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Fake chains again


#1

Hi

FAKE SILVER CHAINS AGAIN.

I had a “sterling silver” fineness mark 925 on a disk on a snake
chain XRF’d. Silver plated brass was the result.

I showed the assay report to a stall holder at a market I do that
sells these chains for $20.

His comment was “I wish you had not shown me that.” I told him to
take the disk of and sell them as silver plated.

I told the market manager that this guy was selling fake chains. Her
comment was “I can’t check everything.” And did nothing.

Last Sunday a couple of women came to my stall and said “I bought
this chain and the end has broken.”

Bail at end was unsoldered on one side. Apologized and swapped the
chain. Then took a closer look and saw the disk with the 925. Quickly
caught up with the women said “Not one of my chains and took my chain
back.” The women argued that they bought it from my wife last
weekend. Thought I had sold the fake chain I have on display with
signage and the assay report by mistake. NO!

I told the women it was not sterling and we do not sell them. They
still argued. Finally “I said how much did you pay?” They said "$20."
I said our chains are $60 showed them the signage and sent them off
to the other stall.

They swapped the chain and came back to apologize.

What to do now? My thoughts are to “have a chat” to the market
manager again pointing out that selling fake goods is not good
advertising for the market.

If no action is taken by the market manager, she will be an
accessory to a crime. Sterling is a “specified good” and miss fineness
marking is a crime and an one can be arrested for it.

My thoughts are that I should inform “crime stoppers” anonymously
and let the law take it’s course.

But it is not a good look in a market to have a stall holder
arrested is it? Or to piss off the market manager who will have to
answer some questions to the detectives.

Back in the day stall holders who did this were asked by other
jewellers "Do you want to take that off your stall and walk out at
the end of the day? Or “Do you want to leave in an ambulance?”

How times have changed in Australia.
Any thoughts.
Richard


#2
What to do now? 

You could put up a sign to inform your customers the value of real
vs fake silver chains.

You could explain that if they find a “sterling” chain for $20 it’s
probably not real…

Paf Dvorak


#3

I am seeing signs that read “sterling silver plated” Barbara on the
island at the end of a 44 degree C day - I didn’t make a mistake in
the typing


#4
My thoughts are that I should inform "crime stoppers" anonymously
and let the law take it's course. 

I don’t know about Australia, but here in the US, I think the
chances of the law giving a flying fig are pretty much nil. I’ve
never heard of anyone being arrested for selling mis-marked jewelry.

Noel


#5

I find it amazing that you can buy 925 punches on ebay and other
sites. surely this is just aiding the fake market and should be made
illegal. I have a registered hallmark here in the UK and I find it
really annoying when I see obvious fake goods for sale


#6

For what its worth, here in the UK weve trading standards and out
very strict hallmarking laws.

good job to.

the T S people do go around checking markets for dodgy sellers and
confiscate all their stock, yes they have the power to do that.

In the same way our police can take your car away from you if you
dont have insurance. It will be crushed the next day, and you pay for
its removal.


#7
I don't know about Australia, but here in the US, I think the
chances of the law giving a flying fig are pretty much nil. I've
never heard of anyone being arrested for selling mis-marked
jewelry.

I have seen cases brought against stores in San Francisco for
selling under karat chains, so they do make such cases. If you
search through the news they do bring actions. If you want someone
to look into a company a complaint must be filed with the FTC. They
don’t have a police force that is involved in looking for law
breakers. If there is a company selling goods that you believe
(having actual evidence is a good idea) are in violation of the FTC
guidelines contact the FTC to you file a complaint with the local
FBI office or state Attorney General for fraud charges. If all we do
is complain about it but not take action then it will continue.

An interesting thing I learned during the past year while being
involved in the process of providing to the FTC for
their current review of the Jewelry Guides. In the literature from
the JVC there is this tidbit.

"The National Gold and Silver Stamping Act is a federal law that was
enacted in 1905. Violations of this law carry sanctions that include
forfeiture, civil and criminal monetary penalties, and even jail!
This statue addresses standards for fineness of gold and silver,
rules pertaining to the making and marking of gold and silver
objects and provides for law suits that can be brought by
competitors and jewelry trade associations for violations of its
provisions.

If I understand it correctly someone in the trade can bring a
lawsuit for violation of the FTC guides. A member of the trade
(competitor) can file suit for deceptive practices and collect
damages. So you don’t have to wait for the long arm of the law to do
its job. The problem is it will cost money to do so and that is why
the Federal prosecutors don’t go after small cases they have limited
budgets and staff so if it is not big news they will not do
anything. But if you have real evidence and want to do something
about it. Contacting the FTC and the DOJ / FBI can get the ball
rolling.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#8
I've never heard of anyone being arrested for selling mis-marked
jewelry 

Maybe about 1990, a company called IPI in the Phelan Building - the
space the Revere Academy would eventually occupy, in fact. Chain
dealers and the fact that they were pretty foul people in general is
beside the point but they were. All of their chains were plated 10kt
gold at best, and after a time everybody knew it. Some were outright
brass. One day the FBI came in, arrested everybody, took all their
goods and closed them down for good. It happens but they were a
larger company and there were complaints.


#9
I find it amazing that you can buy 925 punches on ebay and other
sites. surely this is just aiding the fake market and should be
made illegal. I have a registered hallmark here in the UK and I
find it really annoying when I see obvious fake goods for sale 

Well you can buy a .925 stamp from many sources, even the Australian
925 stamps that have the oval around the numerals.

Even if you didn’t have access to the correct stamps, you can still
get numeral stamps. The Oz standard isn’t perfect, but at least it
doesn’t just rely on numerals.

Even if the stamps were controlled, people in other countries would
still fake the stamps. Standards are only good within the borders of
the country that penned them.

Regards Charles A.


#10

Hi Gary,

In many places, there isn’t an assay office to stamp the work, even
if you wanted to. So all the Americans (for example) have to have all
their quality punches personally, if they want to mark anything at
all. 925, any karat gold, whatever. In a whole bunch of sizes. Gets
right pricey.

Regards,
Brian


#11

Forward this page to your friends:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/194

Jeff Herman
hermansilver.com


#12

Hi Barbara et al

Yes alchemy is a wonderful thing. However last time I looked one can
not plate with sterling only fine silver. I told a stall holder as
much but they said they were definitely sterling plated.

Some just don’t want to listen, and so not appear to be idiots to
those who know.

Richard
Xtines Jewels


#13

Thanks Jim

If I could I would like to add one more legal issue here and it is if
you stamp your piece with a karat or quality mark you are legally
required to stamp a federally registered trademark as well. I know a
lot of jewelers but very few have ever registered their mark.

Sam


#14

ty Jeff nice I shared it on FB with my 500 friends and clients.

Teri


#15

If you do nothing are you any better then the guy who is selling the
fake chains? You have informed the manager and they did nothing.
inform them again that it is against the law and their position
within the law. Then inform the law. What they choose to do is their
choice. If they kick you out then I think you might have grounds to
sue them.


#16
If I could I would like to add one more legal issue here and it is
if you stamp your piece with a karat or quality mark you are
legally required to stamp a federally registered trademark as well.
I know a lot of jewelers but very few have ever registered their
mark. 

If you go and read the section in the Jewelry Guides you will see
that you must stamp it with your name or a registered trade mark. So
as long as you have a stamp with your name you do not have to have a
registered trademark.

“Note 2 to _ 23.9: Disclosure of identity of manufacturers,
processors, or distributors. The National Stamping Act provides that
any person, firm, corporation, or association, being a manufacturer
or dealer subject to section 294 of the Act, who applies or causes
to be applied a quality mark, or imports any article bearing a
quality mark “which indicates or purports to indicate that such
article is made in whole or in part of gold or silver or of an alloy
of either metal” shall apply to the article the trademark or name of
such person. 15 U. S.C. 297.”

There is a lot of work out there that only has the quality mark and
is missing the name of the person or trademark. I would say if you
don’t see a name or trademark on an item that is quality marked I
would be concerned about the accuracy of that mark.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#17

Hi Brian, Charles, Jeffery et al.

the only way to deal with these people is to use the law as feeble as
it may be.

My friend’s brother was highly placed in Customs. I told him that
lots of importers were avoiding import duty and it was hard to
compete. He said “If you do not do your job as a citizen and do not
tell us (customs) then it is your fault if they hurt your business.”

So if my market manager does not have these fake silver chains
removed then the matter will be placed in the hands of the appropriate
authorities. And they can all wear the consequences.

Jeffery’s photo is exactly the chain I am talking about.

Genuine silversmiths are a very friendly bunch of people and even in
the same market do not compete with product. BECAUSE WE MAKE OUR OWN
DESIGNS.

DESIGN WARS ARE SO MUCH FUN AS IT IS NOT PRICE OR QUALITY (it is all
A grade quality) BUT DESIGN THAT SELLS THE PIECE. WE DO NOT
COPY!!!

At Bellingen markets I made friends with some traveling silversmiths
yesterday. We checked out each others pieces and discussed price
points and stones used, swapped suppliers etc. AKA talking sh*t with
fellow crafters. Told them about Orchid grateful they were.

Nothing they had looked like mine they did their own trip. That’s
what my friend Linda George said when checking my stuff the other
week “Nothing like mine.”

However there is a stall holder in a ‘stall holder make it market’ I
do, selling jewellery “Cast by my father.” LOL Try old stock hand
made in India.

Recently they have boosted their range with castings from Bali.
Never seen sterling come from Bali, as noted in previous posts by
myself and others. I will buy a piece and have it assayed, AGS do a
fine job for this. If it does not come back as sterling then the
consequences will be amusing, for me anyway.

In Australia the jewellery buying public is less than educated, to
be polite, and like to believe what they are told. It is hard enough
in business without having to compete against shysters/schmutter
merchants. We as a trade have to look after ourselves and deal with
the rip off merchants.

Let us not even bring up man made diamonds being sold as natural.
All the ones I use are GIA certified.

Why do I do markets? Because I started selling in them and even
though I have a beautiful by appointment show room, I still enjoy the
ambience. Never met a funnier bunch of weirdos than in markets,
friendly and bizarre. But also it is the best way to show your
product to thousands of people for less than the cost of newspaper ad.
I get good orders too, yesterday order for one and a half carat black
diamond set in 18 kt yellow and her sister wants a good one carat
diamond set in platinum. I can taste the champagne already.

Richard


#18
If I could I would like to add one more legal issue here and it
is if you stamp your piece with a karat or quality mark you are
legally required to stamp a federally registered trademark as well.
I know a lot of jewelers but very few have ever registered their
mark.

Again a reminder that this refers only to US law.

I believe a registered trademark is no longer necessary, an
identifying name will suffice. The reference to trademarks was struck
out in a 1970 amendment to the act.

At least, this is my understanding from reading the relevant
sections of the act, available online at the US Government Printing
Office website. The relevant section is 297 b A. The 1970 amendment
is noted below the main text.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80et

Elliot Nesterman


#19
you stamp your piece with a karat or quality mark you are legally
required to stamp a federally registered trademark as well 

Do you have a reference for this?

Al Balmer


#20

When people use the word “federal” or “legally required”, in the
future, could we please try to refer which country we are in and
referring to? And if there are any grammar authoritarians out there,
I am aware that ends with a preposition. There are so many countries
represented on the list and it does help to know where the info
applies. There are legalities and then there are ethics. Legalities
we can help enforce and ethics we can try to influence.

Barbara on a blue sky day on the Island where she is going to be
influencing the grass on the John Deere tractor