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5 Jewelry Distributors Hit With Penalties for Toxic Metals

They’ll pay $83,362 in all as part of a settlement.

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SACRAMENTO, CA – California officials announced settlements resolving allegations against five jewelry distributors for selling jewelry containing excessive levels of lead and, in one instance, cadmium.

The companies, located in Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties, sold jewelry for adults and children with lead or cadmium at levels in violation of California law, according to a press release from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. In some cases, the jewelry exceeded the legal amount by 1,000 times. In addition, one of the companies misled consumers by labeling jewelry as “lead-free” even though it contained unlawful levels of lead, according to the release.

“Lead and cadmium are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems, even at low levels of exposure, and especially for children” said Becerra. “Today’s settlements should send a strong message to anyone who would put profits ahead of public health. It doesn’t pay – the California Department of Justice will hold you accountable.”

State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D – Los Angeles) said, “It is common knowledge that exposure to lead causes real and permanent harm. What is less well known is that lead is a common ingredient in jewelry. Also less well known is that cadmium is another toxic metal commonly found in jewelry. This bill takes into consideration the exposure to children and adults, the impact on industry, and the feasibility of the limits. It strengthens California’s lead and cadmium jewelry laws by establishing science-backed standards that have demonstrated success in both North America and Europe.”

Lead and cadmium are toxic metals that can cause severe and chronic health effects including neurological impairments, kidney damage, seizures, comas and death. Young children are especially susceptible to these adverse health effects, because their bodies and brains are still developing.

“Despite widespread publicity and concern about this problem, and in some cases repeated warnings from DTSC, the defendants continually violated the law in pursuit of profit, leaving the public to suffer the consequences,” according to the release.

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The settlements resolve allegations that the defendants violated California’s Metal Containing Jewelry Law and the Unfair Competition Law, and made untrue or misleading advertising claims. These settlements, filed as stipulated judgments, collectively award the State $83,362 in monetary penalties and include orders to comply with all statutes and regulations applicable to the manufacture, distribution, or sale of jewelry in California. The companies also agree to sell only jewelry that has been screened or tested before offering it for sale.

Defendants out of Los Angeles County:

  • Peer JS Inc. (Peer JS) will pay a penalty of $27,771.
  • Obedebom Inc. (Sun’s Trading) will pay a penalty of $20,000.
  • Andrea and Paulo Corp. (Andrea Bijoux) will pay a penalty of $13,416.
  • Seven Star Fashion Accessory (Seven Star) will pay a penalty of $7,175.

The defendant out of Santa Clara County, Le Belle Merchandise Corp. (Le Belle), will pay a penalty of $15,000.

Additionally, in an effort to protect the public from toxic metals in jewelry, Becerra and Mitchell have joined to update laws pertaining to jewelry. SB 647, introduced by Mitchell on Feb. 22, would improve the state’s outdated metal-containing jewelry laws to better reflect current and international science on the toxicity of lead and cadmium in jewelry.

Since 2006, Congress, Canada, the European Union, and the World Health Organization all recognize that lead and cadmium pose a higher risk and are more toxic than what is tolerated in California’s current law, according to the release.

SB 647 strengthens California’s lead and cadmium jewelry laws by establishing science-backed standards that have demonstrated success in both North America and Europe. Specifically, SB 647 does the following:

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  • Adopts the federal standard for lead in children’s jewelry (<100 ppm).
  • Establishes a cadmium standard for paint and surface coating of children’s jewelry pursuant to the ASTM International standard (<75 ppm).
  • Amends the definition of children’s jewelry to conform with Canada’s definition (jewelry intended for children under 15 years of age).
  • Applies the EU lead jewelry standard (<500 ppm) to adult jewelry.

Pictures of the jewelry are available here.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Burglars Are Cutting Jewelry Stores’ Power Lines to Disable Alarms

It’s happened more than 30 times across the country.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that there’s been a nationwide pattern of burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems.

On April 17, JSA issued a crime alert on the burglary of a Laguna Niguel, CA, jewelry store in which the power lines were cut. Burglars came through the roof, cut into a safe and took a large amount of merchandise.

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JSA has now received reports of over 30 cases in which burglars have cut the power lines. It’s happened in Florida, Colorado, California, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois and Utah, as well as in Canada.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

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“After cutting the wires, the burglars watch and wait,” JSA stated. “If the burglars feel safe after having witnessed the owner or police response or lack of response to the cut wires, they will break into the store, often by cutting through the roof or sidewall.

“They will then attack the safe, usually cutting into it, and sometimes torching it.”

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Jewelry Chain Looks to Build $13M Headquarters

It will employ about 100 people.

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James Avery, a Texas-based manufacturer that operates 88 stores, is looking to open a second headquarters at a cost of $13 million.

The facility would be located in Cedar Park, TX, KXAN-TV and the Austin Business Journal report.

James Avery Craftsman Inc. is seeking more than $500,000 in economic incentives for the project.

As part of the agreement, the headquarters would need to have a payroll of about $4.9 million by 2025. It would also need to consist of at least 35,000 square feet.

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The Business Journal reports that the facility would have more than 100 employees.

Kerrville-based James Avery, known in part for its Christian-themed jewelry, is particularly popular in its home state of Texas, where it operates 80 stores.

Read more at KXAN-TV

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Video: 3 Millennial Couples Reveal Their True Thoughts On Lab-Grown Diamonds

MVI Marketing has released a new video.

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MVI Marketing has released a new video in which three millennial couples reveal what they think about lab-grown diamonds.

The couples interviewed by MV Eye are all actively shopping for engagement rings.

In the video, which is under three minutes long, they’re asked about topics such as their budget, their shopping preferences and their views on lab-grown diamonds.

Watch the video:


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