Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
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United States National Stamping Act of 1906

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U.S. Code, Title 15, Chapter 8
FALSELY STAMPED GOLD OR SILVER OR GOODS MANUFACTURED THEREFROM


Contents:
  • Sec. 291. Stamping with words ''United States assay'', etc., unlawful
  • Sec. 292. Forfeiture
  • Sec. 293. Penalty for infraction
  • Sec. 294. Importation or transportation of falsely marked gold or silver ware prohibited
  • Sec. 295. Standard of fineness of gold articles; deviation
  • Sec. 296. Standard of fineness of silver articles; deviation
  • Sec. 297. Stamping plated articles
  • Sec. 298. Violations of law
  • Sec. 299. Definitions
  • Sec. 300. Application of State laws
Sec. 291. -
Stamping with words ''United States assay'', etc., unlawful
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, association, or corporation engaged in commerce among the several States, Territories, District of Columbia, and possessions of the United States, or with any foreign country, to stamp any gold, silver, or goods manufactured therefrom, and which are intended and used in such commerce, with the words ''United States assay'', or with any words, phrases, or devices calculated to convey the impression that the United States Government has certified to the fineness or quality of such gold or silver, or of the gold or silver contained in any of the goods manufactured therefrom. Each and every such stamp shall constitute a separate offense.

Sec. 292. -
Forfeiture
Any gold, silver, or goods manufactured therefrom after February 21, 1905, bearing any of the stamps, words, phrases, or devices prohibited to be used under section 291 of this title, and being in the course of transportation from one State to another, or to or from a Territory, the District of Columbia, or possessions of the United States, shall be forfeited to the United States, and may be seized and condemned by like proceedings as those provided by law for the forfeiture, seizure, and condemnation of property imported into the United States contrary to law.

Sec. 293. -
Penalty for infraction
Every person, partnership, association, or corporation violating the provisions of sections 291 to 293 of this title, and every officer, director, or managing agent of such partnership, association, or corporation having knowledge of such violation and directly participating in such violation or consenting thereto, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, be punished with a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, at the discretion of the court.

Sec. 294. -
Importation or transportation of falsely marked gold or silver ware prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association, being a manufacturer of or wholesale or retail dealer in gold or silver jewelry or gold ware, silver goods or silverware, or for any officer, manager, director, or agent of such firm, corporation, or association to import or export or cause to be imported into or exported from the United States for the purpose of selling or disposing of the same, or to deposit or cause to be deposited in the United States mails for transmission thereby, or to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common carrier for transportation from one State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, to any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or to said District, in interstate commerce, or to transport or cause to be transported from one State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or from the District of Columbia, to any other State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or to said District, in interstate commerce, any article of merchandise manufactured after June 13, 1907, and made in whole or in part of gold or silver, or any alloy of either of said metals, and having stamped, branded, engraved, or printed thereon, or upon any tag, card, or label attached thereto, or upon any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which said article is incased or inclosed, any mark or word indicating or designed or intended to indicate that the gold or silver or alloy of either of said metals in such article is of a greater degree of fineness than the actual fineness or quality of such gold, silver, or alloy, according to the standards and subject to the qualifications set forth in sections 295 and 296 of this title.

Sec. 295. -
Standard of fineness of gold articles; deviation
In the case of articles of merchandise made in whole or in part of gold or of any of its alloys so imported into or exported from the United States, or so deposited in the United States mails for transmission, or so delivered for transportation to any common carrier, or so transported or caused to be transported as specified in section 294 of this title, the actual fineness of such gold or alloy shall not be less by more than three one-thousandth parts than the fineness indicated by the mark stamped, branded, engraved, or printed upon any part of such article, or upon any tag, card, or label attached thereto, or upon any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed: Provided, That in any test for the ascertainment of the fineness of any article mentioned in this section, according to the foregoing standards, the part of the article taken for the test, analysis, or assay shall be such part or portion as does not contain or have attached thereto any solder or alloy of inferior fineness used for brazing or uniting the parts of said article: Provided further, That, in addition to the foregoing tests and standards, the actual fineness of the entire quantity of gold or of its alloys contained in an article mentioned in this section, including all solder and alloy of inferior fineness used for brazing or uniting the parts of such article (all such gold, alloys, and solder being assayed as one piece), shall not be less by more than three one-thousandth parts, in the case of a watchcase or flatware, or than seven one-thousandth parts, in the case of any other such article, than the fineness indicated by the mark stamped, branded, engraved, or imprinted upon such article, or upon any tag, card, or label attached thereto, or upon any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed, it being intended that the standards of fineness and the tests or methods for ascertaining the same provided in this section for articles mentioned therein shall be concurrent and not alternative.

Sec. 296. -
Standard of fineness of silver articles; deviation
In the case of articles of merchandise made in whole or in part of silver or any of its alloys so imported into or exported from the United States, or so deposited in the United States mails for transmission, or so delivered for transportation to any common carrier, or so transported or caused to be transported as specified in section 294 of this title, the actual fineness of the silver or alloy thereof of which such article is wholly or partly composed shall not be less by more than four one-thousandth parts than the actual fineness indicated by any mark (other than the word ''sterling'' or the word ''coin'') stamped, branded, engraved, or printed upon any part of such article, or upon any tag, card, or label attached thereto, or upon any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed; and that no such article or tag, card, or label attached thereto, or box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed shall be marked, stamped, branded, engraved, or printed with the word ''sterling'' or ''sterling silver'' or any colorable imitation thereof, unless such article or parts thereof purporting to be silver contains nine hundred and twenty-five one-thousandth parts pure silver; and that no such article, tag, card, label, box, package, cover, or wrapper shall be marked, stamped, branded, engraved, or printed with the words ''coin'' or ''coin silver'' or colorable imitation thereof unless such article or parts thereof purporting to be silver contains nine hundred one-thousandth parts pure silver: Provided, That in the case of all such articles whose fineness is indicated by the word ''sterling'' or the word ''coin'' there shall be allowed a divergence in the fineness of four one-thousandth parts from the foregoing standards: Provided, That in any test for the ascertainment of the fineness of any such article mentioned in this section according to the foregoing standards the part of the article taken for the test, analysis, or assay shall be such part or portion as does not contain or have attached thereto any solder or alloy of inferior fineness used for brazing or uniting the parts of such article: Provided further, That in the case of any article mentioned in this section, in addition to the foregoing tests and standards, the actual fineness of the entire quantity of silver or of its alloys contained in such article, including all solder and alloy of inferior fineness used for brazing or uniting the parts of such article (all such silver, alloys, and solder being assayed as one piece), shall not be less by more than ten one-thousandth parts than the fineness indicated by the mark stamped, branded, engraved, or imprinted upon such article, or upon any tag, card, or label attached thereto, or upon any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed, it being intended that the standards of fineness and the tests or methods for ascertaining the same provided in this section for articles mentioned therein shall be concurrent and not alternative.

Sec. 297. -
Stamping plated articles
(a) Words ''sterling'' or ''coin'' forbidden
In the case of articles of merchandise made in whole or in part of an inferior metal, having deposited or plated thereon or brazed or otherwise affixed thereto a plating, covering, or sheet composed of gold or silver, or of an alloy of either of said metals, and known in the market as rolled gold plate, gold plate, gold filled, silver plate, or gold or silver electroplate, or by any similar designation, so imported into or exported from the United States, or so deposited in the United States mails for transmission, or so delivered to any common carrier, or so transported or caused to be transported as specified in section 294 of this title, no such article, nor any tag, card, or label attached thereto, nor any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is encased or inclosed, shall be stamped, branded, engraved, or imprinted with any word or mark usually employed to indicate the fineness of gold, unless such word or mark be accompanied by other words, plainly indicating that such article or part thereof is made of rolled gold plate, gold plate, or gold electroplate, or is gold filled, as the case may be, and no such article, nor any tag, card, or label attached thereto, nor any box, package, cover, or wrapper in which such article is incased or inclosed, shall be stamped, branded, engraved, or imprinted with the word ''sterling'' or the word ''coin'', either alone or in conjunction with other words or marks.
(b) Identifying trademark
Whenever any person, firm, corporation, or association, being a manufacturer or dealer subject to section 294 of this title -
(1)
applies or causes to be applied to any article of merchandise intended for sale or customarily sold as a complete product to consumers in any State, by stamping, branding, engraving, or otherwise, any quality mark or stamp indicating or purporting to indicate that such article is made in whole or in part of gold or silver or of an alloy of either such metal; or
(2)
imports into any State any such article of merchandise bearing any such quality mark or stamp which indicates or purports to indicate that such article is made in whole or in part of gold or silver or of an alloy of either such metal,
such person, firm, corporation, or association, before depositing any such article manufactured or imported after six months after the effective date of this Act in the United States mails, or causing such article to be so deposited, for transmission thereby, or delivering such article or causing such article to be delivered to any common carrier for transportation from one State to any other State, or transporting such article or causing such article to be transported from one State to any other State, shall -
(A)
Apply or cause to be applied to that article a trademark of such persons, which has been duly registered or applied for registration under the laws of the United States within thirty days after an article bearing the trademark is placed in commerce or imported into the United States, or the name of such person; and
(B)
if such article of merchandise is composed of two or more parts which are complete in themselves but which are not identical in quality, and any one of such parts bears such a quality mark or stamp, apply or cause to be applied to each other part of that article of merchandise a quality mark or stamp of like pattern and size disclosing the quality of that other part.
Each identifying trademark or name applied to any article of merchandise in compliance with clause (A) of this subsection shall be applied to that article by the same means as that used in applying the quality mark or stamp appearing thereon, in type or lettering at least as large as that used in such quality mark or stamp, and in a position as close as possible to that quality mark or stamp. For the purposes of this subsection, the term ''State'' includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia.

Sec. 298. -
Violations of law
(a) Criminal prosecutions; penalties; jurisdiction
Each and every person, firm, corporation, or association, being a manufacturer of or a wholesale or retail dealer in gold or silver jewelry, gold ware, silver goods, or silverware, who or which shall knowingly violate any of the provisions of sections 294 to 300 of this title, and every officer, manager, director, or managing agent of any such corporation or association having knowledge of such violation and directly participating in such violation or consenting thereto, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof in any court of the United States having jurisdiction of crimes within the district in which such violation was committed or through which has been conducted the transportation of the article in respect to which such violation has been committed, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than three months, or both, at the discretion of the court. Whenever the offense is begun in one jurisdiction and completed in another it may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, determined, and punished in either jurisdiction in the same manner as if the offense had been actually and wholly committed therein.
(b) Suits by competitors, customers, or subsequent purchasers for injunctive relief; damages and costs
Any competitor, customer, or competitor of a customer of any person in violation of section 294, 295, 296, or 297 of this title, or any subsequent purchaser of an article of merchandise which has been the subject of a violation of section 294, 295, 296, or 297 of this title, shall be entitled to injunctive relief restraining further violation of sections 294 to 300 of this title and may sue therefor in any district court of the United States in the district in which the defendant resides or has an agent, without respect to the amount in controversy, and shall recover damages and the cost of suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
(c) Suits by jewelry trade associations for injunctive relief; damages and costs
Any duly organized and existing jewelry trade association shall be entitled to injunctive relief restraining any person in violation of section 294, 295, 296, or 297 of this title from further violation of sections 294 to 300 of this title and may sue therefor as the real party in interest in any district court of the United States in the district in which the defendant resides or has an agent, without respect to the amount in controversy, and if successful shall recover the cost of suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee. If the court determines that the action has been brought frivolously, for purposes of harassment, or in implementation of any scheme in restraint of trade, it may award punitive damages to the defendant.
(d) Award of costs to defendant
Any defendant against whom a civil action is brought under the provisions of sections 294 to 300 of this title shall be entitled to recover the cost of defending the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee, in the event such action is terminated without a finding by the court that such defendant is or has been in violation of sections 294 to 300 of this title.
(e) Jurisdiction of civil actions
The district courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under the provisions of sections 294 to 300 of this title.

Sec. 299. -
Definitions
(a)
The expression ''article of merchandise'' as used in sections 294 to 300 of this title shall signify any goods, wares, works of art, commodity, or other thing which may be lawfully kept or offered for sale.
(b)
The term ''person'' means an individual, partnership, corporation, or any other form of business enterprise, capable of being in violation of sections 294 to 300 of this title.
(c)
The term ''jewelry trade association'' means an organization, consisting primarily of persons actively engaged in the jewelry or a related business, the purposes and activities of which are primarily directed to the improvement of business conditions in the jewelry or related businesses.

Sec. 300. -
Application of State laws
All articles of merchandise to which sections 294 to 300 of this title apply which shall have been transported into any State, Territory, District, or possession of the United States, and shall remain therein for use, sale, or storage, shall, upon arrival in such State, Territory, District, or possession, be subject to the operation of all the laws of such State, Territory, District, or possession of the United States to the same extent and in the same manner as though such articles of merchandise had been produced in such State, Territory, District, or possession, and shall not be exempt therefrom by reason of being introduced therein in original packages or otherwise.



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