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New Scholarship | Ben Bridge Jeweler X Black in Jewelry Coalition

The Lonia Tate scholarship.




New Scholarship | Ben Bridge Jeweler X Black in Jewelry Coalition

(PRESS RELEASE) Ben Bridge Jeweler is sponsoring “The Lonia Tate Scholarship” available through Black in Jewelry Coalition.

Scholarship Description

This scholarship, sponsored by Ben Bridge Jeweler, is awarded in memory of Lonia Tate, Registered Jeweler, and long-term associate at Ben Bridge Jeweler. Lonia was passionate about the jewelry industry, was heavily involved in community service, and served as the first Black President of the Seattle Chapter of Executive Women International. In her honor, we offer this scholarship for the GIA Graduate Gemology Program (distance learning only). This scholarship includes an internship* with Ben Bridge Jeweler following the completion of the gemological program. This scholarship and internship is for a minority candidate who intends to have a career in the fine jewelry industry.

Eligibility and Criteria for Selection

  • Qualified applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of GIA course enrollment, and not already enrolled in courses at GIA.
  • Qualified applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and must be American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.
  • Qualified applicants must have a high school diploma or GED at the time of registration to GIA – GIA requires a transcript to enroll.
  • Qualified applicants must sign an agreement attested to their intention to complete the GIA Graduate Gemologist Program in the time allotted by GIA.
  • Scholarship winner will have a strong desire to work in the gem and jewelry industry.
  • Scholarship winner will be selected from one of the following US states in which Ben Bridge Jeweler operates: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington State.
  • Scholarship winner will have a demonstrated commitment and impact on their community through community service, as that was a big part of who Lonia was.

Required Submissions

  • Proof of high school diploma;
  • Proof of citizenship (or permanent residency);
  • Essays describing:
    • Why would you like to pursue a GIA Graduate Gemologist Diploma? (no more than 100 words);
    • What career do you envision after completing the Graduate Gemologist Program? (no more than 100 words);
    • Why you are the best candidate? (no more than 100 words);
    • Describe how your community service has had an impact;
  • Certification of intent to complete GIA Graduate Gemologist course.


  • Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2021 to be considered;
  • Winners will be announced by May 7, 2021.


One scholarship for the successful completion of the GIA Graduate Gemologist Program (distance learning only). The approximate value for the program and appropriate equipment is $10,000.

Required Contact Information

  • Name, Address, Mobile Phone, Email, Social Media Handle (optional)

Sumbission: Fill out the application and submit the required information here.




When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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