Jewellery inspection blitz results in correction of false gold claims

News Release

Gold plated plastic earrings not solid gold

December 15, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

As a result of a Competition Bureau jewellery inspection blitz, a distributor who sold gold-covered plastic earrings as solid gold has corrected the markings, ensuring that consumers at retail stores across Canada and online are provided with accurate information just in time for holiday shopping.

Approximately 5,000 pairs of earrings were incorrectly marked and advertised as 10 and 14‑karat gold when they were in fact filled with plastic and covered with a layer of gold. The distributor took corrective action voluntarily by posting notices online and in stores, adding information cards with each boxed article and committing to have future articles correctly marked and advertised. This addressed the Bureau’s concerns and as such, no further enforcement actions were required.

The Bureau will continue to monitor the marketplace to ensure compliance with the Precious Metal Marking Act (PMMA) and Regulations, through similar inspections, so that information provided to consumers on the quality of precious metals is accurate.

Quick Facts

  • In April, the Bureau concluded its Canada-wide jewellery inspection blitz. It identified five products, retailed across Canada that failed to meet the quality markings advertised. The Bureau worked with each retailer to resolve this problem.
  • Marking and advertising of plated jewelry as solid gold is a major infraction under the PMMA and Regulations.
  • Consumers who believe they have been misled by the quality marking or advertisement of a precious metal article (gold, palladium, platinum and silver and any combinations of those metals and any other metal) can contact the Bureau to file a complaint.


"In general, consumers don’t have the tools to distinguish plastic filled from solid gold jewellery, but the Bureau does. That’s why we are and will continue to be out there, promoting and ensuring compliance with the law. Whether businesses are misinformed or trying to bypass their legal obligations, we will not hesitate to take action."

Matthew Boswell
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition

Related Information

Associated Link


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