Skip to main content Navigation

Articles and News

JA, Ben Bridge, Richline, Signet and DMIA Lobby Congress Over Russian Diamond Sanctions June 19, 2024 (0 comments)


New York, NY--Jewelers of America (JA) and a group of jewelry retailers and manufacturers went to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers to discuss their concerns about implementation plans for import restrictions of Russian diamonds into the United States.

David J. Bonaparte, JA president & CEO, led the group consisting of Jon Bridge, chair/counsel emeritus of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Dave Meleski, president & CEO of Richline Group, Matthew Swibel, VP of Sustainability and Social Impact of Signet Jewelers, and Ronnie VanderLinden, immediate past president of Diamond Manufacturers Importers Association of America and president of International Diamond Manufacturers Association.

JA, in a statement said it “staunchly support efforts” to will keep diamonds of Russian origin out of the supply chain, including the more stringent U.S. Customs and Border Patrol requirements that went into effect on March 1. However, the statement adds that the proposed adoption of an exclusive physical verification and certification system in Belgium for all rough diamonds "would cause maximum damage to the global diamond and jewelry supply chain, while having minimal effect on Russia’s diamond revenues."

“JA has been working tirelessly behind the scenes and this visit to Washington, D.C. was a critical step to ensure we minimize unnecessary disruptions to the U.S. diamond industry,” Bonaparte said in a statement. “We are very concerned about the additional requirements that could take effect on September 1—including adopting a European Union proposal that would force all G7/U.S.-bound diamonds of a half a carat and above through a single import channel in Belgium.”

The group met with a dozen Democratic and Republican lawmakers and their staffs in both the House and Senate that serve on committees with oversight of trade-related issues. These meetings highlighted various supply chain disruptions that stem from proposed diamond import requirements that go into effect on September 1, and the resulting increased costs to American jewelry consumers, which represent more than 50% of the global market.

In the statement, JA said the group raised awareness on the following:  

JA calls on its members to support this effort by using JA’s Legislative Action Center to tell Congress that the proposed restrictions slated for September 1 go too far and will hurt jewelry businesses.

In addition to the meetings that took place last week, JA will host its “annual fly-in” on September 18, offering JA members an opportunity to meet with their congressional representatives to discuss Russia and other key issues. There will also be a multifaceted learning workshop held at the Army Navy Club on September 17.

To learn more about JA’s advocacy efforts and to join Jewelers of America to get access to valuable guidance documents, visit For further information, contact Jewelers of America’s Member Services at (800) 223-0673 or

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check