| Hong Kong Jewellery 香港珠寶
News & Highlight


AGTA Board of Directors Amends Trade Show Rules for Synthetic Gemstones

The Board of Directors (BOD) for the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) recently amended its trade show rules for lab-grown, man-made, and/or synthetic gemstones.


Starting at the AGTA GemFair Tucson 2025, no exhibitor may display loose gemstones or jewellery comprising non-natural gemstones—ones that are man-made, synthetic, or lab grown—at any AGTA show, said AGTA.


To make this decision, AGTA recognised the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) description of synthetic gems as “man-made material with essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and optical and physical properties as the natural gem material.”


Further, synthetic gems are not minerals, which is why AGTA recognises the following two similar definitions of the word from geological authorities. First, the British Geological Survey’s definition of a mineral is “a naturally occurring substance with distinctive chemical and physical properties, composition, and atomic structure.” Second, the AGTA agrees with the US Geological Survey’s definition of a mineral as a “naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties.”


AGTA board member John Bradshaw explained: “It is important to indicate that synthetic gems are not considered minerals because minerals are natural, and synthetics are not.”


AGTA said that, considering how disruptive lab-grown diamonds have been in the market, the AGTA BOD decided to take a stance on man-made gemstones at its fairs to thwart potential confusion. According to AGTA, it is perfectly acceptable for AGTA dealers to sell synthetic gems if they choose and so long as they are disclosed, but for the sake of clarity and peace of mind, buyers attending AGTA GemFairs can shop knowing that only natural gems will be available for purchase.


“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,” added Kimberly Collins, BOD president and owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems. “AGTA

dealers pride themselves in sourcing superior gems that are rare, beautiful, and natural.”


Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, AGTA describes itself as the “authoritative source on natural-coloured gemstones.” AGTA’s activities include organizing educational programmes, trade shows, and printed materials and maintaining strong relationships with government officials and other jewellery trade groups. Its shows are among the most important events on the colored-gemstone industry calendar, with more than 8,000 buyers and 300 exhibitors attending the annual Tucson fair every February.



← Back