In the past there have been numerous questions and replies on Orchid about hallmarking metals.
MJSA was kind enough to send me a complimentary issue of the MJSA Journal (many thanks!) in which there is an interesting article on the subject.
It seems the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently revised their rules, and makers can now specify any percentage of gold and silver - there is no longer a restriction for things marked ‘gold’ to be 10K or higher; and a piece can be marked ‘silver’ with any percentage, so long as the marking is accurate. Specifically, one can now mark a piece as 1 karat gold, or 50% silver, where that was previously forbidden.
Some who previously posted about this did want to be able to hallmark along these lines.
The article did question if 1 karat gold should be called ‘gold’ at all.
I wonder when someone will get around to marking a piece as .18K Gold (notice the decimal point - this being less than 1 karat) or silver being marked as 18K Silver to trick buyers who are not familiar with silver hallmarking but who think 18K is high quality like 18K gold.
The article also went into the potential industry headaches when low percentage ‘gold’ jewelry starts turning a wearer’s finger green, when tarnishing and corrosion take place, and when these pieces are brought in for repair.
As a hobbyist this doesn’t concern me, but in the U.S. the rules have changed, and Orchid members should know about it, so I’m passing the information along.