The specific law everyone is referring to can be found at:
Subsection 23.9, note #2 specifically reads: Note 2 to 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.
Go to this site: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/109
It won’t allow me to copy and paste, but read sections 294-297–
SPECIFICALLY section 297, (b), (1), (2), (A) and (B).
I think the heading for section 297 is misleading (as in, you may
skip over it) as it refers to plated articles. However, section 23.9
note #2 of the FTC guidelines specifically refers to section 297 of
the National Stamping Act.
The NSA website has a wonderful section of marks that are already in
use/have been in use by other metalworkers.
Also, you can search the United States Patent and Trademark
applications yourself, although it can certainly prove to be a
I am in the same boat as you as far as ready to “mark” my work, and
I certainly want to make sure I do everything “legally”. I was
pretty surprised, when I asked my instructor for guidance in this
regard, that she apparently knows nothing about this law. I assumed
this would be something covered in a class when she was in college
for metal work, but apparently not! And she has over 30 years under
her belt. I’m guessing that the reality is, it never really comes up
(I can’t imagine anyone really tracking down a jeweler if they
suspect an article isn’t sterling, etc., as in, I doubt it would
ever cross a consumer’s mind, IMO).