16 CFR § 23.5 - Misrepresentation as to silver content.
(a) It is unfair or deceptive to misrepresent that an industry product contains silver, or to misrepresent an industry product as having a silver content, plating, electroplating, or coating.
(b) The following are examples of markings or descriptions that may be misleading:
(1) Use of the unqualified word “silver” to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product, including the surface layer of a coated product, unless an equally conspicuous, accurate quality fineness designation indicating the pure silver content in parts per thousand immediately precedes the term (e.g., “750 silver”).
(2) Use of the words “solid silver,” “Sterling Silver,” “Sterling,” or the abbreviation “Ster.” to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product unless it is at least 925/1,000ths pure silver.
(3) Use of the words “coin” or “coin silver” to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product unless it is at least 900/1,000ths pure silver.
(4) Use of the word “silver” to mark, describe, or otherwise represent all or part of an industry product that is not composed throughout of silver, but has a surface layer or coating of silver, unless the term is adequately qualified to indicate that the product or part is only coated.
(5) Marking, describing, or otherwise representing all or part of an industry product as being plated or coated with silver unless all significant surfaces of the product or part contain a plating or coating of silver that is of reasonable durability. 34
34 See footnote 2.
(c) The provisions of this section relating to markings and descriptions of industry products and parts thereof are subject to the applicable tolerances of the National Stamping Act or any amendment thereof. 35
35 Under the National Stamping Act, sterling silver articles or parts that contain no solder have a permissible tolerance of four parts per thousand. If the part tested contains solder, the permissible tolerance is ten parts per thousand. For full text, see 15 U.S.C. 294, et seq.
The National Stamping Act provides that silver plated articles shall not “be stamped, branded, engraved or imprinted with the word `sterling' or the word `coin,' either alone or in conjunction with other words or marks.” 15 U.S.C. 297(a).
Exemptions recognized in the assay of silver industry products are listed in the appendix.