Karat Gold and Sterling Silver: Our Pledge to
The U.S. government, through the Gold and Silver Stamping Act of 1906,
requires that all jewelry and related items marked karat gold or sterling
silver be accompanied by the manufacturer's trademark. We guarantee all
our products comply with all of the law's requirements, which are:
- Items may not be stamped with the words "United States assay"
or any other words that could give the impression the U.S. government has
certified the karat fineness or quality of the item. There is no such system
in the U.S. and it is misleading to suggest there is. Each maker of fine
jewelry is individually responsible for stamping its trademark next to
the karat mark or sterling silver mark on a piece of jewelry or silverware.
The jewelry industry, with the help of its watchdog group, the Jewelers
Vigilance Committee, is responsible for identifying underkarating or missing
trademarks by makers or sellers of gold and silver. Our store regularly
monitors the marketplace and reports violators to the JVC and consumer
- If a karat mark such as "14k" is stamped on the
piece or used in any way in connection with its sale, the actual amount
of gold used cannot be less by more than 3/1,000 parts the karatage indicated
by the mark. In other words, 14 karat gold must contain very close to that
amount of gold (combined with other metals routinely used to give a piece
strength and durability). If a piece is marked 18k or 22k, it must contain
almost exactly that amount of gold (combined with lesser amounts of other
metals for strength and durability).
- If a piece of silver is marked "sterling" or "sterling
silver," it must be at least 925/1,000 parts pure silver.
- If an item is goldplated, goldfilled or gold- or silver-electroplated,
the words gold or silver must be modified to indicate that. These contain
much less gold and silver than karat gold or sterling silver and it is
illegal not to so inform consumers.
- If a karat mark is stamped on a piece, that mark must be accompanied
by a registered trademark or the name of the manufacturer who made the
piece. (It's important to remember, however, that gold and silver jewelry
and other items may legally be sold without identifying their gold or silver
content, as long as they're not advertised or promoted as "karat gold"
or "sterling silver." When a piece of gold or silver jewelry
is unmarked, however, consumers should definitely assume such items are
not karat gold or sterling silver.)
Any manufacturer or seller of jewelry who knowingly violates the Gold
and Silver Stamping Act by selling gold or silver items that are not in
compliance with the act's requirements is subject to criminal prosecution
in federal district court and could be fined, jailed or both.