The Gemmological Association of Great Britain
Trade Association & Council
Towards the end of the 19th century, the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) was created to represent the interests of jewellers for a new industrial age. This helped protect them from potential harm in the market place, and also allowed jewellers to educate each other about developments in their trade. In 1908 they decided that the role of the jewellery association was more than simply representation and information, and set-up the NAG Education Committee to establish gemmological qualifications for the UK jewellery trade. In 1908, Samuel Barnett, a jeweller from Peterborough, proposed that the NAG set up teaching courses and examinations in the study of gemstones at the NAG’s annual conference. The resolution was adopted and started the action that, as Basil Anderson observed many years later, "marked the beginning of organised gemmology, not only in this country, but in the whole world." The NAG inaugurated the Gemmological Association as a distinct branch of the NAG in 1931, as the study of gemmology grew in popularity. This gave the Gemmological Association independence in the provision of education, research and information, and also meant their diploma graduates could be elected to the Fellowship of the Gemmological Association.