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FTC guides for jewelry review

The Federal Trade Commission has put out a request for comments on
their review of the current guidelines which they are ready to

“Invitation To Comment: The Commission systematically reviews all of
its current rules and guides to ensure that they continue to achieve
their intended purpose without unduly burdening commerce. As part of
this review, the Commission requests public comments on the overall
costs, benefits, necessity, regulatory and economic impact of, and
possible modifications to, the FTC’s Guides for the Jewelry,
Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries.”

The request was dated July 2, 2012 and the deadline for any comments
is on August 27, 2012. Most of the review is about lead-filled ruby
material and whether a lab-grown diamond or other gemstone can or
should be termed as “cultured”. In that argument, many people at the
recent meeting of the Florida Gulfcoast Chapter GIA Alumni
Association felt it would lend too much legitimacy to cheap material
since many consumers associate the word cultured to equal a high
level of quality from the century-long marketing of Akoya pearls.

I cannot find the place on Ganoksin that tells me how to share a
link to the FTC site and have to get back to work. If you wish to
read the entire proposal, you will find it as a link as a PDF at the
top of the page of the FTC call for comments, next to the date of
the proposal. You will have toparse out the website from the

It is only a little over a week to get any comments in. If you
choose to mail your comments, they must be received by the deadline.

I recommend that if you are not happy with the current wording, get
involved, have your say… CIA

In a quandary, I make gemstone earrings bezel set in silver. The only
place for the assay mark is on the outside of the bezel. Recently I
have had customers complain about the ‘unsightly’ assay marks. So I
made some without assay marks. Note In Australia it is not mandatory
to assay mark. Of course now I have had customers complain there is
no assay mark. So I offer a receipt with a full metal description,
some still not happy. Personally I feel I should just assay mark for
professional integrity and forget the oversensitive customers. Has
anyone a solution to this.



Can’t you stamp the earring post? Or even have your .925 on the
butterfly? the places are not always seen, but they are there if
anyone wants to see it!

go to “Gerry’s Blog/Orchid”

Hi Richard,

The marking system in Australia is voluntary, but it has saved at
least one Jeweller.

I wouldn’t call it an assay mark, because no one tests it, and marks

You should put the precious metal marks according to the Australian
standards document for precious metal content, and the appropriate

You can get a stamp made to the size that you need, or if there is
no place for a stamp to go, the standards suggests a tag.

Regards Charles fro Oz

Not knowing if you are using cabs or faceted stones in which shape
makes it a bit harder to describe a way to conceal the mark : if you
don’t want to pay to have them laser engraved in which case the mark
would be practically invisible to the wearer and observer, if you put
the assay mark on the post, ear wire, lever back,etc., that would do
it with a good solder join from stone to “hanger”. Or simply roll the
bezel strip slightly around the back of the flat cab and mark on the
backside- if that won’t work, when creating the bezel cut it so there
is a very small triangular piece ( like a minuscule tab which could
become rather like your personal trademark well filed/ finished to
soften the edges or even pierced), if not come up with some design
that allows for the mark to be added between the set gem and the
hanger- all would be non-obtrusive and not seen from the ‘front’ of
the earring…good luck…rer

Smaller assay marks and on the backside of the bevel pan?

John (Jack) Sexton

I use the Australian Standards Association mark 925 in an oval.
Charles if it isn’t an assay mark what do I call it. Many including
my bullion dealer/ring blank maker still use the old mark i.e. 925. I
give an invoice stating metal quality. There is quiet a bit of
argument about the new stamps ( I only bought mine because the old
one wore out) some think it was just a way of selling new marks. The
Australian Standards Association is a private entity not a government
one and has no power in law.

Gerry 925 on the butterfly only guarantees the butterfly not the
rest of the earring. Also mine are drop earrings not studs. Also I
should have mentioned these are my low price range earrings, 7mm
round black onyx cabs. I use.8mm square wire for the stone seat in a
5mm deep bezel. Hence no room for the stamp.

When I use quality stones e.g. natural Australian sapphires, which
my son in law fossicks for, I don’t use wire for the stone seat. I
make the bezel and make a.8mm thick tube for the inside of the bezel
to make the stone seat. On the inside of the inside tube there is
room for an assay mark.

With the silver earrings I have decided to assay mark on the out
side as I have done for years and if the customer does not like it I
will make them without the assay mark. As my mentor in the fashion
jewellery trade many years ago said about dealing with finicky
customers " What do they want? It lasts longer than a bottle of good
champagne and cost a lot less!"

Thank you for all your time in replying

You might think about using the quality mark as a decorative motif.
For instance, you could stamp a continuous row of marks around the
perimeter of the bezel giving the entire outside a visual texture,
sort of like a strip of roll printed sheet. If you think of the
quality stamp as a decorative punch other patterns will come to


Hi Richard,

The 925 in an oval is the correct symbol for silver, as per
AS2140-2008. There are arguments, but Australian standards did ask
the industry for contributions before they went to print.

I wouldn’t call the Australian standards marks, assay marks, the
term you could use is “precious metal content mark” shortened from
"designation of precious metal content mark". You can think of assay
marks as coming from the assay office, which we don’t have in

The standard does cover items too small to be stamped (and I can
quote the relevant section if you like).

I paid $50 for a PDF download, and I’ve found it to be very useful.

I wouldn’t think of it as a way of selling new marks, because I can
get metal marking stamps made up relatively cheaply. I just have to
provide the artwork. I would think that if it was a scam to sell new
stamps that a supplier would be named in the standard as the
"official" maker of the stamps.

The Australian standards are voluntary, but they can protect you
under certain conditions. As we don’t have a governing body (like an
assay office) stamping the pieces for us we have to defer to some
system, and it’s not too bad.

As it’s a voluntary standard, you don’t have to use it. I choose to
use the standard because it’s very tidy, and you can put the
Australian Standards compliance marking on your packaging, as well as
issuing an Australian standards compliance statement. If you mark
your packaging with compliance marks, or issue a compliance statement
your piece “must” be above board, otherwise you can get into trouble.

In 2008 a jeweller was taken to court over some platinum jewellery,
and the platinum mark aided him in winning his case. The Australian
standards are respected by our legal system.

As long as there are some marks that communicate the precious metal
content in your jewellery, you’ll be safe.

Kindest regards Charles A.

make a logo tag or plate with assay…professional look solder to
back or attach to model simple

Thanx Charles

the jewellers/silver/gold smiths etc I know all use the Australian
standards stamps. Personally I think this is a great step forward
for Australia. If it does not have this stamp don’t buy it is the
line we use. My bullion dealer / ring maker will for free engrave the
oval around the 925. They have had some problems retooling for the
new stamp hence the laser engraving.

Because we don’t have an assay office what is to stop the Chinese,
see the posts on gold filled, from using the stamp? Don’t call me
racist I was born in Asia my nanny was Chinese and my Chinese name is
He Rui- De. I just know how they do business and have had Chinese
made items XRF’d as FAKE.

I show my customers the MEDIA ALERT from Standards Australia about
the new standards, can’t find the link but I can send you and any
other Aussie the Media Alert as an attachment if you like. I will try
this in the reply to sender email.

I have subsequently been told, from memory the CEO of the JAA, that
not marking your piece leads to potential problems. Even if an
invoice is provided and your records are well kept. The scenario, did
you read the post about the smashed ruby done by a jeweller who was
shown the ring for quality analysis, I bought this as 18kt white gold
and it is only silver. A legal minefield.

Thanx Charles taken your good advice on board I will try to send you
the Media Alert, it is a great sales point


Got your offline post thanks Richard :slight_smile:

It’s probably wise to keep up with what the Australian Standards
organisation have to offer (if you’re a manufacturer/jeweller in
Australia), as I’m pretty sure this is the first place a prosecutor
is going to look.

Regards Charles A.