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False hallmarking

A friend just asked me to repair a watch band, marked sterling,
for her. It was purchased recently at a major local department
store, and is obviously plated and not sterling. The plating is
already wearing to reveal the copper base metal at all the
skin-contact points, and further polishing confirmed this. She is
wanting to know where to report this blatant misrepresentation of

Karen Olsen-Ramsey

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee should be able to help you make
the appropriate contacts. (This is one of the reasons they
exist!) JVC can be contacted at 212-532-1919.

Suzanne Wade

Hi, Try contacting: Contact the Better Business Bureau at

or The Jewelers Vigilance Committee - 401 E 34th St, New York,
NY 10016-4914 (212) 532-1919 or you could try the FTC at

Susan Sarantos @auag

Your friend should demand her money back,first of all, and she
should speak to someone on the executive level at the store.
It’s possible that their buyer was cheated, but that is their
responsibility,not hers. She could notify the local Department
of Consumer Affairs and/or the District Attorney’s office to
report consumer fraud…D.

The store (company) that sold the merchandise should be notified
about the situation.This may vary state to state, but in most
states, the Attorney General’s office usually has a Consumer
Affairs (or some such name) dept. They’d like to be informed of
the situation. While 1 incident may not cause them to start any
legal proceedings, it may be an indication of an illicit/illegal
practice they aren’t aware of. If they’re aware of it, it’s
another nail in the coffin.

It may also be worthwhile to report it to the local Better
Business Bureau.


The Jewelers Vigilance Committee, which incidentally all you
Orchid members should join, is the place to report this to. They
will contact the store directly and notify the appropriate
authorities. They do have a web site (I just renewed our
membership and got their newsletter and they mentioned it–I just
don’t have the info at home.)