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Alloys Addendum: The FTC Jewelry Guides

ALLOYS ADDENDUM: THE FTC JEWELRY GUIDES

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Jewelry Guides 2016

As of the date of this writing (160628), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made recent changes to its' Jewelry Guides. The revisions to the Guides are based on extensive feedback gathered from comments and a public roundtable in 2013.

The FTC publishes the Jewelry Guides to provide advice to businesses on how to avoid making deceptive claims about precious metal, pewter, diamond, gemstone, and pearl products, and when disclosures should be made to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices.

The Commission's Guides address gold and silver products containing precious metal in amounts below previously specified levels. The Commission also made revisions to below-threshold metal alloys, precious metal content of products containing more than one precious metal, surface application of precious metals, lead-glass filled stones, "cultured" diamonds, pearl treatments, varietals, and misuse of the word "gem." Changes were made affecting descriptions for products filled with a substantial quantity of lead glass, and for accurate representations of varietal names. Varietal names describe a division of gem species or genus based on color,type of optical phenomenon, or other distinguishing characteristic of appearance (e.g., crystal structure).

Here is a link to the text of the Federal Register Notice available on the FTC website: https://www.ftc.gov/policy/federal-register-notices/16-cfr-part-23-guides-jewelry-precious-metals-pewter-industries

And here is the link to the FTC pdf: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/federal_register_notices/2016/01/160112jewelryguidesfrn.pdf

Below are three excerpts from the above link, regarding the terms "handmade", "vermeil", and silver content.

§ 23.2 Misuse of the terms ‘‘handmade,’’‘‘hand polished,’’ etc. (a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is handmade or hand-wrought unless the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by hand labor and manually controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the construction, shape, design, and finish of each part of each individual product. Note to paragraph (a): As used herein, ‘‘raw materials’’ include bulk sheet, strip, wire, precious metal clays, ingots, casting grain, and similar items that have not been cut, shaped, or formed into jewelry parts, semi-finished parts, or blanks.

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that any industry product is hand forged, hand engraved, hand finished, or hand polished, or has been otherwise hand processed, unless the operation described was accomplished by hand labor and manually controlled methods which permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount, and effect of such operation on each part of each individual product.

§ 23.4 Misuse of the word ‘‘vermeil.’’ (a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by implication, that an industry product is ‘‘vermeil’’ if such mark or description misrepresents the product’s true composition. (b) An industry product may be described or marked as ‘‘vermeil’’ if it consists of a base of sterling silver coated or plated on all significant surfaces with gold or gold alloy of not less than 22 karat fineness and a minimum thickness throughout of 100 millionths of an inch (approximately 2.54 microns). Note 1 to § 23.4: It is unfair or deceptive to use the term ‘‘vermeil’’ to describe a product in which the sterling silver has been covered with a base metal (such as nickel) plated with gold unless there is a disclosure that the sterling silver is covered with a base metal that is plated with gold. Note 2 to § 23.4: Exemptions recognized in the assay of gold filled, gold overlay, and rolled gold plate industry products are listed in the appendix.

§ 23.5 Misrepresentation as to silver content. (a) It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent that an industry product contains silver, or to misrepresent a product’s silver content, plating, electroplating, or coating. (b) The following are examples of markings or descriptions that may be misleading: (1) Use of the words ‘‘silver,’’ ‘‘solid silver,’’ ‘‘Sterling Silver,’’ ‘‘Sterling,’’ or the abbreviation ‘‘Ster.’’ to describe all or part of an industry product unless it is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver.

(2) Use of the words ‘‘coin’’ or ‘‘coin silver’’ to describe all or part of an industry product unless it is at least 900/1,000ths pure silver. Note to paragraphs 5(b)(1) and (2): A marketer may mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part an industry product as silver even when it is not at least 925/1,000ths pure silver if the marketer has competent and reliable scientific evidence that such product does not differ materially from a product that is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver with respect to the following attributes or properties: Corrosion resistance, tarnish resistance, and any other attribute or property material to consumers. In those circumstances, a correct designation of the purity of the alloy should immediately precede the word ‘‘silver’’ or its abbreviation, and such designation should be of at least equal conspicuousness. If the marketer lacks such evidence, in addition to disclosing the purity of the alloy, it should also disclose that the product may not have the same attributes or properties as products that contain at least 925/1,000ths. The terms ‘‘solid silver,’’ ‘‘sterling silver,’’ ‘‘sterling,’’ and the abbreviation ‘‘Ster.’’ should not be used to mark or describe such products that are not at least 925/1,000ths pure silver. Consistent with § 23.6(b)(2), marketers may use the terms ‘‘coin’’ or ‘‘coin silver’’ only if the product is at least 900/1,000ths pure silver. (3) Use of the word ‘‘silver’’ or any abbreviation to describe all or part of a product that is not composed throughout of silver, but has a surface layer or coating of silver, unless the word ‘‘silver’’ or its abbreviation is adequately qualified to indicate that the product or part is only coated. (4) Marking, describing, or otherwise representing all or part of an industry product as being plated or coated with silver unless all significant surfaces of the product or part contain a plating or coating of silver that is of reasonable durability.4 (c) The provisions of this section relating to markings and descriptions of industry products and parts thereof are subject to the applicable tolerances of the National Stamping Act or any amendment thereof.5 Note 1 to § 23.5: The National Stamping Act provides that silver-plated articles shall not ‘‘be stamped, branded, engraved or imprinted with the word ‘sterling’ or the word ‘coin,’ either alone or in conjunction with other words or marks.’’ 15 U.S.C. 297(a). Note 2 to § 23.5: Exemptions recognized in the assay of silver industry products are listed in the appendix

2For the purpose of this section, ‘‘reasonable durability’’ means that all areas of the plating are of such thickness as to assure coverage that reasonable consumers would expect from the surface application. Since industry products include items having surfaces and parts of surfaces that are subject to different degrees of wear, the thickness of the surface application for all items or for different areas of the surface of individual items does not necessarily have to be uniform.

3Under the National Stamping Act, articles or parts made of gold or of gold alloy that contain no solder have a permissible tolerance of three parts per thousand. If the part tested contains solder, the permissible tolerance is seven parts per thousand. For full text, see 15 U.S.C. 295, et seq. 4See footnote 2. 5Under the National Stamping Act, sterling silver articles or parts that contain no solder have a permissible tolerance of four parts per thousand. If the part tested contains solder, the permissible tolerance is ten parts per thousand. For full text, see 15 U.S.C. 294, et seq.

Again:

Here is a link to the text of the Federal Register Notice available on the FTC website: https://www.ftc.gov/policy/federal-register-notices/16-cfr-part-23-guides-jewelry-precious-metals-pewter-industries

And here is the link to the FTC pdf: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/federal_register_notices/2016/01/160112jewelryguidesfrn.pdf

We hope this information is helpful to you.

 

 


 


All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself ™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

 

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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