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What California Retailers Need to Know About Selling Jewelry

Boma Jewelry Wholesale Blog California Retailers

Navigating Safety and Regulations in Jewelry Retail: A Guide for California-Based Retailers

As a California-based retailer specializing in jewelry, it’s crucial to ensure that the products you offer not only meet consumer expectations for quality and sustainability but also comply with state and federal safety regulations. This commitment to compliance not only protects your customers but also enhances your brand’s reputation and operational stability. At Boma Jewelry Wholesale, we understand the importance of adhering to these standards, and we're here to help you navigate this landscape. Here’s what you need to know about jewelry safety and regulations, and how you can ensure your jewelry complies with guidelines.

Understanding the Regulations

  1. Lead and Cadmium Limits: California has stringent regulations regarding the content of hazardous substances like lead and cadmium in jewelry. The California Safe Jewelry Act  specifically outlines permissible levels of these metals, which are among the strictest in the nation. For instance, jewelry intended for children must have less than 100 ppm (parts per million) of total lead content in any component that could be ingested.

  1. Proposition 65 Compliance: Also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Prop 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. As a retailer, you must ensure that your products comply with Proposition 65 by either limiting chemical exposures or providing clear and reasonable warnings on products.

  2. Nickel Restrictions: While not unique to California, nickel regulations are particularly relevant due to the metal’s allergenic properties. Ensuring your jewelry is nickel-safe or nickel-free can prevent potential allergic reactions and is a selling point for customers concerned with allergens. Read our article on nickel, the #1 cause of skin allergies in jewelry.

Ensuring Compliance

So what can you do to ensure that your jewelry complies with California laws? Read our tips on the steps you can take to make sure that the jewelry you purchase for your store follows all regulations and guidelines and above all is most safe for your customers and their families.

  1. Partner with Trusted Suppliers: One of the most effective ways to ensure compliance is to source your jewelry from reputable wholesalers known for their commitment to safety and sustainability, like Boma Jewelry Wholesale. We guarantee that our products meet all federal and California-specific regulations, providing you with peace of mind and reducing your regulatory burden.

  2. Regular Testing: Periodic testing of your jewelry inventory through accredited labs can help confirm that your products comply with relevant safety standards. This proactive approach not only ensures compliance but also demonstrates to your customers that you are committed to offering safe, high-quality products.

  3. Stay Informed: Regulations can evolve, and staying informed about changes in jewelry safety standards is crucial. Engage with trade associations, attend industry seminars, and subscribe to updates from regulatory bodies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.

  4. Educate Your Team: Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about both the products and the relevant safety standards. This enables them to provide accurate information to customers and ensures that your business practices remain compliant. At a minimum, train your staff to know that your jewelry is free from lead, cadmium, and nickel and ensure this with your jewelry manufacturer when purchasing with them.


For California-based retailers, navigating the complex landscape of jewelry safety and regulations is crucial for maintaining a reputable and successful business. By understanding and adhering to these standards, you can assure your customers that the products you offer are not only beautiful and sustainable but also safe and compliant with the highest regulatory standards. At Boma Jewelry Wholesale, we are proud to support our retail partners with products that meet these criteria, helping you build a trusted and sustainable jewelry business. Let’s continue to raise the bar for safety and sustainability in the jewelry industry together.

Suzanne Vetillart is a second generation owner of family-owned Boma Jewelry. Boma Jewelry was founded in Seattle in 1981. Learn more about story here.

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