Every piece designed will have various markings. All silver pieces will be stamped:
STERLING - .925 - USA (not always in that order). There will be a distinctive GG (capital G being part of the lower case g). A copyright (C) stamp will always appear on each piece.
Usually the (C) will be stamped over the Gg logo. Once the piece is approved and ready to ship, it will be hand etched signed (not cast but actually hand etched). Edition numbers also appear on most pieces #1/1, #005 etc.
Gunther Grant's signature can appear the following ways: G.G. - G. Grant - Gunther Grant. This of course depends on the size of each piece, whether the full name will fit. A database of every piece with markings and numbers will be listed.
All pieces will come with an authentication document with matching markings and data and photo of each piece.
We ONLY use silver from regulated
US MINES for quality and purity
Since U.S. legislation in 2008 all but banned lead in children's products, Chinese factories have increasingly turned to cadmium as a substitute. Like lead, cadmium added shape and weight to jewelry, and was cheap.
Because entry into low-end jewelry manufacturing in China is inexpensive, competition is tough and factories do all they can to stay afloat, even if that means using toxic materials.
"These aren't lawless companies; they're smaller companies who face enormous pressure and will do whatever they can to lower their price," said Chris Devereux, founder of Chinasavvy, a sourcing company with offices in China, the U.S. and Britain.
A manager at Ruyi Accessories, a jewelry factory in Zhejiang province, said a ton of zinc alloy — which U.S. officials recommend Chinese manufacturers use instead of lead — would cost his company 28,000 yuan, or $4,100, but a ton of cadmium would be just half of that.
"The key to this problem is price. We can produce lead-free, cadmium-free, 100% safe products, but the price of such products is never cheap," said the manager, Zeng, who would give only his last name.
But health advocates say cadmium poses serious dangers.
"Cadmium is toxic to humans," said Ruth A. Lawrence, professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. "Children are especially susceptible to even small exposures of cadmium from metal toys and trinkets, which can damage their developing organs."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels cadmium a "probable human carcinogen," with most exposure to humans coming from the burning of fossil fuels. Smokers tend to have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as nonsmokers, the EPA said.
Children who suck on or swallow toys made with cadmium could be especially vulnerable, experts said.
Tests on animals exposed to cadmium have shown bone weakening, and offspring of animals exposed during pregnancy have shown behavioral and learning ability defects.
"Granted, more studies need to be done, but these effects seen in animals and the known effects documented in human exposures should be taken seriously," said Norma Barton, a specialist in poison information at the University of Rochester.
Among the cadmium-related recalls this year, a line of Miley Cyrus jewelry from Wal-Mart was called back in February and McDonald's recalled nearly 12 million Shrek-themed Happy Meal glasses in June.
Warning about cheap overseas jewelry flooding the US market