This month, we’re catching up with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) to see how the 2019 JCK Industry Fund has helped them to give back to the jewelry industry through education and guidance.
JVC was created in 1917 to provide education and self-regulation for the jewelry industry. It is a non-profit legal trade association that provides members with free education of the complex laws that apply to the manufacturing, advertising and sale of jewelry and is readily available to answer questions about how to apply those laws to everyday business practices.
We’re catching up with JVC this month to see how the JCK Industry Fund has helped its cause, learn more about its mission and its campaign and more—see the conversation below.
Can you give us a quick elevator pitch about what your organization does for those who may not be familiar?
Founded in 1917 by jewelers on the very tip of Manhattan to deal with oncoming tax regulations for the jewelry industry in those early years, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has been navigating the most important business and legal issues for the industry ever since, shifting and changing along the way to meet the needs of industry. JVC is the organization with the old fashioned name that makes sure your business has a healthy future. We serve every link in the supply chain; we work with those in government at the federal, state, international and local levels to make sure they understand our issues, we scan the horizon for danger and update all in industry of the ways laws change that will affect your business, we develop easy to use tools to meet legal and compliance needs and we work one-on-one with members on problems they face. We aim to both educate and protect the industry on the many complicated and thorny legal and regulatory issues at play, but in a way that’s easy to do and painless.
How does your organization’s mission and/or vision embody the overall core goals of the JCK Industry Fund?
The mission of the JVC supports the core goals of the JCK Industry Fund. We work every day on the legal and compliance side of things, whether educating federal and state government, working with our members one-on-one or representing the industry abroad. We always have the aim of protecting the business of the industry and ultimately the U.S. consumer. We face the industry’s most serious issues, from advertising laws and nomenclature for jewelry items, including natural and lab grown diamonds to protecting business from enforcement from the federal government or banks on Anti Money Laundering, among a long list of other issues. We achieve our aims with a broad reach all over the U.S. to all of the different kinds of businesses and people in our diverse industry, we develop easy to use educational materials so those in industry can protect themselves, and at the end of the day, ensure consumer trust is strong.
Can you tell us a little bit about the project that the JCK Industry Fund is helping support?
JCK Industry Fund was extremely generous to support a few of our initiatives. The one I’d like to highlight is the Diamond Supply Chain Protection kit, which was recently released! This kit lays out in a really accessible format the terminology around diamond advertising (recently changed by the FTC in summer of 2018). It can be used as a handout or pinned up on a bulletin board for easy reference. Also included in the kit is a step-by-step guide to best practices around sourcing and purchasing diamonds from vendors. We worked with a “brain trust” of Majors and then distilled their best practices into an easy-to-follow format that we hope all retailers can use. Finally, in the kit we have developed templated vendor contracts. These contracts can be used directly (after being tweaked for your business) or you can take clauses and use in your own existing vendor contracts, or after a careful reading you can use the ideas in the contract to start a new conversation with your diamond suppliers to ensure you are receiving the proper goods and everything is being disclosed appropriately. You can find the kit here. Because of generous sponsors it is free to all in the industry, whether you are member of JVC or not.
What impact are you hoping to have on the greater jewelry community?
The JVC has been helping jewelers since 1917, and we take our history very seriously. We feel a tremendous responsibility to remain the reliable compliance and legal issue go-to and protector of the industry and want to leave a strong industry for future generations. With jewelry, it’s personal. Whether it’s a designer hand creating a piece, a miner working to support her family in a far flung corner of the world or a sales person at a retailer in the Southwest, we want to make sure everyone is supported to live the best life possible with a healthy business, with best practices available easily to them. We would like to see increased business wellness and decreased risk across the industry on AML, advertising, consumer protection and sourcing topics as well as harmony with ever changing employment regulations.
How do you foresee this grant elevating your capabilities?
The JVC is member supported and by design is a neutral organization with no commercial interests. It is absolutely crucial for us to do any of our work to be supported by those that understand the value of our mission. The confidence that the Industry Fund Grant gives us to continue that work is so important, the feedback we get from the committee on what has been flagged as important to the industry is vital information and the funds themselves allow us to actually reach beyond our own limited scope and into the industry all across the U.S. Finally, being spotlighted at JCK Las Vegas as part of the grant really extends and deepens our reach and informs so many more in industry on these important topics.
What are your hopes for the future of the jewelry industry?
Humans have been inspired to adorn ourselves since the dawn of time. We hope for a thriving, vibrant future for the jewelry industry. We aim to help make that happen by educating members across the supply chain and ensure business wellness for everyone in the industry via strong and healthy legal and compliance functions. We want help everyone have a really strong foundation so they can build on that creatively and really, well, shine!