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Hallmarking and Selling
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Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry; Ethics and laws; Commerce and business

Word count/read time: 637 words; 3 minutes

Hallmarking: In the USA, a purity mark is not required on precious metal items. If it does have a purity mark, it is required to have a maker's mark applied as close as possible to the purity mark, at least as large, and in the same manner. The mark must be federally registered for traceability. Literature, documentation, claims, and product tags are considered part of the hallmarking process.

This goes for any piece someone sells or distributes regardless of whether or not they made it. It's quite a disincentive to sell something second-hand that doesn't already have a manufacturer's mark because the seller is now responsible for it.

Hobby or part-time sellers/manufacturers seldom have a registered hallmark but often put purity marks on their pieces. They may """inadvertently""" use a finding with a purity stamp on it but as far as they're concerned, it's all good as long as they get your money.

There are provisions for consumers, competitors, and trade associations to bring criminal and civil lawsuits against ANY person involved in the sale, distribution, or manufacturing of items that do not comply. The seller would be burdened with fines, lawyer fees, and court costs. They may have an injunction placed against them and have their inventory confiscated. If enough people sue under these provisions it will stop some of the chicanery.

Text can be found here.



Marketing: A huge issue is the use of the word "handmade" as it relates to jewelry and precious metal items. It's legally defined and no one is exempt from it! If you sell in the USA, our laws apply. Like, DUH, Captain Obvious! Some people just don't get it. Sadly, most jewelry that is claimed to be handmade isn't.

Same with "corrosion resistant," which also has a legal definition. Gold of at least 10k fineness and nickel meet the definition, as does a small group of stainless steel alloys. However, all the mistruths will make one believe aluminum, titanium, niobium, stainless steel, silver alloys, painted, enameled, powdercoated, galvanized, and gold-filled are immune to the forces of nature...and exempt from the laws.

Text regarding both can be found here.



Fake and counterfeit: There are numerous laws which govern the selling, possession, or distribution of fake articles. Silverplated junk bearing fake sterling hallmarks litter the marketplace. Every seller, manufacturer, and distributor who does this knows exactly what they are doing and their intention is to scam you! Anything precious metals from China - be 1000% suspect because they are fake.

Text can be found here.



Imports: Any imported item must be labeled with the country of origin. The consumer is often the one who gets the worst of it as unscrupulous sellers will pawn illegal merchandise under the guise of being made in America, for instance.

Text can be found here.



Summary: Knowing your seller has integrity, intelligence, common sense, and honesty is the only defense you have. Second to that, understand these laws because what is presented in the marketplace is not anything close to the wording of the law!

The chainmaille industry is notorious for liars, cheats, and the collective worst quality goods. It is overrun with arrogant, ignorant, and untalented artists. Conversations will generally not end well when truth, laws, and ethics are discussed. Expect a verbally violent response that is so irrational that even the most dimwitted shit-for-brains would recognize as scapegoating. You might think every mailler is this way but there are a few exceptions. Very, VERY few.

Jewelers (the industry) have been dishonest for so long that these laws were made to combat their fraud; many are just as bad as maillers. It's pathetic and I have no qualms about calling any of them out. I won't be liked but thieving, lying losers have opinions that no one with properly developed cognitive skills cares about.


Posted by M: May 25, 2022


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