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[again] JA bench certification

Hi, I would like to know more about JA bench certification. Is
this a complete course concerning different jewelry techniques or
a kind of test to get a certificate. Does someone (may be those
who went through) can give me infos about the content of this
test. This certificate seems to be the highest grade in US isn’t
it? Is it accessible for everyone, is it governmental, private
or manage by an association? Does it have a link with the GIA.

Tank you,
Vincent Guy Audette
Quebec City

Hey Vince, I am presently working on these tests. I’ve been
working on the bench for 28 years and I believe that these tests
are pretty comprehensive. They don’t cover everything but they do
seem to cover everything that most jewelers will encounter in a
lifetime. No enameling, mokume, granulation or invisible setting.
There are timed practical tests and written exams. They are open
to anyone that is willing to pay for them. This is a series of
tests designed by Jewelers of America, Stuller Setting, the GIA(I
think) and a few other luminaries. If you are really interested
call 1-800-223-0673.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler


Hello Guy:

Hi, I would like to know more about JA bench certification.

I am in the process of taking the Jewelers of america Master
bench jeweler certification test. For contact Mark
B. Mann at 1-800-223-0673 Visit their web site at It is in coordination with GIA and
Jewelers of America. It is a test of what you as a jeweler are
capable of. Skill level and time constraints are more rigid the
higher the ranking. In my opinion it is a good way to tell future
and current employers what your made of.

Michael Mathews

A word about the JA bench certification program… This is long
overdue. Most other countries have some sort of certification
and we should have one too.

I have been in on the development of the program and I can say
that the tests are very fair and reasonable. Clearly JA wants
people to pass, for a lot of reasons. The grading is very
objective and fair. This is a great program for our trade. It is
not perfect, but it comes very close.

The goldsmith wins by receiving recognition, the ability to look
for a job long distance and the clarification of strengths,
weaknesses and the ability to set new goals.

The store wins by placing a sign in the window announcing that
there is a JA Certified Jeweler on premises. It makes hiring much

The customer wins by knowing that a qualified professional is
working on their jewelry.

I would suggest this program to anybody serious about a career
at the bench. The tests are not cheap, but with Stuller’s
temporary scholarship assistance, the costs are not too steep

Call JA and ask for the BJC program. 800-223-0673. Alan

As far as I can see, it’s a new system established by GIA to
certify the various level of skills a person may posess. As
stated before, it’s new and it’s expensive however, it seems to
be taking hold as a barometer in the hiring of new people by the
industry. Contact GIA and I’m sure they would send you all the

Steve Klepinger

The testing program is by Jewelers of America (JA) and is
supported by Stuller Findings and many other organizations. You
can get info on the test program from them. It is a series of
four tests and certification levels. Alan Revere is currently
offering courses to provide certification skills. It is a first
attempt at providing industry wide grading of bench skills and in
my opinion does lack some focus on specialists. It is a step in
the right direction for employers to evaluate prospective bench

Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard USA
Fabricated 14k, 18k, 22k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography,
and sailing whenever I can…

Actually the program is a JA development. GIA and Texas
Institute of Jewelry Technology and the Revere Academy were
involved in creating the criteria and testing the problem. I
think it is very valuable and a win/win program for both , the
jeweler and the employer. I am proud to have been the fourth JA
Certified Master Bench Jeweler in the USA. I think that in the
future, more and more employers will look for certified people.
The three instiutions that helped put this wonderful program on
the map, are excellent places to upgrade your skill and pass a
desired level. As we don’t really have an apprenticeship system
in America, this is the next best thing. Jurgen J. Maerz