American Gem Society | Michaels Jewelers

About AGS

The American Gem Society was founded in 1934 by a small group of leading jewelers. Their goal was to create an organization that could help protect the jewelry-buying public from fraud and false advertising. Today, we’re proud to say their vision has become a reality.

Approximately 3,400 jewelers, retailers, suppliers, individual titleholders and affiliates have joined the American Gem Society and have dedicated themselves to consumer protection, ethical business practices, and development and maintenance of superior gemological skills and knowledge. AGS members adhere to the highest standards of business practices and ethics so that you can buy with confidence from jewelers you can trust. AGS Standards not only comply with governing laws, but go beyond that to ensure that you are buying from jewelers who have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most informed buying decision.

Only 1 in 20 jewelers have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership. To join AGS, every member must go through a peer-reviewed application process followed by an annual recertification exam. This process ensures that every AGS member you meet is at the top of their game, and more importantly, each one has pledged to protect you, the consumer.


Michaels joined the American Gem Society in 1958, making us one of the longest standing members. Through the years, the Michaels family took on active leadership roles within the Society.

In 1986, Irving Michaels Jr. and Richard W. Michaels were recipients of the prestigious Robert M. Shipley Award. This award is given annually to a member for outstanding service to the Society, significant contributions to the science of gemology, or exemplifying the high purposes, objectives, and ideals of the society in the member’s own community. John Michaels served as the Society’s president from 1991-1992 and was also a recipient of the Shipley Award in 1995.

To learn more about the AGS, visit their website at

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