Canada’s Competition Bureau issues reminder about metal jewellery quality marks

The Competition Bureau recently issued a reminder about quality marks requirements on precious metal jewellery.

Often, jewellery made with gold, silver or platinum is stamped with symbols or words to indicate the precious metal content (e.g. 14K or 14 karat for gold, .925 for sterling silver, plat. for platinum). Canada’s Precious Metals Marking Act and associated regulations govern such markings on precious metal jewellery imported into and/or sold in Canada.

In Canada, there is no legal requirement to apply symbols or words which specify precious metal content to precious metal jewellery. However, if such markings are applied, they must meet the following requirements.

1. The markings must accurately indicate the jewellery’s precious metal content.

2. The markings must be authorized by the Precious Metals Marking Regulations for use with the precious metal the jewellery contains. Such markings may be the subject of pending Canadian trade-mark applications or registrations. Hallmarks applied in accordance with United Kingdom law or precious metal markings which accurately reflect the jewellery’s precious metal content and which have been applied by a foreign government in accordance with its laws are also acceptable markings.

3. The markings must be applied to the jewellery in the manner specified by the Precious Metals Marking Regulations.

The Bureau’s reminder may signal the Bureau’s increased vigilance to enforce precious metal marking requirements. In any event, those who import and/or sell precious metal products in Canada should become familiar with the precious metal marking requirements to ensure their products comply with the relevant laws.

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