Press Release

Fifth-Generation Jeweller Receives Beatrice Shipley Scholarship

Portrait of Madelaine Genna, GIA and AGS Beatrice Shipley Scholarship recipient.

Awarded for study at GIA and AGS

CARLSBAD, Calif. – 10 Dec 2019 – GIA and AGS (American Gem Society) have awarded the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship – named in honour of Mrs Shipley for her many contributions to both organisations – to fifth-generation jeweller Madelaine Genna from central Florida. The scholarship provides tuition for Genna to complete the GIA Graduate Gemologist programme on-campus, the AGS Way Course and to attend the 2020 AGS Conclave in Denver, CO.
AGS and GIA jointly established the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship, which was announced by Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO, at the 2019 AGS Conclave in Seattle, Washington.
“It is an honour to help the next generation of industry leaders prepare for their careers with education from GIA and AGS,” said Jacques. “Madelaine Genna grew up in our industry; it is wonderful to see her passion propel her into a successful career. We are so proud that she is the first to receive the Beatrice Shipley Scholarship.”
“We would like to express our gratitude to GIA for helping our members achieve their goals,” said Katherine Bodoh, CEO of AGS. “I was so inspired by the applications we received from our wonderful members. I’d also like to thank John Carter, President of the AGS Board of Directors, who brought this brilliant idea to AGS and GIA.”
Genna grew up behind the counter of her parent’s jewellery store in Florida, where she developed a love for gems and jewellery at a young age. After graduating from university with a degree in advertising and public relations, she worked for a number of jewellery designers. Today, Genna remains involved in the family business and says that once she completes her studies at AGS and GIA, she has a vision to grow and expand the family jewellery business. Genna is already an AGS certified sales assistant and has her GIA Diamond Essentials certificate.  
“I feel so fortunate to be the recipient of a scholarship in honour of Beatrice Shipley. She was a woman in business when there were few, and a driving force in the formation of GIA and AGS. I have the utmost respect for these organisations, as my family’s affiliation with them has truly allowed their business to flourish. Beatrice is someone I greatly admire as she represents all the amazing things that a woman can be and I’m so proud to be associated with her in this way,” said Genna.
Both GIA and AGS were founded in the 1930s when Robert and Beatrice Shipley cashed in their savings to create two organisations with the goal of educating jewellers, professionalising the industry and creating a guild for these jewellers to join.

About AGS
The American Gem Society, founded in 1934, is a non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting a high standard of ethics, continuous education and consumer protection within the jewellery industry. The American Gem Society awards credentials for its members, who are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their titles. Fewer than one in twenty jewellers in the country have chosen to meet the exacting standards necessary for membership.

About GIA

An independent non-profit organisation, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognised as the world’s foremost authority in gemmology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognised by virtually every professional jeweller in the world.     
Through research, education, gemmological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewellery by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism.