After a great referral from Jim Binnion (thanks again, Jim!), I was
able to find the answer… at least for the U.S. By the way, the URL
Jim provided is: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.htm
The relevant � 23.6 Misrepresentation as to
(b) It is unfair or deceptive to mark, describe, or otherwise
represent all or part of an industry product as “silver,” “solid
silver,” “Sterling Silver,” “Sterling,” or the abbreviation "Ster."
unless it is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver.
My layman’s interpretation is that the piece I made it an “industry
product.” In order to mark the piece as sterling, the entire product
must be at least .925 pure silver. Given the portions of the piece
being copper and/or brass in my example, having the product stamped as
"sterling" would be in violation.
It seems to me common sense would lead a consumer to know the marking
applies only the portion that appears to be silver, or is silver in
color, but this guideline doesn’t seem to allow for that.
Any dissenting interpretations?
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)