Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of watching many jewelers grow in their careers. Their strengths and talents have varied, but there was one distinctive trait that they all shared: a commitment to ongoing gemological education. That commitment was carried out through their desire to obtain professional credentials.
You are taking your career as a professional to the next level when you obtain credentials. A title, such as the ones given by the American Gem Society (AGS), represents not only a commitment to gemological education but also to business ethics and excellence. This dedication embodies the vision set forth by the founder of the AGS, Robert M. Shipley, who wanted to create “an organization that guides the careers of members of the jewelry industry by creating professionals who are committed to continuing education, ethical business practices, and consumer protection.”
The latter part of that vision, consumer protection, is the driving force behind professional credentials at the AGS. Shipley once said, “Both knowledge and ethics are necessary to protect the consumer, because a knowledgeable gemologist, without ethics, can cheat the customer by misrepresentation, while the most ethical jeweler can innocently mislead the customer because of lack of knowledge.”
Developments in our industry occur all the time, which is why professional credentials are most effective when they are continually and regularly maintained. Knowledgeable, well-informed, credentialed professionals benefit the industry as a whole, as well as the public they serve.
Credentials are an effective way to take your career to the next level and to differentiate yourself from your competitors. A credential after your name sends an important message to your customers: It tells them that continuous professional development is important to you, because you want to be the best you can for those you serve. —Ruth Batson, RJ, CEO, American Gem Society and AGS Laboratories