By Ashley Davis
Charles and Erna Leutwyler owned a jewelry store in Austin, Texas for more than 20 years and were passionate about continued diamond learning. This year, a scholarship will be awarded to students in their memory.

Carlsbad, Calif.--The Gemological Institute of America has announced the addition of a new scholarship to its already robust program.

This year marks the start of the Charles and Erna Leutwyler Memorial Scholarship, funded by a bequest of close to $500,000 from the estate of the couple, who were GIA alumni.

The scholarship will provide $18,000 annually to one student toward their on-campus completion of a Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Jeweler or Jewelry Design & Technology program of study in the United States.

Charles and Erna Leutwyler were the owners of Charles Leutwyler Jewelers in Austin, Texas for more than 20 years.

Charles was a fifth-generation jeweler and loved technology and learning. At one point, he was invited to photograph the Hope Diamond, using techniques he invented to take microscopic pictures of stones that captured their internal structures and inclusions.

Both Charles and Erna took numerous courses at the GIA to stay up-to-date with diamond-grading practices.

“We are pleased that GIA can honor the Leutwylers, their dedication to learning and their spirit of giving through this memorial scholarship,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

The GIA will offer a total of $2 million in scholarships this calendar year to its students.

Over the past eight years, the institute has awarded $8 million worth of scholarships for both on-campus classes across all of its worldwide locations and e-learning courses.

Both the GIA Endowment Fund and private donors fund the scholarships.

The period to apply for 2018 scholarships begins Feb. 1 and closes March 31.

For more information, call +1 (760) 603-4131 or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.