New Jersey Jewelers Battle Gold Bill

The New Jersey Jewelers Association is asking members to speak out against a bill before its state legislature, due to be voted on Monday, that regulates how jewelers can purchase scrap gold.

The bill “makes retail jewelers list and hold scrap jewelry for 14 days before it can be sold,” says Paul Sanford, board member of the New Jersey Jewelers Association. “But it excludes pawnshops and coin dealers. So everyone will go to the pawnshops and not to jewelry dealers.”

“It’s a totally unfair bill,” Sanford continued. “Why should it hold jewelers to a higher standard than it does pawnbrokers? Most of us are living on scrap right now because no one is selling anything. This bill should be applied to everyone equally who buys and sells scrap gold.”

Sanford said his association “just found out” about the bill and is trying to contact its sponsors. The association is asking its members to contact their local representatives.

Peggy Jo Donahue, Jewelers of America‘s director of public affairs, said her organization was getting involved in stopping the legislation.

“JA generally doesn’t get involved in legislation at the state level, but because of the importance of this legislation to our 109 state members in New Jersey, we are embarking on a fax, email, and phone alert, that will be completed today, that will let our members know about the legislation and give them talking points to oppose this legislation,” she said. “Apparently no one in the industry was contacted about this legislation. It seems like it puts an onerous burden on small business people at a time of very challenging business conditions. Most jewelers, if they are professional, are already very careful about the gold jewelry that they take in.”
It’s important to get involved in stopping this bill in New Jersey, Donahue said, before it’s “copycatted” to other states.

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