Josh Monte Olson, a model maker and bench jeweler for Wheeler Manufacturing Co. in Lemmon, S.D., has earned the designation of JA Certified Bench Jeweler (CBJ) from Jewelers of America (JA). Olson is the first jeweler in South Dakota and the 101st nationwide to receive this distinction, the second level of the JA Bench Jeweler Certification program.
Olson graduated from Lemmon High School in Lemmon, S.D., in 2002 and went on to study at Paris Junior College at the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in Paris, Texas. In the summer of 2003, Olson won a second place award in stone settings from Southwestern Findings/Namano and was also a Southwestern Findings/Namano stone settings nominee that fall. Olson also was a nominee in 2003 for the Stuller Awards of Excellence.
JA’s Bench Jeweler Certification program sets uniform standards for testing and evaluating a bench jeweler’s talent, ability, and proficiency. The program tests a broad range of professional knowledge and technical bench skills (stone setting, soldering, polishing, etc.). To become certified, a candidate must demonstrate proficiency in each skill area to an acceptable national standard. For information, call JA at (800) 223-0673 or visit www.jewelers.org.