Industry / Retail

Craig Underwood Wins AGS’ Shipley Award


On April 26, Craig Underwood, president of Underwoods Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville, Ark., received the American Gem Society’s (AGS) most prestigious honor, the Robert M. Shipley Award, at the group’s annual Conclave in Oklahoma City.

“My involvement with the AGS has been so rewarding,” said a clearly moved Underwood during the AGS’ annual Shipley luncheon. “Please, please, please get involved. You get so much more out of it than you put in. My involvement has expanded my mind and my universe.”

A graduate of Baylor University, Underwood has been affiliated with the jewelry industry since 1975. He is the second generation of his family to head the 65-year-old jewelry store. It was founded by his father, Bill, who won the Shipley award in 1993.

Underwood has served as president of the American Gem Society’s board of directors, as well as chair of its Diamond Standards Committee, chair of its Gemological Sciences Committee, and founding chair of its Fancy Cut Grade Task Force.

He also served on the board of Jewelers for Children and the AGS Jewelers Education Foundation and currently serves on Jewelers Mutual Group’s board of directors.

The award was presented by past AGS board president and Shipley winner Cathy Calhoun, who noted that, in addition to his work at Underwood Jewelers and AGS, Underwood is a real estate developer and nature photographer. In 2021, Craig and wife Laura donated 38 acres of land for a park in Fayetteville.

The AGS’ Shipley Award honors individuals who have exemplified the group’s high ideals and delivered exemplary service to both the society and the overall jewelry industry. It was named after Robert M. Shipley Sr., the founder of both the American Gem Society and the Gemological Institute of America. In 2000, JCK named Shipley its person of the century.

Top: Craig Underwood and Cathy Calhoun with Underwood’s Robert M. Shipley Award (photo courtesy of the American Gem Society)

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By: Rob Bates

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