Colored Stones / Industry

AGTA Expects Little Impact From Lab-Grown Trade Show Ban


The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) doesn’t foresee much impact from its recently announced ban on selling synthetic gems at its trade shows.

“Out of about 260 exhibitors, only two of them list any kind of synthetic product,” John Ford (pictured), CEO of the Dallas-based group, tells JCK. “We have heard no complaint from either of those companies.”

He acknowledges there has been some negative reaction to the ban, but says generally it has received “tremendous support” from members.

“There was a lot of concern from members of our association and from our board of directors about all the chaos synthetics have brought to the diamond market,” Ford says. “Out of an abundance of caution, they’re concerned they could be a negative effect on the gemstone industry.

“We think this will have a positive effect on our pavilions. We have heard from exhibitors that want to be in them because of our new policy,” he says, adding that AGTA’s Tucson show next February “is basically sold out.”

Ford notes that members remain free to sell whatever they wish off the show floor.

“We’re not saying that synthetics don’t have a proper place, with proper disclosure,” he explains. “What we’re saying is that AGTA is a natural gemstone organization, and has been for 40 years.”

The ban won’t affect this year’s AGTA pavilion at the JCK show, but will take effect with AGTA GemFair Tucson 2025

(Photo courtesy of AGTA)


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By: Rob Bates

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