The jewellery industry supports TOUS en bloc
They are concerned about the confusion that the media campaign is causing to the consumer.
The jewellery sector in Spain is concerned about the confusion that the media campaign is generating among consumers. This has been expressed by the most representative organizations of the jewellery industry and by the Spanish Association of Jewellers, which is the state-level representative. The thousand-year-old profession of jewellery and the high standards of certification and quality to which the sector is subject must not be publicly trivialized or confused with other businesses such as costume jewellery. In fact, unlike costume jewellery, national legislation on precious metals offers maximum protection to the consumer: on the one hand, it establishes a network of Public Administration Laboratories that, after an analysis, certify by means of contrast - a guarantee mark from the State - the proportion of precious metal in the piece. This certification always takes place before the jewellery are commercialised. On the other hand, it allows the State to control the amount of precious metal that is manufactured and sold within its borders, so that in no case is it possible to sell a piece of costume jewellery as a jewel nor a jewel as a piece of costume jewellery. The consumer is therefore strongly protected by the law and the competent authorities.
The Spanish company's gold and silver jewellery are always made of sterling gold and silver, complying with international standards and are duly certified and contrasted by official independent laboratories accredited by ENAC (National Accreditation Entity) and, therefore, by Spanish legislation. However, the complaint filed to the National Court is generating confusion among the public because it is limited to the technique of electroforming, a technology that TOUS has been using for over 25 years to manufacture pieces of various shapes and sizes with greater volumes, while lightweight and with hardly any welding, thus offering a greater range and variety of products to consumers.
Electroforming is a technology endorsed by all the technical bodies of the Public Administration, and is used for 10% of the total production of TOUS. The remaining 90% is made with the millenary techniques of casting, printing and craftsmanship. Specifically, out of 4 million pieces of jewellery, 400,000 are made by electroforming and, of these, 240,000 are sterling silver and 160,000 are sterling gold. The non-metallic core acts as a support because it confers stability and durability to the jewel, and never as a filler. It is present in the silver pieces made with electroforming, since it is a less solid precious metal and more vulnerable to the erosion by use and friction or hits.
Electroforming involves creating pieces up to 200 microns thick in gold and 400 microns thick in silver, through a complex electrolysis process that deposits the metal particles on a base. To perform electroforming it is necessary to create structures with all the base pieces that are immersed in the trays. The chemical process is the same as for 18-carat gold-plated jewellery on sterling silver but, with electroforming, a thickness 100 times greater is achieved and the process time is also longer, up to 15 hours as opposed to around 30 minutes in the standard plating technique.
The technology is implemented in the production plant in Sabadell that the firm built in 2014, the largest in the field of jewellery in Spain. With an investment of 5 million euros and 3,700 square meters, it currently employs 85 professionals and incorporates the latest advances in environmental compliance and waste recovery. The factory is less than half an hour away from TOUS' R+D+I centre, which allows for continuous investment in new technologies.
The company wants to communicate the following messages to consumers:
- TOUS complies with all world-class precious metal certification standards.
- All of the brand's products are certified by Spanish legislation through laboratories designated by the Public Administration, either official or authorized, and furthermore, certified by ENAC (Entidad Nacional de Acreditación), which endorses electroforming as another technique that allows for the production of jewellery of various shapes and sizes, while being lightweight and with hardly any welding.
- At TOUS all gold and silver jewellery are always made of sterling gold and silver.
- TOUS is an industrial craft jewellery store that employs over 4,000 professionals and this year celebrates 100 years of history with a presence in 54 countries and over 700 stores. It is not possible to celebrate 100 years without honesty, effort and well-done work from all the people who work at TOUS.
- TOUS leads the TOUS School of Jewellery and Crafts project, through which it trains young apprentices from all over the world in the profession of jewellery making, based on a firm commitment to the craft of jewellery making
- The company would like to thank the representative organizations of the sector and the Spanish Association of Jewellers at national level for their support.
- The company is grateful for the loyalty of its consumers and the many signs of support received and reminds that its customer service and stores are available to customers to resolve any questions.