How should I go about marking the fine silver chains I've
knitted, once I've soldered on sterling end caps and added sterling
findings? Where does the ".999" go?
You would likely be best off marking it with the lowest valued
quality mark, in this case ".925" and providing a written
description, valuation or affidavit that describes the rest of the
component metals. Or, no quality mark at all.
Similarly, suppose I make a pendant of sterling with keum-bo
or with 14K applique, and, just to be difficult, I set a stone in
an 18K bezel on it to boot?
Same as above
On top of all these other difficulties, suppose the piece of
jewelry is some meticulously formed opus of art jewelry, meant to
be seen from all sides, and a quality stamp on it anywhere would be
like a pimple on Aphrodite's bottom?
Same as above, with no stamp or mark. Imagine looking for quality
marks on mokume gane. Some pieces of same-quality metals may be
marked, but mixed-metal pieces aren't likely to be.
Does "disclosure" have to mean a stamp? Can I provide a
written affidavit? I've read the material on the ftc.gov site, and
there seems to be nothing to indicate the proper protocols for such
In the FTC guides, "disclosure" is discussed in these cases as a
measure that is required if you mark or stamp a piece made of
different metals that have a similar surface appearance. This
measure is intended to prevent deception. If you create a piece of
more than one metal (or one, for that matter), you don't have to
stamp it at all. You don't have to provide anything unless you wish
to, if your clientele will rely on your honesty and reputation. But
if you do mark it, you have to mark it properly, and with your name
or trademark. A description, affidavit or valuation, with or without
a quality mark is never a bad idea.
A meticulously formed opus of art jewelry is usually accompanied by
a detailed description and some sort of "I love me" artist
statement, anyway. Since metals can be easily tested by competent
appraisers, quality marking in the US isn't a requirement. Only your
name or trademark is required if you DO stamp it.
James in SoFl