Rio Grande contributes to GIA Endowment Fund

Hugh Bell, president of Rio Grande, a leading American supplier of jewelry industry tools and equipment has contributed $150,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for aspiring gem and jewelry students at the world’s leading educator to the industry, the Gemological Institute of America.

“We need more people with passion—passion for gems and passion for jewelry,” said Bell. “Not everyone with the desire has the means.” Bell says he hopes the company’s endowed fund will help more people accomplish their goal to become part of the industry through a GIA education. “I feel our company, and the rest of the industry, has gotten a great deal from GIA. It is appropriate for us to give some back.”

Bell’s contribution will be formally recognized at the GIA League of Honor dinner Oct. 12 in New York City, where he will be inducted with other industry leaders. The prestigious event honors the philanthropic generosity of those who contribute $100,000 or more to the Institute. A classroom in Carlsbad will also be named after the company.

This is not the first time the company has contributed to the Institute. Alan Bell, director of Rio Grande, was inducted into GIA’s 2003 Circle of Honor for his company’s non-cash donations of jewelry workbenches and other equipment for educational use over the years. To find out more about the GIA Endowment Fund, contact GIA Director of Institute Relations Jane Lynch at, or call 760-603-4114.

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