If, for example, I designed and made a ring that had a stone that
was cut and polished in India in it. I would have no moral problem
with stamping it made in America...because I feel it was. As far
as I know, there are no guidelines for this as of yet (otherwise
the Sundance company may be in for some mighty lawsuits).
Actually the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines on what
can be called Made in America.
Making country of origin claims is very complicated. I did a lot of
research on it for my jewelry, and decided it wasn’t worth the
hassle to say something that wasn’t required. Even though I do the
work here, the metals and stones I used were mined in other
countries. It doesn’t matter if the stone is cut in the US or India,
if it is a significant part of the piece, it has to be mined and cut
in the US to qualify. Not to mention the metals involved.
From the FAQ on the FTC website:
What does “all or virtually all” mean?
“All or virtually all” means that all significant parts and
processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is,
the product should contain no; or negligible; foreign content
Are raw materials included in the evaluation of whether a product is
"all or virtually all" made in the U.S.?
It depends on how much of the products cost the raw materials make
up and how far removed from the finished product they are.
Example: If the gold in a gold ring is imported, an unqualified Made
in USA claim for the ring is deceptive. That’s because of the
significant value the gold is likely to represent relative to the
finished product, and because the gold - an integral component -; is
only one step back from the finished article. By contrast, consider
the plastic in the plastic case of a clock radio otherwise made in
the U.S. of U.S.-made components. If the plastic case was made from
imported petroleum, a Made in USA claim is likely to be appropriate
because the petroleum is far enough removed from the finished
product, and is an insignificant part of it as well.
With all the gold that is being sent back to the refiners who can
really tell where the metal came from?
Using those criteria it is very hard to make jewelry that can carry
a “Made in America” or “Made in USA” designation. I would have to
use something like "Made in USA from foreign and domestic materials"
which just doesn’t sound that good.