JCK, JVC Take The Lead For Honest Marking

Section 6, Subsection (c) in the contract which all exhibitors at The JCK International Jewelry Show sign off on reads: “Exhibitors must conform with the provisions of the National Gold and Silver Marking Act 15 USC294 et seq. (the stamping act) as well as the Federal Trade Commission Guides for the Jewelry Industry 16CFR Part 23, including the Guide Against Deceptive Pricing. All quality marked jewelry must carry the manufacturer’s trademark.”

That’s a very explicit clause. The problem is, a number of observers have told us, some exhibitors ignore it – and these same observers assure us that a number of exhibitors at all U.S. jewelry shows pay no heed to such rules even though they constitute mandates of the Federal Government.

Offending exhibitors, many of whom are foreign, usually offer two routine excuses if they are called to task. First, I didn’t know the law. Second, I failed to read the small type on the back of the contract.

I’m glad to report that we’ve had very few complaints about law-breaking at our Las Vegas show. But even one violation is one too many. We’re as committed as any honest supplier to see that buyers at the show are not misled, that gemstone treatments are disclosed, that precious metal jewelry is properly identified and supported by the maker’s mark.

Joel Windman, executive vice president and counsel for the Jewelers Vigilance Committee, approached us about a year ago and suggested that we should ask all exhibitors to put their trademarks on record with JCK so that it would be possible to match any quality-stamped jewelry with its manufacturer. He further suggested that failure to register the company mark would disqualify the firm from exhibiting in the show.

Over the past few months we’ve held a number of meetings with JVC’s officers, including the outgoing president, Bob Green, about the issue. As the project developed, JVC agreed that it would offer itself as a central depository of exhibitor trademarks and to this end has created the JVC International Trademark Registry. For a small fee to JVC, show exhibitors may record their mark(s) with the ITR, thus qualifying themselves to exhibit in the JCK Show. Blenheim and Miller Freeman have since agreed to have the same arrangements for their shows.

We believe the ITR plan is a win/ win deal for both exhibitors and buyers. In view of all the potshots at the industry for tolerating underkarated or unmarked merchandise, we feel it’s important to do everything possible to guarantee that buyers and sellers within the industry deal totally honestly with each other and lead the way in obeying the law.