Colored Stones / Industry

AGTA Says No Synthetic Selling at Shows


The American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA) board of directors has voted to ban the exhibition of lab-grown gemstones at its trade shows.

Beginning with AGTA GemFair Tucson 2025, no exhibitor at an AGTA show may display loose nonnatural gemstones or jewelry made with nonnatural gemstones.

In a statement, the Dallas-based trade association said it’s “perfectly acceptable” for AGTA members to sell synthetic gems elsewhere, “[as] long as they are disclosed.” But going forward, they can’t do it at AGTA shows, “for the sake of clarity and peace of mind.”

“AGTA felt that it needed to be crystal clear to buyers that when they attend an AGTA show, they know that they are only shopping mined natural gems from the earth,” said Kimberly Collins, AGTA board president and owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems, in the statement.

The organization acknowledged the move is a reaction to how “disruptive” lab-growns have been to the diamond market. But it also said synthetic gemstones simply don’t fit at its shows, as they’re not minerals. (AGTA pointed out in its statement that the U.S. Geological Survey defines a mineral as “a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties.”)

“Synthetic gemstones lack the value inherent to natural gemstones,” AGTA added. “There is a great dichotomy of color that occurs in natural, mined colored gemstones that cannot be duplicated in synthetics.”

Pictured: AGTA GemFair (photo courtesy of American Gem Trade Association)

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

By: Rob Bates

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out