In December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced revisions to its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries in order to clarify how to properly disclose the content of jewelry made from new platinum/metal alloys. These are products made with a combination of non-precious “base” metals and contain between 50 and 85 percent platinum.
The new guidelines were included in a Federal Register notice published in late December. Specifically, the new Platinum Section states that marketers of platinum/base metal alloys should:
- Disclose the product’s full composition, by name and not abbreviation, and the percentage of each metal it contains. For example, 75% Platinum, 25% Copper or 60% Platinum, 35% Cobalt, 5% Rhodium; and
- Disclose that the product may not have the same attributes or properties as traditional platinum products, which are comprised of at least 85% pure platinum.
The new guidelines further state that marketers do not have to make the second disclosure if they have competent and reliable scientific evidence that the product is materially the same as one containing at least 85 percent pure platinum. This would be based on attributes that include durability, luster and hypoallergenicity.
Despite efforts by industry groups—led by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and including Jewelers of America, the FTC did not address products that were plated or coated with platinum in its new guidelines.
- In order to help businesses adjust to the new rules, the FTC has issued a new publication, “Advertising Platinum Jewelry”.
- You can also read more about this issue from the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America.