By Cristina Hodgson • 21 January 2020 • 16:27
Image of the FBI wanted poster.
THE origins of TOUS date back to 1920, when the young Spanish apprentice Salvador Tous Blavi started out in the watchmaking business.
In 1930, he moved to Manresa (Barcelona) and opened his own establishment, where he was joined in 1953 by his son, Salvador Tous Ponsa, who, with his future wife Rosa Oriol and their four daughters, transformed the business into what we know it as today. Or do we?
The famed Spanish jewellery house Tous is being investigated for “ongoing fraud” accused of “stuffing” their jewellery with non-metal material.
The firm advertises the jewellery as if it were made entirely out of gold or silver.
The Spanish National High Court is investigating Tous to clarify whether, as the Prosecutor’s Office claims, the company has sold jewellery filled with non-metallic material, despite advertising it as entirely made of gold or silver.
The accusations are rejected by the brand, which claims that all its pieces are “certified” and of “first class quality.”
Tomorrow, Wednesday, Judge Santiago Pedraz is expected to interrogate, in Madrid, representatives of the jewellery firm and also of Applus Laboratories, the company in charge of testing the quality of the jewellery.
According to El Independiente, the Central Court of Instruction 1 of the National High Court has opened preliminary proceedings as a result of a complaint filed last December by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which suspects that Tous may have committed the crimes of continuous fraud, false documentation, misleading advertising and corruption among private individuals.
The origin of this investigation goes back to late 2018, when the Association of Consumers and Users of Jewellery (Consujoya) filed a complaint with the Guardia Civil of Cordoba claiming that it had detected that Tous’ jewellery was filled with a non-metallic material, despite the fact that the company sold it as 18 or 24 carat gold or sterling silver.
Tous, which has made the bear the symbol of the brand, has rejected these accusations by assuring that all its gold and silver jewellery “is always first class” and that it complies with all the world’s standards for the certification of precious metals.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Manresa (Barcelona), stresses in a statement that all the jewellery it sells in Spain is certified by official authorised laboratories and that it works its pieces using micro-fusion and “electro-forming” technology.
According to the company, the technology used is guaranteed by all the technical bodies of the Public Administration and the law on precious metals are specified. Tous goes on to explain that, by using the “electroforming” technique, and depending on the size, shape and precious metal used, “the jewel may incorporate non-metallic cores that help confer stability to the piece, but always maintaining the law on precious metals”.
Founded in 1920 and currently chaired by Alba Tous, the firm is present in more than 50 countries with 700 stores and a staff of more than 4,000 professionals. In 2018 it obtained a consolidated net profit of 27.3 million euros, 120% more than in 2017, and the group’s turnover reached 396.4 million euros, an increase of 4.5%.
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