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Laws using maker's mark stamp

Hi all,

I’ve been trying to track down the laws/rules around using a stamp
and marking the quality for a piece. I’ve hunted through the forums
and haven’t seen anything definitive and have asked a few lawyers
(they weren’t jewelry specific attorneys though and weren’t spending
much time on it).

What I’ve learned so far is that if I want to include the quality of
metal, I have to include the stamp as well. I’ve also heard that I
can’t even clearly state that something is sterling or 14k, etc while
selling (i.e. can’t say it on the invoice) unless I put a quality and
therefore maker’s stamp on the piece. Just looking for some direction
on resources or folks that can answer these as well.

In short, we have some pieces but don’t have a stamp yet defined and
want to know what restriction exists if it’s not stamped with our


To legally stamp with a quality mark in the US you must also stamp
with a registered trademark or the makers name.

From the Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter
Industries published by the FTC

“Note 2 to A7 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.”

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

It’s a voluntary standard in Australia, but I know of one case that
went to court and was won due to the adherence to the marking

Regards Charles A.