The city of Antwerp is to introduce a new sales document for all public sales of jewels, in an effort to combat fake jewels, money laundering and the sale of stolen goods.
From 1 July, all sales of jewels of any kind in a place accessible by the public must be accompanied by a certificate delivered by the seller, which lays out the characteristics of the jewel in question, the date of the transaction and the seller’s details.
“A well-documented sale better protects jewellery store customers against fraudulent practices,” said mayor Bart De Wever.
“Moreover, the police also have more options to check whether the trade has been conducted correctly. That can only benefit the reputation of the sector and fair competition for bona fide entrepreneurs.”
The certificate is only required for sales in a public place, such as the string of jewellers’ shops along the Pelikaanstraat near the city’s central station. It does not, however, cover industrial sales of gemstones in Antwerp’s diamond exchange, which is not open to the public.
Nor does it concern sales between private individuals.
The obligation also does not include holders of a valid ‘Antwerp’s Most Brilliant’ quality award. Holders have already given an assurance they will implement a similar certificate for public transactions. The award is normally displayed at the entrance to holders’ sales premises.
To help customers make heir way through the jargon of the trade, each certificate delivered or a sale must be accompanied by a flyer explaining what the technical terms used mean.
“As the diamond capital of the world and as an important jewellers’ centre, Antwerp must inspire confidence,” said Peter Wouters, city councillor for the diamond industry.
“The consumer must get value for money in the form of a high-quality, sustainable and fair product. Transparency is the keyword here. The bar must be set higher. The jewellers with an ‘Antwerp’s Most Brilliant’ label prove that it is possible. Their exemption from this new obligation is a vote of confidence on the part of the city.”