Tiffany’s Claims for New Metal Okayed

The verdict is in: Tiffany & Co. can call RUBEDO a “new jeweler’s metal.”

The National Advertising Division, an offshoot of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said in a statement issued Aug. 16 that the famed retailer was able to back its claims for the new alloy, which it introduced in February.

Those assertions had come under fire in an April New York Times article, which quoted metallurgists as saying that RUBEDO—an alloy which contains gold, silver, copper, zinc, germanium, and silicon—is “not a metal, and it’s not all that new.”

But NAD determined that consumers would not think that RUBEDO was a new element in the periodic table, and would understand that it is a new metal alloy.

NAD also looked at whether Tiffany could claim that RUBEDO is new. After reviewing the materials submitted by Tiffany, NAD determined it could.

Another claim in Tiffany advertising—that the RUBEDO metal “marries the richness of gold, the brilliance of silver and the warmth of copper”—raised a little more concern. NAD thought the line might mislead consumers as to the actual value of its metallic components. However, Tiffany said that it had already withdrawn this claim prior to NAD’s inquiry.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.

The retailer declined further comment.

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