By Michelle Graff
Las Vegas—AGS Conclave 2020 has been called off, the American Gem Society said in a statement released Monday night.

“Conclave is more than an event; it’s an experience,” said Katherine Bodoh, CEO of AGS and AGS Laboratories.

“We are tremendously saddened by our decision, but we saw no other choice. The health of our members is a priority.”

The annual gathering, the AGS’s signature event, was scheduled to take place from April 27 to 29 in Denver.

AGS said it’s looking into holding a virtual mini-conference later this year, and it will beef up its online learning center, the AGS PRO, to further help members.

It also announced the location and dates for Conclave 2021—it’s scheduled to take place in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 26 to 28 at the Omni Louisville Hotel.

“If there is a silver lining to any of this, it’s that we get to announce our 2021 plans sooner. We are thrilled to be heading to Louisville next year,” said Alexis Padis, chair of the Conclave Subcommittee.

“What’s especially exciting is that Conclave will take place right before the Kentucky Derby, which will add to an already exceptional week.”

Conclave is the latest in a line of jewelry industry events to be canceled or postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced nonessential businesses across the United States—and worldwide—to temporarily close in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday, and in Denver, this year’s Conclave host city, officials issued a public order Sunday recommending gatherings of 50 people or more be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks, per the CDC’s recently revised guidelines, KDVR reports.

Restaurants and bars in Denver are also closed.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 167,515 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of Monday, including 1,678 in the United States.

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