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 Post subject: AGTA Announces Closing of Gemological Testing Center
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:01 am 
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Just received this email;
Very very sad.
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July 29, 2009 – Dallas, TX: The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced today that the AGTA Gemological Testing Center (GTC) will close effective July 29th, 2009. The GTC opened in 1998.

"The GTC has enjoyed great support over the past decade from the AGTA membership and the colored gemstone industry as a whole," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "But with this extended economic downturn and the expense of operating a facility in New York, the Association can no longer devote the level of resources necessary to keep the laboratory operating. Our members and clients' businesses are not functioning at a level necessary to sustain the GTC. In the eleven years that the GTC was in operation it attained a stellar and unassailable reputation for integrity in its reports and research. This is a great loss for the AGTA and the industry. I would like to personally thank our employees, the members who have given us the support over the years and most importantly all of the individuals who have served on our AGTA GTC Board of Governors."

The GTC will not be accepting new gemstones for grading effective immediately and all gemstones currently in the laboratory will be returned as expeditiously as possible to our clients.

Dr. Lore Kiefert, Director of the AGTA GTC since 2005, will be accepting a new position as Chief Gemologist, with the Gubelin Gem Laboratory (GGL) in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Please refer any questions to the AGTA headquarters in Dallas, at 800-972-1162.

###

The AGTA is an Association of natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry professionals, dedicated to promoting the natural colored gemstone trade. The Association pursues this mission through the combined use of educational programs, industry events and publicity to both the trade and consumer. We are The Authority in Color.



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:08 am 
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Bad news.... :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:19 am 
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:cry: :(

ALERT: just opened the AGTA GTC website and got a TROJAN... be careful... :evil:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:26 am 
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Wow, That was fast!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:31 am 
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I said the same thing when someone provided a link to the green amber story.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Sad news indeed.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:53 pm 
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I went to their site as well and got a warning about the virus, was prevented from opening the GTC section thank goodness.

Very sad news about GTC.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:12 pm 
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this is terrible news. seems bad news is contagious and is everywhere, surely there has got to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

i could access the agta website. and thank goodness i read the forum, here's what you find if you search for agta/gtc:

The AGTA Gemological Testing Center
This site may harm your computer.
The AGTA GTC is extending this offer exclusively to all AGTA Members in appreciation of the support they have shown the AGTA through their 2009 Membership ...
www.agta-gtc.org/ - Similar


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:41 pm 
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Sorry about the website trouble. I'll look to shutting it down and then perhaps we reopen it under another AGTA gemological site that is informational in nature.

It took quite a bit of steam out of us, and the difficult part of having to let so much staff go. I'm in the hopes of their continuing to find placements.

Regards,
Bear (former agta lab chairman as of today)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:08 pm 
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so no more colored stone grading in the u.s.?? or is it all GIA now??

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:18 pm 
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jleb,

you mean colored stone testing and documentation?

Along with GIA yes, there are other independant labs that are very good. AGL in NY is in operation, EGL still does colored stone testing. @ Stone Group Labs we also do various research, testing and documentation of colored stones. :)

bear


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Bear Williams- SGL wrote:
Sorry about the website trouble. I'll look to shutting it down and then perhaps we reopen it under another AGTA gemological site that is informational in nature.

It took quite a bit of steam out of us, and the difficult part of having to let so much staff go. I'm in the hopes of their continuing to find placements.

Regards,
Bear (former agta lab chairman as of today)


hi bear,
sad to read this, hopefully all will work out for the best and for you and everyone involved!! :D
jan


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Bear Williams- SGL wrote:
It took quite a bit of steam out of us, and the difficult part of having to let so much staff go. I'm in the hopes of their continuing to find placements.

Regards,
Bear (former agta lab chairman as of today)

Bear, that's really unhappy news. Cutting experienced staff is always the most difficult part, especially given the time required to assemble a top-notch crew. Hopefully they'll all land well. Richard Hughes must be blessed with ESP!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:19 am 
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hi Bear,

Bear Williams- SGL wrote:
Bear (former agta lab chairman as of today)


this is very sad indeed, mostly for such a group a VERY skilled pros that suddenly had lost their job. I hope all will find the right place soon and hope that sooner or later GTC could be re-opened. My best whishes for you all.
ciao
alberto

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:27 am 
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What's happening to all the instruments? Are they being stored, just in case, circumstances change?

Perhaps facilities could be opened in an area where real estate is not such a premium. (Most items are mailed to the lab anyway).

:( I'm sure everyone at AGTA has already run these scenarios through their heads. Nevermind.


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