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What Do I Need to Know About Jewelry Certifications?

In the jewelry industry, certifications can vary depending on the specific markets and the materials used. Some widely recognized certifications and standards that can enhance a jewelry manufacturer's credibility and assure customers of the quality and ethical practices include:

  • Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC) Certification: RJC is an international organization that sets standards for responsible business practices in the jewelry supply chain, including ethical sourcing of materials, labor practices, and environmental impact.
  • Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS): This certification is specifically focused on the diamond trade and aims to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. Jewelry manufacturers dealing with diamonds should ensure they source diamonds from conflisct-free regions.
  • Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex): is a nonprofit organization that operates a collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data. Being a SEDEX certified company means that the organization has undergone an assessment process and met certain standards related to responsible and ethical business practices within its supply chain.
  • ISO 9001:2015: This standard focuses on quality management systems. Jewelry manufacturers with ISO 9001:2015 certification demonstrate their commitment to producing products that meet customer requirements and adhere to consistent quality standards.
  • ISO 14001:2015: This certification is related to environmental management systems. It demonstrates a manufacturer's commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of their operations and complying with relevant environmental regulations.
  • Fairtrade Gold Certification: For jewelry manufacturers using gold in their products, Fairtrade Gold Certification ensures that the gold has been responsibly sourced from small-scale mining operations, promoting fair wages and sustainable practices.
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001): This certification focuses on health and safety management systems, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for employees.
  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): For jewelry manufacturers working with organic materials like textiles or fibers, GOTS certification ensures compliance with environmental and social criteria in their production processes.
  • REACH compliance (Europe Union): refers to adhering to the regulations set forth by the European Union's REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. REACH is a comprehensive chemical regulation that aims to protect human health and the environment from the risks posed by chemicals. It's important for jewelry companies that operate in or export to the European Union to be familiar with REACH requirements and to ensure that their products are compliant with the regulation. 

Lastly, one certification that has gained a lot of customer awareness in the past decade, but is not specific to the jewelry industry is B Corp certification. A B Corp certified company refers to a business that has been certified as a B Corporation. B Corps, or Benefit Corporations, are companies that meet specific social and environmental performance standards while also considering the impact of their operations on workers, customers, communities, and the environment. To become a certified B Corp, a company must go through a rigorous assessment conducted by B Lab, a non-profit organization. The assessment evaluates a company's overall impact on various stakeholders, including its employees, suppliers, customers, the environment, and the local community. 

It's important to be knowledgable of the certifications that are in the jewelry industry as a starting place to know what policies and standards you want to follow for your own company standards. In some cases by market, certifications may be required by region. The more you learn about the certifications and standards in the industry, the better you can navigate which ones are important to your company's values and goals. 

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