(Press Release) Leading jewelry associations in the United States have come together to form the United States Jewelry Council, in order to work more closely together on making sure the U.S. jewelry industry is collectively represented at government and international levels, as well as dealing more effectively on key issues, such as those of social, ethical and environmental importance, that might impact the U.S. jewelry industry.
Council members are:
- American Gem Society (AGS)
- Diamond Council of America (DCA)
- Diamond Bourse of Southeast United States (DBSE)
- Diamond Dealers Club of New York (DDC)
- Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America (DMIA)
- Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association (IDCA)
- Jewelers of America (JA)
- Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA)
- Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA)
The Council has elected the following officers:
- President - Ronnie VanderLinden, President of the DMIA
- Treasurer - David J. Bonaparte, President & CEO of JA
- Secretary - Ruth Batson, CEO of AGS
James Evans Lombe, Director of Ethical Initiatives, Jewelers of America, has been appointed CEO of the Council.
The organizations – whose combined memberships represent the vast majority of the U.S. jewelry industry – believe U.S. businesses need a united voice on issues as diverse as environmental mining standards, factory working conditions, full and proper disclosure of all relevant information before sale, be it the type of stone, weight, metal quality etc. as well as any other issues that can impact consumer confidence in the diamond and jewelry industry such as the financial regulations on anti-money laundering or the international systems to prevent the re-occurrence of conflict diamonds. For example, the Council is a member of the World Diamond Council, working with the WDC to enhance the U.S. jewelry industry’s voice in the Kimberley Process.
“The success or failure of U.S.-based jewelry businesses - and the entire diamond and jewelry supply chain - is in large part dependent on a healthy representation of U.S. businesses in the national and global arena,” says Ronnie VanderLinden, Chair of the USJC & President of the DMIA.
“These challenges on the national and global scale are more than an individual association can handle alone. The U.S. industry needs a coordinated effort to ensure we can protect consumer confidence in our product and have a say on policies that affect the livelihoods of our members.”
By joining forces, the associations combine their expertise and experience with the aim of having greater influence in dealing with challenges facing the U.S. jewelry industry on a national and global scale.
Along with the growing shift in consumer awareness and attitudes, pressure from governments and non-governmental associations remains high and intergovernmental and other global initiatives, such as the Kimberley Process and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), are tied closely to consumer confidence in the U.S. market.
“As representatives of the fine jewelry industry in the U.S., we have to work together to represent the common concerns of our respective memberships and our consumers,” says Ruth Batson, Secretary of the USJC & CEO of AGS. “Jewelers represent the last, critical, link to the final purchasers of jewelry. We know jewelers are at the forefront of ensuring that consumers keep their trust in jewelers and jewelry products, ensuring that both the customer and the entire jewelry industry are protected.”
Andrew Keller, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, said, “We look forward to engaging with the U.S. Jewelry Council and continue to support U.S. industry’s effort to lead by example in the areas of responsible sourcing, supply chain transparency, and ethical business conduct.”
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