One of the most novel aspects of the Forevermark brand is that it has its own grading lab, with branches in Maidenhead, England, and Antwerp, Belgium. But in November, it added a third branch—in Las Vegas.
It’s all because of an intriguing hookup between the American Gem Society Laboratories and Forevermark, where the former grades diamonds under the latter’s label.
“Due to continued growth in Forevermark, we needed to expand our grading services,” says Forevermark U.S. president Charles Stanley. “So we have created a private label service within AGS. They are effectively another Forevermark lab.”
But the two labs are segregated, he adds, with the Forevemark diamonds graded to that brand’s specific system, including its method of evaluating cut.
“All of our graders have been trained in the Forevermark standards,” says AGS executive director and CEO Ruth Batson. “But there are synergies in the way we grade. It was an easy fit for us.”
All Forevermark diamonds are still sent to lab’s inscription facility in London, and the submitting diamantaires are never told which lab grades which diamonds—though, for logistical reasons, Stanley admits, it makes sense that diamonds sold by U.S. companies will be steered toward Las Vegas.
The response has been positive from clients, he adds. “They recognize that the AGS is a reputable lab. So why wouldn’t we use expertise already in the field?”
Batson believes the business will get bigger.
“As Forevermark grows, our business will grow with them,” she says. “It kept us very busy during the holiday.”
“A lot of their customers are AGS members and a lot of their manufacturing partners are good customers of our lab,” Batson adds. “There is a lot of synergy here. We are in the same family.”
There is one more aspect to the partnership: Retailers or manufacturers can also order a co-branded AGS/Forevermark report, which consists of a standard Forevermark report with an addendum featuring the AGS cut grade and an ASET light performance map.
“A lot of their partners like to have the well-cut AGS Triple Zero grade as part of the package,” Batson says. “So we give them a report that has our AGS cut grade information, and it has both of our branding.”
“The co-branded report is when we started dating each other, you could say,” she says. “So I guess now we are going steady.”