FTC Demands More Platinum Disclosure

Companies must disclose if their platinum contains a large percentage of base metal alloys, the Federal Trade Commission ruled on Dec. 16.

The new rule was one of a number of revisions the FTC made to the platinum section of its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metal, and Pewter Industries.

The new rules say: 

• When using base metal alloys that contain between 50 percent and 85 percent platinum, marketers must disclose the product’s full composition, by name and not abbreviation, as well as the percentage of each metal it contains (i.e., “75 percent platinum, 25 percent copper”).

• If the product does not have the same attributes or properties as traditional platinum products, that must also be disclosed.

• As in the past, any item that contains less than 500 parts per thousand pure platinum may not be marked or described as “platinum.” But ­jewelry composed of at least 85 percent pure ­platinum may be referred to as “traditional platinum.”  

• If an item is marked or described as “platinum” without any qualification, it must have at least 950 parts per thousand pure platinum. For these products, the platinum percentage doesn’t have to be disclosed.

Despite requests made by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and others in the industry, the FTC declined to issue detailed guidance on products containing platinum plating or coatings, citing the need to do consumer perception studies, according to a JVC statement.

The Platinum Guild said the new rules are of “significant benefit to consumers.”

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