Lab Faces Critical Issues

Lore Kiefert, Richard W. Hughes, and John I. Koivula are joining a gem laboratory that's confronting three major issues. The lab has high hopes that the three gemological superstars will help resolve them. Credibility. Because the American Gem Trade Association's Gemological Testing Center is directly controlled by AGTA members—who are wholesale gem dealers—some in the industry believe it's impossible for the lab to be independent and unbiased, unlike laboratories that are removed from direct ties to the wholesale trade. But Kiefert, Hughes, and Koivula are well known for no-holds-barred unbiased identifications and should help allay such suspicions. Finances. Some AGTA members cite money concerns. According to sources close to AGTA's laboratory board, the six-year-old GTC has never made a profit. Some have told JCK that the lab was losing close
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