There are two associations within the jewellery industry who offer support to their members – the BJA and the NAG. Many retailers end up becoming members of both, so what actually is the difference between them?
The National Association of Goldsmiths was established in 1894 to support jewellery retailers. Members are vetted to ensure they have an open, honest and knowledgeable approach to business, and sign a Code of Practice to which they must adhere, which of course inspires confidence in customers. The high professional standards mean that the NAG is consulted by Trading Standards, the Government and the media as well as others in the industry, and international presence is maintained through association with the CIBJO (International Jewellery Confederation).
The NAG encourages communication within the industry, and is a leader in education for distance learning as well as for seminars and tutorials supported by their website and their bi-monthly magazine The Jeweller. This support allows jewellery retailers to stay abreast of developments within the industry, improve their business skills and have access to information on industry events, suppliers and much more.
The British Jewellers’ Association by contrast supports the suppliers within the jewellery industry. Strangely, although this includes people you’d expect like bullion dealers, equipment suppliers, wholesalers and diamond and gem dealers, it also includes silver and goldsmiths and designer jewellers, who of course often sell their jewellery directly to the customer rather than supply a jewellery retailer.
The BJA provides education and business services for those in the jewellery industry and lobbies Government both here in the UK and in Europe to ensure that the views of its members are heard. Their mission is ‘to promote and protect the growth of the UK jewellery and silverware industry’ through helping members improve productivity and increasing their market share both in the UK and abroad.
The BJA and the NAG are increasingly working together – in fact some wonder whether there is a need for two separate organisations and whether they should amalgamate! They each have a member of their Board of Directors on the other’s Board, the BJA contributes and advises on content in The Jeweller magazine particularly relating to design and manufacture, and the two organisations have been working especially closely on matters related to ethics. This ensures that a single voice is heard on these important topics which can have such influence on how the jewellery industry is perceived. The support they each offer is invaluable to their members.