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Topics: Marketing, Advertising, Product Warning Labels

Q.
I am thinking about selling the jewelry I make. What are my obligations as far as describing the materials that my jewelry is made from? It can be so confusing!
- Becca
A.
The Federal Trade Commission has published information on how jewelry and gemstones should be described in advertising. You can read that information here: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/tools-consumers/jewelry-guides.

Sellers have an obligation to accurately represent what they are selling. If, for example, you made a necklace from what you think are citrine beads but aren't sure, take them to a reputable appraiser to identify the material. This relates to the second issue, which has to do with the level of trust you want to develop with your customers. One of the main reasons why people love buying artisan jewelry is because they get to know the jewelry maker who created what they are purchasing.

It is very important, throughout your career as a jewelry maker, to continue to learn and inform yourself about beads, metals and other materials you use so you can intelligently discuss the origin of those materials with confidence. You should also be aware of the current state, federal and/or international laws regarding lead content in jewelry. View lead information here. Get to know your suppliers well and buy from the same sources for consistency.

I am not an attorney, and the information is not a replacement for legal advice. Consult with your own attorney to learn what laws and standards apply to you. - Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com.

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