Jewelry Law and Legal Definition
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations on advertising apply to jewelry industry products, which include, but are not limited to, the following: gemstones and their laboratory-created and imitation substitutes; natural and cultured pearls and their imitations; and metallic watch bands not permanently attached to watches. They also apply to articles, including optical frames, pens and pencils, flatware, and hollowware, fabricated from precious metals (gold, silver and platinum group metals), precious metal alloys, and their imitations.
Under the FTC rules, it is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent the type, kind, grade, quality, quantity, metallic content, size, weight, cut, color, character, treatment, substance, durability, serviceability, origin, price, value, preparation, production, manufacture, distribution, or any other material aspect of an industry product. Some of the advertising practices prohibited include enlarged pictures without a statement that it is not pictured in the actual size and misuse of descriptions like "perfect" and "flawless".
The following is an excerpt from the FTC guidelines for silver jewelry:
- "Sterling describes metal containing 92.5 parts silver and 7.5 parts other metal. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Jewelry Guides, any item marked “silver” must be sterling.
- Coin Silver describes metal containing 90 parts silver and 10 parts other metal. It is called “coin” because Indians melted down pre-1900 American and Mexican coins to make jewelry before they were able to obtain commercially made ingots and sheet silver.
- German Silver – also called Nickel Silver – refers to 60 parts copper, 20 parts zinc, and 20 parts nickel. Under the FTC Jewelry Guides, no item should be called silver, even with a modifier such as “German” or “Nickel,” unless it contains at least 90 percent silver. "