After supporting the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) throughout its infancy, The Birmingham Assay Office is very proud to announce it has become the first Assay Office in the World to be certified as meeting the ethical, human rights, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Member Certification System.
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing together 350 member companies committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewellery industry from mine to retail. Their commitment aims to reinforce consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewellery products.
A comprehensive audit covered The Assay Office’s diverse range of services, which extend far beyond its statutory duty of assaying and hallmarking. Policies and procedures for hallmarking, precious metal melt and assay, nickel, lead and cadmium testing and all the other analytical services carried out by The Laboratory came under scrutiny. AnchorCert’s gemmological services were also included, giving the Certification an extremely wide scope.
Achieving certification to Responsible Jewellery Council standards is an important achievement. Chief Executive Michael Allchin said, “We work in partnership with several major UK retailers and international brands who are also committed to the principles of the RJC. Our certification demonstrates our commitment and provides reassurance that our values and practices are in line with our customers. Our existing ISO 9001 certification and 17025 accreditation demonstrate our commitment to quality and continuous improvement and by actively promoting the high ethical standards that RJC represents and gaining certification, we are pleased to be recognised for these in addition to our hallmarking and testing activities.”An active supporter of Fairtrade Gold and CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, The Birmingham Assay Office prides itself on its independent expertise, integrity and innovation.
Kay Alexander, Chairman of The Assay Office said of the Certification: “I am really proud of the high standards set by everyone at The Birmingham Assay Office which are now recognised at an international level, and of the commitment and hard work which have given us this acknowledgement. We believe high ethical standards to be vital to the future of the jewellery, precious metal and gemstone industry and will continue to contribute to this in every way we can.”