The Saul Bell Design Award—Recognizing distinction in jewelry design.
Carl Jung once said, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.” So it is with both appreciation and gratitude that we honor Saul Bell with the Saul Bell Design Award competition.
Saul Bell began his jewelry apprenticeship when he was eight years old. By his early teens he was a capable bench jeweler, and he continued to study and perfect his skills, going on to become a watchmaker as well. In 1944 he established the precursor to Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to serve the jewelers and artisans who lived and worked there.
Though the business he started now serves jewelers all over the world, Saul Bell was interested in personal relationships with his customers and students. To the end of his life in 1996, he remained in constant personal contact with those who made jewelry. He took special delight in sharing his considerable knowledge with anyone who asked. His quiet patience endeared him to all, his good humor brought a smile to almost every interaction, and our industry abounds with stories of the support and opportunities he provided to young jewelers working to develop their skills.
This competition honors the spirit of Saul Bell and his life’s work. It is our hope that his influence will continue to inspire and enlighten jewelers everywhere.
About Rio Grande
Among the largest worldwide suppliers to the jewelry industry, Rio Grande was founded in 1944 by Saul Bell, a skilled bench jeweler, teacher and mentor who supported metalsmiths and jewelers throughout his life. Today, Rio Grande is a member of The Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and remains committed to supporting jewelers in every way possible.