What Every Jewellery Dealer Needs to Know About the Marketing of Imported Platinum Articles

Enforcement guidelines

March 15, 1998

The Fair Business Practices Branch administers the Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations and the provisions of the Competition Act that deal with false or misleading advertising and deceptive business practices. The Branch monitors the marketplace to ensure that information provided to consumers on the quality of a precious metal article is not misleading or deceptive.

The Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations establish marketplace rules for the sale of precious metal articles by setting standards for quality marks applied to jewellery and other items.

The regulations allow for the use of "platinum" , "plat." or "platine" as quality marks on articles composed of:

  • a minimum of 95% platinum, or
  • a minimum of 95% platinum and iridium combined, or
  • a minimum of 95% platinum and ruthenium combined.

When iridium and ruthenium are present in the alloy, the platinum portion must be greater.

Recent revisions to the U.S Federal Trade Commission Platinum Guide permit the marks "Pt850", "Pt900" or "Pt950". The Branch will have no objection to the use of the numerical system providing the products meet Canadian requirements and these claims are not misleading. The numbers "850", "900" and "950" refer to the pure platinum content (not the alloy mix) in parts per thousand, in the article, and provide additional information to the consumer. However, there is no provision for the quality mark "Pt".

To ensure that platinum articles marked according to the U.S. system also meet Canadian marking requirements, dealers may either:

  • add one of the recognized Canadian marks "platinum", "plat." or "platine", e.g "Pt850 plat",
  • or use "850 Plat", "900 Plat" or "950 Plat"; these marks meet the marking requirements of both the U.S. and Canada and will not be as repetitious.

The following table illustrates the required composition of articles that have these marks, so that they meet Canadian standards:

Canadian standards
Quality Mark Platinum Content Minimum Iridium or
Ruthenium Content
Maximum Other
Metal Content
850 Plat. 85% 10% 5%
900 Plat. 90% 5% 5%
950 Plat. 95% 5%

When a quality mark is applied to a precious metals article, a trade‑mark must also be applied in the same manner. The trade‑mark must be registered in Canada, or an application for its registration must have been made.

For information on Trade Marks, contact the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) at 819‑997‑1936, fax 819‑953‑7620, or by email at CIPO.CONTACT@canada.ca.

For more information on the Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations, the Competition Actor the Guidelines on marketing diamonds, coloured gemstones and pearls, contact your nearest Fair Business Practices Branch office, Competition Bureau of Industry Canada.