You have rights when you purchase jewellery in NSW.
This page has information about:
- your consumer rights
- advice if you have a problem
- how to get a problem solved
- tips to be a savvy consumer
Your consumer rights
As a consumer you have rights under Australian Consumer Law. In fact, since 1 January 2011, most products and services bought in Australia come with automatic consumer guarantees that the product or service you purchased will work and do what you asked for. This includes jewellery.
Did you know? New and second-hand products are covered by the consumer guarantees.
Jewellery purchased in Australia must be of ‘acceptable quality’ when you buy it, that is:
- fit for purpose (do all the things someone would normally expect it to do)
- look acceptable
- free from defects
Products should also:
- match descriptions made by the salesperson, on packaging and labels, and in promotions or advertising
- match any demonstration model or sample you asked for
- have spare parts and repair facilities available for a reasonable time after purchase unless you were told otherwise.
Under Australian Consumer Law, retailers must provide these automatic guarantees regardless of any other warranties they give or sell you. If a business fails to deliver any of these guarantees, you have the right to a repair, replacement or refund and/or compensation for damages and loss (if applicable).
Proof of purchase and product documentation
You have the right to receive proof of purchase (like an invoice, cash register receipt, handwritten receipt or lay-by agreement). At the same time, retailers should also provide relevant product documentation including manufacturer's instructions and warranty details. You should keep this documentation and read it carefully as it will help when you request a repair, replacement or refund.
If the jewellery has a warranty, it will give you some extra protection against manufacturing faults. Warranties generally have terms and conditions attached - it’s your responsibility to be aware of these.
Advertising can be a powerful means of persuasion, so it’s important it is truthful, accurate and easy to understand. Australian Consumer Law protects consumers from deceptive advertising claims and conduct.
Businesses are not allowed to make false or misleading representations about their products or services.
All advertising for jewellery should be truthful, accurate and unambiguous. Jewellers cannot promote closing down sales, liquidation sales, clearance sales or fire sales unless it is a factual representation. Businesses must be able to substantiate any discounts advertised as genuine.
Learn more about advertising standards.
It is illegal for a business to make false or misleading statements about the value of the jewellery. A business must not falsely state that goods are of a particular standard, quality, value or grade. Any statement regarding valuation and authenticity should be supported.
For more information on jewellery valuation, see Be a savvy consumer below.
Repair, replacement or refund
The jewellery you purchase may break or need repair. You are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund when the item you purchased does not meet one or more of the consumer guarantees.
Learn more about repairs, replacements and refunds.
Businesses do not have to give you a refund if you simply change your mind about a product. This includes if you no longer like the item or found it cheaper somewhere else.
Product safety and recalls
Businesses have a legal obligation to make sure that goods supplied are free from defects that could cause injury.
If a product is found to be hazardous, non-compliant with a mandatory standard, or subject to a ban, the business must recall it and offer affected consumers a remedy in the form of a repair, replacement or refund.
Recalls are usually initiated voluntarily by the business, but they may also be administered by the Commonwealth or a state or territory minister responsible for competition and consumer policy.
Refer to Product and service safety for more information on product recalls.
Have a problem?
- Contact the business in the first instance and explain the problem. We have tips and sample letters to help you take the first step.
- If the complaint relates to a technical issue and the jeweller is a member of the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA), you can make a complaint with JAA online or via post to:
The Jewellers Association of Australia Limited (JAA)
Suite 33, Level 8, 99 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
For more information on JAA, refer to Be a savvy consumer section below.
- If you’re unable to resolve the matter with the business and/or JAA, you can contact us for help on 13 32 20, or make a complaint online.
Be a savvy consumer
In Australia, you do not have to be a member of a professional body to provide jewellery valuations. So, it is up to the consumer to find a suitably qualified valuer in line with their needs. Look for a valuer that specialises in the item you want valued. You may prefer to use a valuer who is a member of an industry or professional body like the National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV).
NCJV was established in 1984 to promote and maintain a high professional standard for the valuation of jewellery and fine arts in Australia.
The NCJV code of ethics seeks to encourage the highest standard of business conduct in the industry. The NCJV code of ethics is not mandatory for all jewellery valuers in Australia, however all NCJV members are required to adhere to it.
Valuers registered with the NCJV are required to undergo training and ongoing professional development in gemmology, diamond grading and valuing in order to maintain their membership as a Registered Valuer.
The Jewellers Association of Australia
The Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) represents and protects the interests of the jewellery industry and consumers. You can find information on the JAA website about:
- caring for jewellery
- selling your jewellery
- advice and complaints.
Jewellery industry code of conduct
Developed by the JAA in 2009, the Jewellery industry code of conduct (the Code) sets out principles and standards for the jewellery industry in Australia. The Code aims to encourage fair trading in the industry and ensure maximum protection for consumers.
While the Code is not mandatory for the entire jewellery industry in Australia, all JAA members are required to be Code signatories.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Send a general enquiry.
Who enforces Australian Consumer Law?
The following agencies enforce provisions relating to consumer goods and services:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- NSW Fair Trading, and
- other State and Territory consumer protection agencies.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for financial products and services.