Silver Stamping

Hi Gavin -

I’m posting this to the rest of the list, because I found your answer to be very
informative and because there were some further questions:

My original post was:

Hi Gavin -

Thanks for the solder I have a further question: what are the
regulations for silver stamping? Do you have to have some kind of

Your response (edited) was:

Yes sometimes the content of manufactured silver and gold articles
is checked and it was named"The Board of Weights and Measures" I
think…I have to look it up myself so hang on.At one time the book says
in England they nailed your ears to a wooden pillory and cut one off
then sent you to prison if you cheated with false stamping.Now in the
U.S. the IRS examiners can call it tax fraud perhaps and the Department
of Transportation can call it counterfeit goods and all sorts of other
laws apply as well.Members of professional groups can take a violator to
U.S.District Court under the 1970 ammendment to stamping laws.

Also it is required to be trademarked if a stamp such as sterling or 14K is
used.I have one that was made with my name on it and as a signed piece
there is not a requirement to register it as a trademark if I am not
incorrect…Any lawyers out there? Can get sort of complicated if one
works in 14K and sterling for example and I mark both so it is actually
neither though or is it both

Thanks for the about silver stamping & standards. I work mostly in
sterling silver wire, which would make stamping really difficult, even if I
wanted to try it. I always thought that stamping was sort of a trademark with
different marks for different years/periods. (I’ve watched a few too many
episodes of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, I guess!) How do you decide what to
make your mark? Like you said, you use your name, but doesn’t that get a bit

Dianne Karg
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Oops big snip

you can contact consumer and corporate affairs for trademark and stamping info.

If you quality stamp you must also have a trademark stamp on a piece. It is
not legal to quality stamp a piece without it.
Only a very few solder joins (3 in a sterling object) are allowable because
it lowers the alloy too much. Some people get around this by adding a fine
silver chunk to a silver object to counterbalance this.
In gold you can use plumb solders, that is solders which are the same carat
(gold percentage) as the gold alloy itself.
If you have a gold piece with a sterling rivet you may stamp the gold part
gold.(and the sterling rivet sterling) If the gold piece has a small piece
of sterling soldered to it you may only stamp the piece sterling, ie the
lower quality part. One might make a case (I would not want to try) that
one stamps in proportion to the proportions of the volumes present (like
cereal boxes), so 14k, s/s925 etc.

One of a kind work is seldom tested in real life (they smelt it and test
the melted and destroyed article) but production work is done regularly.
the Canadians are fairly reasonable however and after notifying you of your
error you have in general 7 days to fix it (get it out of the store,
otherwise fix the problem)

You must register a trademark, in Canada this is fairly easy, costs about
150 dollars and while the process is occuring you have the legal right to
stamp items. If your trademark is denied then you must stop using it. You
can however have access to the trademark database free at federal
government offices (this used to be unavailable without a lawyer and $500
fees to them)

There are now international trademarks available (can someone on the list
comment on this?), otherwise one might technically have to trademark in
every country you sold in.

You can sell anything if it is not quality stamped (customers don’t like
it) and you don’t claim in writing that it is a certain quality, ie if your
card in the shop says sterling you had better have a trademark but if you
only say silver you are safe (if potentially sleazy).

In the states it used to be (and still is) a kind of free for all and many
Americans don’t know that they are required to use a trademark (which they
didn’t used to) if they quality stamped-but now their federal governemnt is
being more hard nosed about it.

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

You asked about how I mark the things I design and make.Actually I
stamp my middle name CHANDO on my work.It means Faces the Sun or
sunflower and the since it is not very common I am assured that the item
could be identified as my work.This of course is explained when I sell
an item.
A few months ago I began photographing each new item also.I started
doing this when I found a good deal on a suitable camera.I scan the
photos and put them on diskette and also try and publish them to my
website at which is in need of an
update BTW.There should (if it works) be a pretty good article there on
casting if you click on “jewelry making info”…Gavin