The jewelry industry – with the precious materials in its products and the international scope of its supply chains – is often subject to complex government regulations that go beyond ethical principles to include matters of the law. Since 1906, Jewelers of America has advocated on behalf of the jewelry industry and ensures our members are up to date on regulations that can affect their businesses.

When the government holds jewelry businesses accountable for legal requirements, Jewelers of America publishes regulation guides that our members can use to manage their business and comply. We summarize current and recent regulations that could affect jewelry businesses below. Log in for the JA Member Guides on these topics >

Burmese Rubies & Jade - Updated

On October 7, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an executive order officially lifting the remaining trade and economic sanctions on Myanmar (Burma), including those on Burmese rubies. Myanmar has implemented much-needed democratic reforms, including the country’s first free elections in 25 years in November 2015, resulting in the U.S. removing sanctions.

As far back as October 2007, Jewelers of America took a stand on the human rights issues in Myanmar, asking members to inform their suppliers that they would no longer buy gems mined in Myanmar in accordance with the association’s Code of Professional Practices. JA also sent letters to legislators asking for the introduction of legislation to specifically ban Burmese-mined gems. Congress responded in 2008 with The Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act, prohibiting the importation of Burmese jadeite and rubies and jewelry containing those gemstones. The Act, along with other diplomatic and sanctions efforts, has been instrumental in bringing about political and economic changes in the country. 

With the ban lifted, Jewelers of America will continue to monitor the situation in Myanmar and work with policymakers to support the development of best practices. We’ll continue to provide Jewelers of America guidance to members as needed and strongly advise our members to support international human rights within their sphere of influence in line with JA’s Code of Professional Practices.

Children’s Jewelry

Retailers should inform their suppliers of children’s plated metal jewelry and other children’s items (such as rattles) that they must provide proof of the lead-content testing and certification required of manufacturers and direct importers of children’s jewelry. For more information read the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Guidance on the CPSIA for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters and Charities.

Gold

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act includes provisions that target conflict minerals, including gold from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and surrounding countries. As a result, jewelry companies that are publicly traded will be required to disclose their use of conflict minerals, including gold. Jewelers of America believes that those companies that are not required to comply with the law will still feel its affects throughout the gold and jewelry supply chain. 

Money Laundering

Under the US Patriot Act, a division of the Department of the Treasury requires dealers in precious metals, stones or jewels to establish an Anti-Money Laundering compliance program. Dealers are defined as any person or company who annually purchases and sells more than $50,000 in precious metals, precious stones, jewels, or finished goods deriving more than 50% of their value from precious metals, stones or jewels. Review the JA Guidanceto see if your business requires an Anti-Money Laundering plan.
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