I live in the USA and after starting a couple of years ago making
jewelry, I feel I am at a point where I can start to produce pieces
on a regular basis. However, I have no way of stamping these pieces.
My thoughts are to come up with a logo and have microstamp make a
stamp for me. Bottom line, I just want a way of stamping my work so
that it can be identified as being made by me. Ideally, I would like
it protected however I simply don’t have the $250+ to pay the United
States Patent & Trademark Office. How do most people mark their
work? How does simply signing my work by stamping it with my
signature protect my work if at all? Thanks, I know this topic has
probably been covered many times. If anyone could share their
thoughts or point me to a source for info, I would be grateful.
Hello Chris I had microstamp make a stamp of my name and I use that.
It has never been registered, but nothing is mass produced. My work
is mostly one of a kind or occasionally a limited run. It doesn’t
really matter if someone knocks it off. I’m on to something new by
then any way. There is something about working this long and this
hard just to become a production jeweler that makes me shudder. I
just stampthings for bragging rights. Micro stamp is a fine company
by the way.
I’ve had a couple of stamps made and I’ve made some for myself as
well. I’ve used Industrial Marking Tool out of Michigan and they did
a great job.
As far as stamping your work so people won’t copy it, that’s a
fantasy. Just because you stamped doesn’t mean they won’t copy it.
And pursing them in course is pretty futile. Just keep coming up
with new and better ideas.
Also, on Facebook there is a great group of jewelers exchanging
these kinds of ideas. It’s called Metalsmiths Unite 2.0 Perhaps they
would have some ideas if you don’t get many here. It’s always good
to have a wide range of people to ask.
I wanted to originally ask simply why do artists stamp their work
and why should I?
Probably the first answer is that by US law, if a piece is stamped
with a quality (14K, !8K, 925, etc) a manufacturer’s stamp must be
included, presumably to track down and prosecute those who would
under-karat their work.
Secondly, for the same reason that an oil painting is usually signed
by the artist. They want people to know who painted it, as would any
artist that’s proud of their work.
In addition to complying with FTC law, I stamp my creations with my
logo as a form of signature. It looks better and more professional
(imho) than a ball bur or vibratory engraving, although I did that
for years and occasionally still do on pieces that for whatever
reason can’t be stamped.
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.
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).
With respect to marking Precious Metal that “YOU” combine, should be
very carefully marked or stamped as to the precious metal content
(it is a law that most people disregard). I have multiples of "ALL
Karats from 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, platinum with all
the “iums” alloys, Silver925, silver/alloys - brass, nickel, copper,
gold, Palladium. Any more would be a “BOOK”. Good for now.