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Welcome, Jewelry Instructors and Educators!

Thank you for everything you do. Your commitment, courage and generosity keep the art and industry of jewelry making alive. The Rio for Schools program exists to support you by providing extra savings on products and services, educational resources and access to industry knowledge. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service.

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Educators—Ready to Join Rio for Schools?

Are you a jewelry student?

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Save time and money equipping your teaching space! You are invited to apply for Rio for Schools if you are actively working as a(n):

  • Jewelry or metalsmithing instructor teaching new students and/or lifelong learners
  • Administrator for an institution that offers jewelry-making or metalsmithing classes
  • Owner/manager of an educational studio that provides bench time and/or instruction

Please complete the form below.

You only need to complete one form, even if you teach several different classes and/or at multiple institutions. Register as an individual, and list the names of your classes and the school or program where you teach in the “School(s), Institution(s) or program(s)” field.

You’ll receive an email confirming your enrollment in 2 business days.

Please complete all the required fields.

Instructor Program Benefits

Jeweler practicing sawing at the bench

Benefits last for one year from date of activation. You’ll receive a reminder email to re-enroll before your membership expires.

  • RioPro-level savings on nearly everything we offer, with no minimum spend to remain in the program
  • Free precious metal scrap recycling (the $50 fee will be waived)
  • Free economy shipping and free ground shipping up to 10 lbs.
  • Publicity opportunities in our Eye on Education newsletter
  • Opportunities to list your classes on our “Education and Learning” page
  • No-appointment access to our Jewelry Tech Team
  • Specialized customer service from a dedicated Education Team
  • 1:1 consults when setting up new equipment

Meet Your Rio for Schools Team

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson

Years in Jewelry Industry: 30 | Years at Rio Grande: 15

Mark Nelson is an award-winning metalsmith, jeweler and self-described “dabbler in everything.” He studied jewelry metals as an undergrad at Northern Arizona University and later received his M.F.A. in Jewelry/Metals from Texas Tech University. A former member of the national guard, Mark has taught many metalsmithing, soldering, stone-setting and flex-shaft classes at universities, community colleges and on-site at Rio Grande. Understanding the fun and challenges involved in teaching, Mark is excited to join the Rio For Schools program in support of educational opportunities for future generations.

Jessica Heaton

Jessica Heaton

Years in the Jewelry Industry: Lifelong Maker | Years at Rio Grande: 3

Jessica Heaton has been exploring creative outlets in design from a very young age. A lifelong student, Jessica has tinkered in weaving, glass blowing, PMC, sculpture, blacksmithing and metal arts. A maker at heart and a member of the Association of Professional Piercers, she laughs about possibly having the most class certificates of any Rio Grande employee. Jessica loves working through a process with others and communicating what she has learned from those experiences. Jessica joins the Rio for Schools program with one question in mind, “How can I help?”

Email the Rio for Schools Team >

Call the Rio for Schools team at 844-246-9500.

Student FAQs

While some aspects of joining the Rio for Schools program have changed, our commitment to providing students with savings and support is unwavering. Here’s a quick look at how you can take advantage of Rio for Schools benefits.

Jewelry students join Rio for Schools and access benefits through participating instructors.

If your instructor belongs to Rio for Schools, they will share a unique promo code that will unlock wholesale benefits for six months from the date of activation.

Students who use the unique code from their qualifying instructor enjoy these wholesale benefits for six months:

  • Wholesale price breaks on nearly everything we offer: Tools and equipment, display and packing, gems, chains and findings, milled metals, finished jewelry, and diamonds and moissanite (if qualified).
  • No-appointment access to our Jewelry Tech Team
  • Access to a Learning and Education hub with listings for online jewelry instruction from Rio for Schools instructors, webinar announcements and more.

Student benefits last for six months from the date you activate your instructor’s code.

If you register for another class taught by a Rio for Schools instructor, you’ll receive a different code to use for the following six months, and so on.

You can also lock in wholesale benefits by updating your account with your Federal Employee Identification Number, State Tax ID, Jeweler Board of Trade number or Secretary of State business registration. This is one-time step that will lock in benefits and save you on all future purchases.

Apply for a wholesale account >

You can visit our partner classes page. In the Jewelry School Directory look for the Rio for Schools badge:

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