FAS Makers Mark

by Nancy Janeliunas

The mark FAS is not for 'Fused Alloy Silver'. What the FAS letters stand for and who the manufacturer actually is was brought up during a jewelry discussion relating to an item in question. An online article was pointed to stating that FAS was identified as Fused Alloy Silver by a Chinese seller when the author questioned them that is what they were told. There is also confusion as you continue your internet search with the mark being for the 'Fantastic Antique Silver Company' to add to the mix.

Its very easy on the internet for a blog posting to be picked up and followed by all who are also seeking information. Soon these high ranking posts have everyone following that lead, copying it over in their listings which is now making it appear to be a 'fact'. To the point that you will see that many items marked with FAS are now stated to be made by Fused Alloy Silver or the Fantastic Antique Silver Company when you do an online search but those names are incorrect.

So who really is FAS then? FAS is an international trademark for Design's by FMC :

Registered # 74203555 - FAS

Designs by FMC, Inc.

1533 60th Street

Brooklyn, New York, NY 11219 (US)

Designs by FMC line includes the manufacturing & wholesale distribution of jewelry, precious stones and costume jewelry since 1976 but this mark has only been in use since 1991. Their jewelry is manufactured overseas and imported back for sale in the US and sold by mass merchandising channels like HSN, Amazon and major department stores. In addition to sterling silver this maker also is a large producer of gold and silver plated fashion jewelry also marked FAS but without the metal fineness noted. 

There is a very similar FAS trademark in the Chinese registered trademarks database without the horizontal line across the ‘A’ which may be confused with the US maker so pay close attention to how the 'A' looks on the mark.

Here is FMC's corporate website: http://www.designsbyfmc.net/

This is a Designs by FMC hang tag with the FAS trademark:

·    As your researching this mark note the Kolidescope Effect at https://nasvete.com/signed-fas...has copied the  information from this page with a few minor verbage changes and claimed it as theirs without crediting their source information. However when you scroll down their page's jewelry examples with the FAS mark they state some of the items are 1970's. A sign they did not do their own homework on this mark because even though Designs by FMC existed since 1973, they missed that FMC did not put the FAS mark into use until 20 years later at the end of 1991. FMC's filing on the registration of the FAS mark was not until Sept 16, 1991. In their filing it is noted the mark was first used in commerce one month later on Oct 16,1991. So any jewelry with the FAS mark is no older than late 1991 and more likely made from 1992 to present as they are still in business. I'm sure they will update their page with this though when they copy the new edits made here. They might even add a credit too this time ...  ; )


Best way to acid test silver is with 18K acid, if positive for 925 or better color will turn sky blue.
Regarding the 1906 Act, there is nothing in it that says an item can be described as having "sterling" plating. That got cut and pasted incorrectly. The Act emphatically states nothing can be marked on an item, it's tag/label or container it comes in with "Sterling." if it isn't solid sterling.

I interjected that anyone can verbally describe something as being sterling plated, but only as their opinion. See below on silver in plating.

Here's the funny thing. Silver plating uses pure (higher than sterling) silver. It's the quantity mixed with cyanide that determines the quality of the plating. This quantity is not standardized, other than being between 25-40g silver per 125g cyanide. Items I've bought that have been described by the seller or manufacturer as "sterling plated" have obviously been plated with a higher concentration of silver. But the use of "sterling" with "plated" is informal and subjective. In no way precise or regulated.
Stacy: You write that 925 FAS is plated. But you give nothing to back that up. I have more regarding legal use of "925" and "sterling" below. But, here is the simple, definitive proof on the FAS mark.
From the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office): "FAS" IC 014. US 028. G & S: jewelry; namely, bracelets, earrings, pendants and rings. FIRST USE: 19911016. (REGISTRANT) FMC MANUFACTURING CORP. CORPORATION NEW YORK 1533 60th Street Brooklyn NEW YORK 11219

Except for the single "article" about FAS standing for Fused Alloy Silver, writen by a woman with a Bachelor's in journalism and specializing in fashion. Neither of those qualifies or even indicates fine metal mark expertise.
I have been researching sterling marks for years and am a member of more than one group that works to identify marks, as well as on a forum for the same. There is no such designation as "Fused Alloy Silver." The author either passed on incorrect information given to her or made a strange assumption.

It is indeed illegal to use "925" for anything other than solid sterling, per the US 1906 Precious Metals Marking Act. It states that anything plated cannot be marked "sterling" etc. It can be described as using sterling plating, but no mark is allowed. An additional section goes into details on all things plated.

Another very common misconception is that ".925" has only been used since the latter 20th century. It has in fact been used in the US since around 1856! "Sterling" or "Silver" was not a guarantee of the content until the 1906 Act that included the use of the word Sterling or an abbreviation of it was only for 92.5% Silver. "Silver" still isn't a regulated term. The 1973 Hallmarking Act in Versailles included Italy, the US, Britain... dropped the "." and changed the font a bit. So pieces marked ".925" are likely pre-1973. Of course some people continued to use their molds with that stamp until they broke before changing that.
And since most other countries have chosen this to be the silver content standard for sterling.
Japan still has theirs at 1.000 Although most of their jewelry is marked ".990" or thereabouts because pure silver is too soft for jewelry.
JS: I've had a brownish-red or color other than red when my sterling acid was bad. It goes bad fairly quickly. Whenever I use it, I first test the test, LOL. I have a scrap piece I know is 925 silver. If that doesn't show blood red, then it's time for new acid. Just a possibility!
All my experience with FAS is very good. It all tests for sterling 925 and all the stones are of a very good quality CZ's. The brand has been around for at least 30 years because that is how long I have been collecting it. I recommend it.
The only problem with MS's comment is, that it is illegal to stamp plated jewelry 925 since 925 stands for exactly what it is.
I recently acid tested something labeled as fas925. I tested it several times and it kept coming out a brownish red which would indicate about 80% silver instead of dark red (92.5% silver which is sterling). So perhaps, at least in this particular case, the Sterling Silver was mixed with an alloy, making it only about 80% silver instead of 92.5%. I don't think this was just plated with sterling because it was scratched several times on a scratch stone to do the acid test with the same result.
I recently ran upon a "FAS" ring. It is INDEED Sterling. It is marked 925 FAS on one side, and on the other, it is marked Thailand CZ. I acid tested it to be sure, and it acid tests as 925 Sterling Silver as well.
Thanks for this information.I inherited a ton of jewelry, some real and costume jewelry that I'm researching and learning the history of which is my favorite hobby.I just want to know if I have something that is very valuable and learn more about where and who made all of it.
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