The American Gem Society announces the retirement of long-time board member Christopher Bramlett.
Bramlett’s position on the AGS Board of Directors and his many contributions to the Society capped a career filled with accomplishments. Born in 1938, Bramlett began his career with a solid education. After graduating from Wake Forest University in 1960 with a B.S. in Chemistry, he joined the military where he served in the U.S. Army’s Critical Skills Program.
After his service, Bramlett completed his M.A. and his Ph.D. in chemistry, the former at Wake Forest and the latter at the University of Virginia. He began teaching at the University of Alabama in 1967, eventually serving as associate dean of the graduate school and assistant vice president for Research. In 1977, he moved to East Tennessee State University where he served as vice president and professor of Chemistry until 1981 when he became a partner in Starnes Inc., a North Carolina-based company that operated retail jewelry stores. In 1989, Bramlett started his own business, Christopher’s Jewelry Company, which owned and operated Christopher’s Jewelers in Concord, N.C. He served as president and owner until 2004.
During his tenure as chairman of the American Gem Society Gemological Sciences Committee Bramlett oversaw Fancy Cut Grade research that led to the performance-based AGS Diamond Cut Grading System. He began serving on the AGS board in 1989 and, over the years, he has served as chairman of the Education Committee and the Shipley Award Committee. He also held two offices at the state level: president of AGS’s North Carolina Guild and president of the North Carolina Jewelers Association.
Bramlett is an AGS Registered Jeweler, a Certified Gemologist, and an AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser. Additionally, he earned several certificates and a Graduate Gemologist diploma from the Gemological Institute of America. In 2001, Bramlett received one of the most prestigious awards in the jewelry industry, the Robert M. Shipley Award. This award is given to one person each year who has been of outstanding service to the American Gem Society, given significant contribution to the science of gemology, and who exemplifies the high purpose, objectives, and ideals of the Society in his or her own community.
Although currently enjoying retirement, Bramlett stays busy working part-time at Starnes Inc. and tending to his active appraisal business. He recently was named, for the second time, president of the AGS North Carolina Guild, and he is busy making preparations for the organization’s annual meeting.
“Chris Bramlett has served the American Gem Society as a member of the Board of Directors for 15 years. It is with sadness, fond memories, and great respect that we announce his retirement,” said Craig Underwood, president of the American Gem Society Board of Directors.
“Bramlett’s boundless commitment to the American Gem Society, infinite contributions to the science of gemology, and constant involvement in his community set a fine example for future leaders in this organization and many others. His presence will be sorely missed,” added Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO, American Gem Society.