Blogs » THE UPCOMING BAN ON LEADED JEWELRY - sent in by Pat Johnson- British Society of Enamellers

THE UPCOMING BAN ON LEADED JEWELRY - sent in by Pat Johnson- British Society of Enamellers

  • The British Society of Enamellers would like everyone to know of the proposed EU directive banning the production and sale of jewelry that has been enameled with lead bearing enamels. This legislation is under discussion, but the consultation will end on May 28, 2011.

    The directive bans all jewelry that contains lead in any form. Its purpose is to protect young children who are attracted to jewelry and eat it. Several deaths have been caused this way.

    Of course many enamelers are upset by this and are sending their comments to this web site, which contains more information about the directive:


    We are asking that enameled jewelry be exempted from this directive. We argue that only a small amount of enamel is used on a piece of enameled jewelry and that the production of enameled jewelry is very small, compared to mass market jewelry that does not contain enamel. Therefore the likelihood of a child dying from eating enameled jewelry is extremely remote. Another point that can be made is that a limited number of lead-free enamels are already available and more are being developed. It will therefore be very difficult to tell which pieces of jewelry contain lead-bearing enamels and which ones are lead-free, making the directive very hard to enforce.

    Furthermore, enameled jewelry is an historic craft and has played a part in the development of European art for centuries. It is unthinkable that work in this area should cease.

    If you know any jewelers working with enamels that you would like to post a comment on the above website, please pass this email on to them. If they could write an opinion in their own words, from their own perspective, that would be a great help.

    sent in by Pat Johnson - British Society of Enamellers