Yesterday, U.S. State Department officials delivered a blunt message to industry groups and companies at a meeting in New York City: Jewelry businesses must know and declare where all their materials originate from or they will be subject to new regulations. The jewelry industry has already been told about this, but apparently someone was not listening.
The government wants to know where every part of a piece is sourced, not just the gemstones or diamond, but the gold and everything.
The United States believes that jewelry materials and other minerals are funding conflict and rogue regimes, specifically mentioning Iran, Venezuela, and certain countries in Africa, said, attendees. But it’s also interested in more than those areas. It’s about knowing everything about every piece of jewelry and its parts.
State Department officials have expressed frustration with the slow rate of change in the industry at meetings before. But this felt a little different, said those in attendance. It appears the State Dept is not fooling around.
There were threats of new regulations on the industry, though attendees received few specifics. Some speculated it could be a new law or executive order.
“Something is cooking,” said another attendee. “It seemed very serious, not threatening yet, but serious without a doubt. And heaven help someone who does not abide by this or worse, lies.And it appears this is coming from the top, President Trump and the Secretary of State have given this priority.
Existing regulations are not being followed. So the jewelry industry will now be held accountable and was given these sanctions.
The “threat assessment” is higher than it has been in the past.
– The Kimberley Process is inadequate to solve the current problems.
– Insuring a chain of custody for all materials is important to the U.S. government.
– The government plans to hold U.S. suppliers and purchasers accountable.
– More industry education is needed on these issues.
– The government is looking to do more enforcement of existing rules and regulations, specifically mentioning those pertaining to anti–money laundering.
So apparently it would be in the best interest of the jewelry industry to take note. I can also see the difficulty in reporting the source of every little piece on every item. I doubt there are any exclusions.
Courtesy JCK Magazine
Rob Bates Editor