Helene Smith

Helene is a third generation specialist in the gemstone and jewelry industry. She earned her Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA in 1985 and has extensive experience buying and selling gemstones and jewelry. She is the wife of Christopher Smith, and during their time in Switzerland Helene served as the Vice President of the Swiss-American Society in Luzern.


Maria Frances

Maria has a degree in business management from St. Johns University and is a graduate of the GIA Diamond Grading course. Maria has over 22 years experience in the industry, working for the GIA Laboratory in New York for 17 of those years. At GIA she was the Supervisor of the Transport Services Department, servicing international and domestic clients with customer service and customs needs. During this tenure, Maria gained vast experience with inventory control, workflow management and transportation requirements of high-value assets. At AGL, Maria manages the lab flow process and all our client requirements.


Bilal Mahmood

Bilal has been involved in the photo industry and magazine publication for over six years. His work as an imaging editor has appeared in Italian Elle, Vogue, and Boston Common, as well as in various trade and commercial advertisements. As one of AGL's photographers, Bilal is involved in all image capturing, and is continually working to provide the highest quality images in the industry for our GemBriefs, Prestige Reports, and Jewelfolios™.


Kelly Kramer

Kelly graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography. She uses her 8 years experience in photography and retouching to produce AGL's Prestige reports. Kelly's creative nature and previous work experience come together to produce the beautiful images you see in AGL's reports.



Bryan Clark FGA

After graduating from the University of Connecticut in early 2012, Bryan joined the AGL staff as a research intern helping Christopher work on a project surrounding garnet gemstones. Now a full-time employee, Bryan is studying to become a Fellow of the Gemmological Institute of Great Britain in addition to working closely with the other gemologists in the lab with reporting and continued research.


Monruedee Chaipaksa

Monruedee comes to us from the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT).  With 8 years experience, she held the senior gemologist position.

She was responsible for identifying all gem materials and diamonds as well as determining country of orgin on colored gemstones. The testing included detection of treatments and enhancements and utilizing basic and advanced instruments. Monruedee graduated from Chiang Mai University in Thailand with a B.S. in Gemology, She has her FGA from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, and became a C.D.G from the HRD Antwerp Institute of Gemmology.

In 2013 Monruedee relocated to New York to work at AGL.  With her vast knowledge of colored stones and her gemological experience she is a welcomed addition to the AGL team.


Alex Mercado

Alex Mercado is AGL's photographer, reporting to the company's president Christopher Smith.

He is responsible for the photography and production of Prestige and GemBrief reports, which have defined how the authenticity of colored gemstones are identified for customers around the world. 

Alex joined AGL from Doyle New York, where he served as one the auction house's two dedicated jewelry photographers. Prior to Doyle New York, he has photographed for various clients, including the likes of Fredrick Goldman, J Crew & Toys R Us.

Alex holds an Associate of Applied Science degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1994.



Wendi Mayerson

Wendi is an acknowledged expert in gemology with over 25 years’ experience in the jewelry industry.  She has B.A. in Geology from Colgate University and a Graduate Gemologist diploma (in residence) from GIA. 

Wendi worked for GIA for 15 years, during which time she taught the resident G.G. program, lectured for GIA around the world and worked as a Senior Staff Gemologist in the New York Research & Identification Lab.   It was there that she met Christopher Smith. They worked together at GIA for several years, then brought their gemological teamwork to AGL in 2007.

In 2009 Wendi took time off to pursue other industry avenues.  She directed a high-end watch auction house & used her skills at stone buying for designers & retailers alike.  After a few years, her passion for gemology brought her back to AGL.  Here she will best be able to share gemological knowledge with the team & the trade.

Beth Newman

Beth graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is our customer service representative and administrative assistant. Beth happily greets clients and offers assistance with all inquiries. 

©2016 American Gemological Laboratories