Professional Jeweler Archive: The Compliance Quiz, Part 2

October 2001

Managing/Legal Issues

The Compliance Quiz, Part 2

Test your knowledge of the law and FTC Guides

Many laws, guidelines and regulations govern our industry. As you venture into new areas, such as e-commerce or appraising, you may face new questions about how to do business legally and ethically.

Below is the second in a series of quizzes from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee to test your knowledge of rules affecting different segments of your business (for the first part, see Professional Jeweler, August 2001, p. 110). Sharpen those No. 2 pencils and take this true-false quiz.

1. My business has just opened a store on the Web. Different laws and guidelines apply there, correct?

False. The same Federal Trade Commission guidelines and other regulations that apply to your bricks-and-mortar store apply online also, from disclosure to your other store policies.

2. There are no state guidelines for my store and my business. I am bound only by the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines when selling jewelry.

False. Each state has consumer protection laws by which you must abide. They are in place to protect consumers and may affect the way you do business. Ask JVC if you’re not sure about which state laws might affect you.

3. I’m working on my ads for the local newspaper. JVC would be happy to review them to make sure they are legally compliant before I send them to press, correct?

True. JVC would much rather review ads before they go to press than scrutinize them after they are the subject of a complaint. Call JVC at (800) JOIN-JVC for details.

4. If I give a customer an appraisal, it’s just my opinion. I don’t have to worry about standing behind it or about legal liability.

False. You absolutely take on liability when you give an appraisal. In fact, you could be sued if it’s found to be inaccurate. Don’t take the chance. Know what you’re doing and be ready to stand behind your work. (Check out J-BAR, a newly formed part of JVC created to work with appraisers and users of appraisals. Visit for more information.)

5. My new customer has horror stories about someone else who sold him jewelry. Some of it sounds a little fishy. I directed my customer to call JVC. That’s the appropriate resource, correct?

True. JVC handles more than 400 complaints a year from consumers and within the trade. Your customer can call or write for more information or visit and click on Consumer Resources.

Pencils Down

How compliant are you? As a matter of sound practice, make sure you and your employees are familiar with the regulations governing your business. There is more you should know.

JVC is the industry’s legal guardian, advocating, educating and communicating information to the jewelry industry and its customers to achieve compliance with the laws, guides and regulations governing the industry.

For questions or for membership information, call (800) JOIN-JVC. Check back soon for additional Compliance Quizzes covering other relevant topics.

– by Caroline Stanley

Caroline Stanley is marketing and development director of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee in New York City.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications