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AGTA GTC Closure

The AGTA, American Gem Trade Association, closed down the GTC, Gemological Testing Center, in New York this week.

They announced the closure was due to high operating costs in New York that could just no longer be sustained, thanks in part due to the current economic slowdown. The GTC, which was the AGTA’s laboratory for grading and reporting of colored gemstones, ceased its operations immediately upon notice of its closure. It will no longer be accepting any gemstones for grading or reports, and will be returning all currently possessed materials to their appropriate owners.

The GTC was a relatively short lived laboratory, as it had only opened its doors in 1998, a mere 11 years ago.

Dr. Lore Klefert, the Lab’s Head Director, took a new position at the Gubelin Gem Laboratory which is located in Lucerne, Switzerland. Dr. Klefert will take over there as the lab’s Chief Gemologist.

Thankfully, however, there are other reputable labs, albeit smaller, here in the USA, and plenty of other labs, large and small, around the World. So there are still labs where Trade members and consumers can still get colored gemstones graded as well as reports done on them. I am also fairly sure we will see more labs arising as the economy and markets get stronger again down the road.

In the meantime just make sure to check the background of any lab you use for grading and/or reports on colored gemstones! There are many out there that are just NOT reputable and that should be avoided at all costs! Just a small tip to help; If they are a lab and their “report” comes with an estimated worth value of the gemstone on that report, they should most likely be avoided! A report and an appraisal are two(2) separate ordeals and are not one(1) in the same!

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