AGTA, Rio Grande Announce Partnership
Rio Grande will promote AGTA gemstones and membership to its customers, while AGTA will promote education and industry standards.
As part of the collaboration, beginning this year, Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Rio Grande will offer its customers an expanded selection of “ethically sourced” gemstones, promote AGTA-branded gemstones, prioritize the association’s vendors, and encourage its suppliers in the United States and Canada to join AGTA.
“Building on our core principles, we look forward to working closely with AGTA and its members, increasing supply chain transparency and deepening the trust Rio’s customers can have in the conscientious sourcing of precious gemstones,” Rio Grande President Arien Gessner said.
Becky Scheffler, Rio Grande’s merchandising manager, added that the partnership gives Rio Grande the opportunity to collaborate on the organizations’ “shared commitment to responsible sourcing.”
AGTA, in turn, will support Rio Grande’s clients by promoting education, disclosures and industry standards to help jewelers perfect their craft.
It will also offer Rio Grande’s retail jeweler clients exclusive membership opportunities.
John W. Ford Sr., who became AGTA CEO in August 2022, said he is excited about this “momentous alignment,” which will make AGTA-sourced gemstones available to Rio Grande’s thousands of wholesale customers.
Kimberley Collins, president of AGTA’s board of directors, said, “We see our new strategic relationship with Rio Grande as an opportunity to expand the knowledge and demand for ethically sourced and properly disclosed gemstones. Our goal is to offer Rio Grande customers the finest gemstones and the peace of mind an AGTA-sourced gemstone represents.”
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