Tourist Deception: Alaska Jewelry Business Busted For Fraud

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All the glitters is not gold. This aphorism turned out to have a literal meaning for the customers of gold nuggets in Alaska.

Posted on June 9, 2024

Isn’t it usual to buy souvenirs from places you visit? They should be something remarkable or valuable to remind you of beautiful days spent there. Unfortunately, there are sellers who profit in a fraudulent way from tourists, and such were detected by the investigators who posed as customers in Alaska, USA.

Soni Inc., which offers Alaska-themed jewelry in Ketchikan under the names Soni Jewelry and Colors Fine Jewelry, was caught selling what they promised were pure 24-karat gold nuggets but, in fact, appeared to be 14-karat imitations, previously shaped to resemble natural nuggets. Alaska’s state law department filed a complaint regarding this case and provided the results of lab tests as evidence.

It hurts trusting tourists, and it hurts Alaskan communities,” said Attorney General Treg Taylor. He also expressed his resentment towards the situation, saying that lying to people who intended to bring an authentic and local keepsake from their Alaska vacation shouldn’t be tolerated. In Treg Taylor’s opinion, falsifying local products and selling them as genuine ones is unacceptable.

This jewelry business not only sold fake gold nuggets but also was found to offer “gold quartz”, which, according to them, could only be found in Alaska. Also, salespeople at Soni Inc. persuaded their customers that they could buy natural gold quartz, which features veins of gold, only in this state. As it was discovered upon investigation, those stones either didn’t contain gold at all or had alloys of low quality that subtly can be qualified as gold.

In a proactive move to prevent further misrepresentation by Soni Inc., the State of Alaska has urgently appealed to the Superior Court to issue a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.


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