What We Stand For
With a mission to increase consumer confidence in the jewelry industry, Jewelers of America advocates professionalism and adherence to high ethical, social and environmental standards through our Code of Professional Practices. The following position statements reflect Jewelers of America and our members beliefs on issues related to the integrity of the jewelry industry and consumer confidence.
Jump to: Diamonds | Gold | Conflict Minerals | Grading Reports | Ivory
- Being a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
- Participating in initiatives such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the United Nations-mandated system that regulates rough diamonds in order to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.
- Working with the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America and Jewelers Vigilance Committee to develop the Diamond Source Warranty Protocol, a voluntary inventory management tool to help members of the trade if they desire additional assurances from suppliers that diamonds are not sourced from areas they deem questionable in relation to their business’s professional standards.
- Supporting the Diamond Development Initiative International, which is working to develop standards for the artisanal mining sector.
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Jewelers of America co-founded the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), which has created a worldwide diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewelry supply chain system for companies in all sectors, from mining through to retail. RJC completed its work on mining standards and officially launched its system in 2009. In March 2012, the RJC launched its Chain-of-Custody Standard for the precious metals supply chain. It is applicable to gold and platinum group metals.
Jewelers of America also participates in and supports initiatives such as the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, as well as cross-sector work that is being done to develop responsibly sourced supply chains for gold and other minerals.
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We are deeply concerned about the reports of human rights abuses related to gold mining, particularly in the artisanal sector in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Jewelers of America fully condemns the use of any minerals to fund conflict in the DRC, in its adjoining countries or anywhere in the world. We strongly believe in the goals of the conflict minerals provision, which Congress passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The law targets conflict minerals, including gold, from the region. Jewelers of America remains concerned that thus far, the law’s biggest impact has been the unintended negative consequences felt by the very communities in the DRC and neighboring countries that it was meant to benefit and protect.
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Jewelers of America Members must adhere to the JA Code of Professional Practices, which includes a commitment to fully and accurately disclose the material characteristics of the products and merchandise they sell. This includes products that are sold with grading reports. This provision in the JA Code is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries.
Diamond grading reports from gemological laboratories are a subjective tool to help enhance the jewelry sales process. Even with technological advances to improve grading, it is important that the subjective nature of reports be stressed to consumers. They provide third-party assurances to a buyer that a particular stone was examined by gemological experts and can be used to support claims, such as quality factors – like color, clarity, cut and carat weight – made at the point of purchase. A grading report is not a certificate nor a guarantee and should never be represented as such to a potential buyer. A grading report is also not an appraisal and should not be used to determine the price of a stone.
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Jewelers of America supports the efforts of the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, which aims to fight black-market sales of products made from endangered animals. This includes elephant ivory, the target of a near total ban by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
We strongly advise our members to strictly adhere to all laws related to elephant ivory and other illegal products. We encourage them to do their part to eliminate the supply and the demand for illegal wildlife products in our industry, working to keep these products out of their supply chains and educating their business partners and customers about the devastating impacts caused by the purchase of illegally trafficked wildlife products. We also encourage our members to make additional, voluntary commitments to protect, and to draw attention to threatened species that are being poached for commercial sale.
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