Men and women with hundreds of years collective experience working in the British jewellery industry gathered at Goldsmiths’ Hall today to witness the historic unification of National Association of Goldsmiths and the British Jewellers’ Association.
Over 90% of members from both association who were eligible to vote, supported the motions to merge.
Years of negotiation from both sides, and a lengthy consultation process with members, ensured that today’s vote was a formality, but that didn’t draw any emotion from the momentous event, which Gary Wroe, chairman of the BJA describing it as “an historic day”.
The new association, the National Association of Jewellers, will represent the entire industry from designer makers, suppliers, wholesalers, agents and retailers.
The associations stated aim is to create a single, unified voice from over 2000 members that can lobby, support and educate on behalf of the whole industry.
The NAJ will be a consumer-facing organisation designed that needs to “increase consumer confidence in the purchasing of jewellery,” said Andrew Hinds, chairman of the NAG.
Patrick Fuller, who will be the associations first president, described how the industry needs to come together to promote the industry all the way from the mine to the shopfront. “De Beers, the World Gold Council, the Platinum Guild. These organisations were important to us because they promoted the industry. They are not coming back to support us, so we have to pull together without help from outsiders to help ourselves,” he said in a rallying call.