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Jewelers of America Relaunches Bench Certification Program

3 levels of certification are being offered.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, has relaunched the Bench Professional Certification Program, a program created to promote the professionalism of jewelers and store owners. The newly reworked program provides a tangible way to boost confidence in the ability of the certified bench jeweler to perform quality work.

The JA Bench Professional Certification Program establishes national standards and administers tests to rate the talents and proficiency of bench jewelers at three levels. The levels are: JA Certified Beginner Bench Jeweler (CBBJ), which reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a trained entry-level bench jeweler generalist performing jewelry repair with about one year’s experience; JA Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ), that reflects skills and knowledge generally expected of a bench jeweler generalist performing most jewelry repairs with two or more years of experience; and JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler (CMBJ), the highest level of JA Bench Professional Certification that demonstrates mastery at all skill levels.

“We are thrilled to bring back our popular Bench Professional Certification Program at this important time. With bench jewelers demand at a high and a new generation of jewelry professionals entering the industry, we have an opportunity to better serve our jewelers by providing certification opportunities that demonstrate competencies while serving as a platform to improve consumer confidence,” says JA President & CEO David Bonaparte.

Certification test procedures are in two parts. There is a written exam and a practical test. The practical tests require the candidate to prove proficiency in performing a variety of tasks set to national standards. The candidate may utilize whatever tools and technology available to complete the projects (i.e., laser, various welders, press, etc.) The practical bench tests may be taken at the candidate’s own bench using his/her own tools and equipment or a location of their choice.

Upon certification, individuals receive a Bench Professional Certification certificate, a JA Bench Professional Certification lapel pin, use of a JA Bench Professional Certification logo, and a press release template. JA members also receive a Bench Professional Jeweler Certification decal for display in the window or door of a store, shop, or other place of business and a special designation in the Find a Jeweler Directory here.

For more information or to register for certification, visit here or contact JA’s Member Services at (800) 223-0673.




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Wilkerson: “They Feel Like Family”

Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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