STANDARDS IN FOCUS
Kaieteur News – Over the years, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) has been promoting Standardization in the gold industry through the development and promotion of a National Standard for Gold Articles.
This was coupled with the provision of the necessary support, including training of stakeholders for its implementation. These efforts have allowed jewellers who are adhering to the standard (Specification for Gold Articles (GYS 50: 2010) to consistently produce gold articles to specified quality, which gives confidence to their customers.
This national standard, which is also a CARICOM standard, specifies requirements for gold, alloying metals, solder, settings, base metal parts, alloyed gold, manufacture, sampling, tolerance and marking. Adherence to these requirements is crucial if jewellers are to produce gold articles to the specific karat content desired by consumers.
The GNBS has a Product Certification Scheme under which gold articles and other products can be certified after they are proven through testing that they are consistently meeting the requirements of the relevant standards.
In 2021, the Bureau will continue to work with manufacturers and goldsmiths to have them implement the requirements of the GYS 50 Standard and have their products certified. As a result, some of these stakeholders will be able to benefit from technical assistance and training geared to build the capacity of their operations so that the final product is just what consumers need.
Unlike the limited response in the past, the GNBS anticipates that there will be more certification of gold articles in the near future. The expansion of the local tourism industry and the influx of travellers to Guyana should create the need for goldsmiths to demonstrate the quality of gold article offered for sale through certification.
Product Certification and its benefits
Product certification is simply a process where a third party gives written assurance that a product meets certain requirements. World over, thousands of manufactured products including household electrical appliances, computers, and cellular phones are certified by certification bodies including the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the European Commission (CE). These certification marks are usually affixed to the back of these products.
By certifying gold articles under GNBS Product Certification Scheme, goldsmiths and jewellers can garner some worthwhile benefits, which include:
-Third party assurance of the quality of their gold jewellery.
-Permission to use the National Standards Mark on gold articles. The mark can be used as a marketing tool.
-The ability to produce gold jewellery that experience a competitive edge on the local and overseas markets, and ultimately, increased revenue.
-Increased consumer confidence with respect to quality and reliability.
-Ensured consistency in the manufacturing process through the monitoring and implementation of quality control procedures.
-Reduced risk of legal actions.
-Reduced risk of producing substandard products.
-Creation of a positive impact on the tourism and manufacturing sectors.
Conforming to the requirements of the gold standard also prevents fraud and deception arising from misleading labels. The standard gives guidance to manufacturers and helps them to provide adequate labelling information, which guides consumers during purchases.
The GNBS is encouraging more goldsmiths and jewellers to participate in its Product Certification Scheme, which is voluntary and affordable. By far, the benefits outweigh the costs of being a part of the PC Scheme.
Finally, the GNBS wishes all its stakeholders and every Guyanese a prosperous 2021. The Bureau will continue to rely on your support as it promotes a culture of quality through standards in Guyana.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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