Hi Leonid, et. al,
The following comes from the FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious
Metals, and Pewter Industries.
23.3 Misuse of the terms “hand-made”, hand-polished." etc.
(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry product is hand-made 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, 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.
The documents does not state or imply that “/it is of much higher
quality than anything that can be made by casting/”, that’s a value
judgement, and it’s subjective.
“/There is no reason why handmade jewellery cannot last many
decades, and with proper maintenance centuries/.” This can be said of
any jewellery cast or hand wrought, there are many examples in
archaeology that support this fact. I have many books in my library
showing examples of dark age jewellery, my computer have many high
res images kindly provided by the British Museum (provided free,
they’re really top notch).
Personally I don’t think the definition is unfair, but I think the
definition is way to general. A tribal jeweller could look at this
and tell jewellers that use power tools that they misusing the term
A cunning lawyer would be able to play with this guide very easily.
It needs to be tighter.
“Hand labor and manually-controlled methods” This part could be
interpreted that “only hand labor, and methods that do not contain
automated processes” if you melt and cast at home, there’s nothing
automated about that. I’m not a lawyer, and I can see the holes in
This is a concern for those that come under it’s jurisdiction, you
should petition to get section 23.3 tightened up, at the very least
it would stop me typing
Regards Charles A.
P.S. I don’t specialise in any one technique, I use what’s necessary
to get the job done. Hand-wrought or casting, I use both, both
methods are fun, and both methods have things the other cannot do.