be followed at least once a month. When the download is complete, close your directory and re-open it to receive the installed update.

If you have questions on how to use the directory or would like a CD or printed Source Directory, feel free to contact the AGTA today at 800-972-1162 or



Better Care for Your Employees: Association Health Programs
AGTA Members can receive savings up to 40% on Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance and more through Association Health Programs!

These substantial savings are offered exclusively to AGTA Members. All members who participate in the program will receive special premium rates and enhanced insurance coverage for themselves, family and/or company. These benefits can extend to part-time and full-time employees of Member companies. Programs include:

  • Health Insurance for Groups and Individuals

  • Life Insurance

  • Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Disability Income and Critical Illness Insurance

  • Cancer and Accident Policies

  • Annuities, Retirement, Estate and Financial Planning

  • Dental and Vision Coverage

  • And More!

Take advantage of this opportunity visit and request a free, no obligation quote or contact an Association Health Programs representative at 888-450-3040 for more information.


The Exhibitors "Un"Fair Guide-BEWARE
"The Exhibitors Fair Guide" continues to offer a "free" listing in their Fair Guide. The Fair Guide has sent letters to members who have exhibited at GemFair. However, this company did not get their exhibitor information from AGTA or MJSA.

The bottom of the letter states by signing and returning this letter you are responsible for a payment to them for $981.00 per year for the next three years. In the past, some of our members have signed and returned this order without reading the complete letter and have been harassed with collection letters and threats of legal action.

PLEASE NOTE: THE AMERICAN GEM TRADE ASSOCIATION DOES NOT ENDORSE THE EXHIBITORS FAIR GUIDE and recommends that you ignore all communications from them, unless you want to enter into a contract with them that would cost $981.00 per year for three years. Please click on the link to view the letter that was sent to our office for your reference.

Educational Calendar
People & Places: New Directions in Gemology
Richard W. Hughes, AGTA GTC
Monday, April 9, 2007, 7:00 pm

GIA Alumni, DC Chapter
Washington DC, Holiday Inn Rosslyn
1900 Ft. Meyers Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Richard Hughes will delve into these issues via a dramatic multimedia presentation that covers ground all the way from Manhattan, through Russia's emerald mines, to Madagascar and Tajikistan's remote ruby, sapphire and spinel deposits. It will provide inspiration, a new direction into the neglected, nether regions of gemology. Don't miss it.

Jade: Stone of Heaven
Richard W. Hughes, AGTA GTC
Saturday, April 21, 2007, all day

GIA Main Campus
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, California 92008

Known to the Chinese as the "Stone of Heaven," jade is one of mankind's most beguiling gemstones. Burma's center of jade mining is the small town of Hpakan. Fortune-seekers from all over Asia are drawn to the mines and the heady atmosphere is one of the gold rush days of the old American West. In 1996, Richard Hughes was a member of the first foreign gemological party allowed into these mines in over 30 years and will regale participants with a first-hand account of the mining and trading of this fascinating gemstone.

NF AGS Conclave
Denver Marriott City Center
1701 California St.
Denver, CO 80202

Solid Steps to Successful Colored Gemstone Sales
Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA
Friday, April 27, 2007, 11:00–11:45 am

AGTA's Chief Executive Officer explores the critical components of a dynamic and successful colored gemstone jewelry presentation. What motivates your customers to buy color? What are their major concerns when doing so? Learn the basic components that must be included in every presentation to dramatically improve your success rate. Identify your most powerful sales tools, including a thorough discussion of the AGTA GTC Colored Gemstone Reports and the critical part they play in the sales presentation.

AGTA Laboratory Highlights
Dr. Lore Kiefert, AGTA GTC
Friday, April 27, 2007, 3:45–4:45 pm

Join Lore Kiefert as she brings you up-to-date on current issues in day-to-day gemstone testing: the treatment of emerald, ruby, sapphire and pearls; new sources of these gemstones and the confusion when these first arrive on the market unnoticed; and the detection of synthetics and imitations. These challenges are presented using current examples the laboratory has encountered. Unusual and rare cases of gemstone testing also will be introduced.

Take the Vow with Color
Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA
Saturday, April 28, 2007, 2:30–3:30 pm

Colored gemstones and cultured pearls have a rich tradition as betrothal gifts, and their presence in this all-important lifetime event is on the rise. This seminar will look back on the rich history of gemstones and cultured pearls in the wedding ceremony. Let's consider how you, the 21st Century American Gem Society jeweler, can introduce these beautiful treasures to your clients who are preparing to take the vow and "something old" indeed becomes "something new."

NF JCK Las Vegas
The Venetian Hotel Resort Casino Las Vegas
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Solid Steps to Successful Colored Gemstone Sales
Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA
Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 3:30-4:30 pm

AGTA's Chief Executive Officer explores the critical components of a dynamic and successful colored gemstone jewelry presentation. What motivates your customers to buy color? What are their major concerns when doing so? Learn the basic components that must be included in every presentation to dramatically improve your success rate. Identify your most powerful sales tools, including a thorough discussion of the AGTA GTC Colored Gemstone report, and the critical part they play in the sales presentation.

Update from the AGTA GTC Laboratory
Dr. Lore Kiefert, AGTA GTC
Thursday, May 31, 2007, 9:00-10:00 am

The AGTA laboratory comes across many materials and many treatments before they hit the market. Knowing about these new developments on the gemstone market as well as having an idea what to look for will help you make the right decisions in your buying and selling of gemstones.

Increase Sales by Empowering Your Team with Knowledge
Loretta Castoro, AGTA GTC
Thursday, May 31, 2007, 3:30-4:30

AGTA GTC is launching training opportunities for your use in staff development. In this preview session, you have sample segments of gemological seminars, which include how to empower your staff to comfortably engage in communicating about colored gemstones with your clients. These seminars build confidence by providing the most current gemstone knowledge available in the industry.


Sell Sultry Shades this Summer to Send Sales Skyrocketing!
Saying this catchy title five times fast might not be simple, but the concept should be. Prominent fashion trends prove that color is hot and everywhere! Average consumers are catching on and realizing that colored gemstone jewelry isn't an accessory to an outfit – it makes the look. Every day is a strut down the catwalk as women and men alike emulate celebrities from head to toe.

Image Courtesy of Chopard

As a member of the jewelry industry, this information could be an important factor in how you transform your business from o-kay to oh, wow! You already know that colored gemstone sales are enjoying consistently stronger profit margins over diamonds. You also know from fashion magazines and the slew of recent awards ceremonies that adding color is the way for a savvy person to express himself. Combining this information and incorporating it into your current sales presentation can help you become a more successful member of your sales team.

A common reason sales associates shy away from selling color is due to their lack of confidence when discussing the various gemstones. Diamonds have a clearer set of criteria to which the customer and salesperson can relate (the Four Cs). Explaining to a customer why one sapphire of a similar weight is much more expensive than another can be difficult as the variances can be a bit more intangible to describe. Instead of relying on color banding and saturation as touch points, ask the customer if he saw Jodie Foster in her stunning sapphire earrings at the Oscars. While an unconventional approach, your goal is to adapt the situation to make the customer feel comfortable during the purchasing process by connecting that which is unfamiliar with the familiar. Creating an emotional connection between the gemstone and customer far outweighs rattling off gemological properties. For many of your clients, this approach will work simply because it's relaxed and avoids delving into the technical aspects of the purchase.

Please note there are those occasions where a customer has done his research and insists on learning more about each individual gemstone from the sales associate. A relatively easy tool to use in this situation is a Gemstone Identification Report from the AGTA Gemological Testing Center. It will help put this customer at ease knowing the gemstone has been verified and documented by an entity with nothing to gain from the sale of this gem. The report also gives pertinent information about the gemstone aiding the sales associate during a discussion and reinforces to the client that the associate remains the expert in this situation.

Share with your sales staff the importance of keeping up with today's trends and encourage them to read the fashion magazines like their customers are doing. Additionally, give them the right tools to reinforce the product and you will build the basis for an unstoppable colored gemstone sales presentation.


Image Courtesy
of 1700 Ocean

Dancing with Jewelry
ABC's prime time hit Dancing with the Stars is spotlighting color. But more importantly, they are showcasing AGTA members' pieces. Dancing with the Stars' hostess Samantha Harris wore a Fair Trade Malawi Sapphire Ring from AGTA Affiliate Member 1700 Ocean.

Have any of your pieces been picked up by a celebrity? Email and we will include you in upcoming NewsFlashes.