Blue Nile Sends E-Mails From Actual Human, Provides Free Earring Back

Blue Nile Sends E-Mails From Actual Human, Provides Free Earring Back

Steve purchased diamond earrings from Blue Nile for his wife back in January, and contacted the company because the back of one earring was starting to turn black. Concerned that there might be a problem with the metal, he contacted Blue Nile, and was thrilled that an actual human responded to him, and offered to replace something as simple as an earring back. [More]

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

Macy's Caught Selling Leaded Glass Rubies As Real Rubies

In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press. [More]

Harper's Magazine: Insider Reveals How You Get Jacked When Selling Jewelry

Harper's Magazine: Insider Reveals How You Get Jacked When Selling Jewelry

Struggling to make next month’s rent, you might be tempted to dig out some necklaces and rings you don’t wear and try to sell it to your friendly neighborhood jeweler. But you might actually be buying a ticket to a sick magic show. The jeweler performs a blistering series of slight of hand tricks, whipping out calculators, spouting off fees, keeping your eye on the supposedly worthless diamonds under a tenth of a carat while double-deducting for the base metal. By the end, you slink out in a dizzied blur, accepting 1/5th of what the piece is actually worth. In this exclusive excerpt from the latest issue of Harper’s, ex-jeweler Clancy Martin takes you on a journey to the dark underbelly of the jewelry game. [More]

Ex-Jeweler Dissects "Buying Roadshow" Ads

Ex-Jeweler Dissects "Buying Roadshow" Ads

The ads are cheesy as all get out: “Buying Roadshow” “Instant Cash For All” “Will pay up to 1100%” in giant block letters and starbursts. And the crazy thing is that they’re really good at packing in suckers eager to sell their “scrap jewelry,” dreaming of riches, but eventually convinced to be happy walking away with a few bucks. Over at Harper’s Magazine, ex-jeweler Clancy Martin takes apart these ads piece by piece and reveals what really goes on behind the black curtain. For instance: [More]

Sears And Kmart Want To Buy Your Gold

Sears And Kmart Want To Buy Your Gold

The next time you want to sell some old gold jewelry, you can just take it to your nearest Kmart or Sears. The retailers have announced a partnership with something called Pro Gold Network, which basically amounts to, “You can pick up a mailer and instructions at our jewelry departments.” Remember, though, that mail-in services almost always pay less than what you can get locally from a jeweler or pawn shop, or by selling to a refinery directly. Here’s what Pro Gold Network will pay so you can compare rates. [More]

Safety Commission Cracking Down On Cadmium In Kids' Jewelry

Safety Commission Cracking Down On Cadmium In Kids' Jewelry

It’s a good thing summer camps are coming up, with their weird seminars on bracelet weaving and whittling rings, because the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has just announced a recall of 19,000 charms sold at Claire’s stores, and says that’s just the beginning. [More]

Family Heirloom Wedding Bands Enter Kay Jeweler, Are Never Seen Again

Family Heirloom Wedding Bands Enter Kay Jeweler, Are Never Seen Again

Mistakes happen, and apparently there was a hole in the UPS box and all the rings fell out. No really, that’s what this customer’s wife was told when she asked for an explanation of where their rings were. Now the customer says Kay Jewelers won’t give him any other information, or even show him photos of the rings after they were sent to the warehouse. They’ll replace them with jewelry up to $500, but nothing higher, and if he wants to find out anything else he’ll have to lawyer up. Here’s his story. [More]

10 Of The Strangest Unclaimed Airline Baggage Items Ever Found

10 Of The Strangest Unclaimed Airline Baggage Items Ever Found

You’ve probably heard of the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. It’s where all lost suitcases that are never reunited with their owners end up. This makes it both the world’s most amazing thrift store and a collection of pretty weird stuff. A recent mental_floss article rounded up ten of the strangest (and most valuable) things they’ve found. [More]

Cheap Jewelry Finds New, Better Way To Poison Your Child

Cheap Jewelry Finds New, Better Way To Poison Your Child

An AP investigation has found that, barred from using lead in children’s jewelry, some Chinese manufacturers have substituted cadmium — which is more dangerous. The AP tested one piece of jewelry that was 91% cadmium by weight. The heavy metal is a known carcinogen and is used in rechargeable batteries, pigments, electroplating and plastic. Children can ingest the cadmium by sucking or biting on the jewelry. They do not need to swallow it. [More]

Faberge.com Sells $7 Mil Baubles To Special People Only

Faberge.com Sells $7 Mil Baubles To Special People Only

The reborn Faberge has decided that the rich don’t shop online like the rest of us.

OutOfYourLife.Com: The Man Eater's Cash4Gold?

OutOfYourLife.Com: The Man Eater's Cash4Gold?

Here’s a common problem: we have many ex-lovers, who have put ice on our wrists and given us countless pearl necklaces. But these wealthy suitors have left our hearts broken and in this economy, we’re hurting for cash. Thankfully, we discovered Out of Your Life (motto: “It’s time to break up with his jewelry, too”), who will buy our tear-stained jewelry back from us!

Never Pack Your Jewelry In Checked Baggage

Never Pack Your Jewelry In Checked Baggage

My suitcase had been opened, my jewelry bag unzipped, and my fine jewelry (gold, diamonds, sapphires) had been hand picked out of the jewelry bag and the inexpensive jewelry (plastic, glass, metal) left strewn across my belongings inside my suitcase.

Make Jewelry From Your Discarded Credit Cards

Make Jewelry From Your Discarded Credit Cards

Sure, you could cut up your credit and debit cards and throw them away once they’re closed, expired, or the account number has been stolen in a massive data breach. Or, with a few simple tools, you could re-purpose them into lovely pieces of jewelry.

$220,000 Diamond Ring Gets Rave Reviews On Amazon, Sort Of

$220,000 Diamond Ring Gets Rave Reviews On Amazon, Sort Of

We’re no fans of fake customer reviews here at Consumerist, it’s true, but obviously goofy reviews are one of my very favorite things. (The reviews for this gallon of milk are an Internet classic.)

The Consumerist Hive Mind Helps You Buy A Diamond

The Consumerist Hive Mind Helps You Buy A Diamond

I’d love to know what to look out for when buying a diamond. Do dealers change the grades of diamonds, lie about carats, etc? Where can I buy reasonably priced diamonds? There may be a huge mark-up in store, but am I going to get scammed online? Maybe just pointing in the direction of reliable user reviews of local or online retailers, since it’s so hard to know which reviews are genuine and which are the retailers inflating their stock these days.

5 Big Retail Mark-Ups To Watch Out For

5 Big Retail Mark-Ups To Watch Out For

The Lansing State Journal has put together a list of 5 marked-up retail categories to be aware of when you’re making purchasing decisions, most of which you hopefully already know. If you can’t find wholesale sources or DIY replacements, then at least make sure you do a lot of comparison shopping to get the best deal.

Do Not Hide An Engagement Ring In A Frosty And Then Hold An Eating Contest

Do Not Hide An Engagement Ring In A Frosty And Then Hold An Eating Contest

Reed Harris wanted a memorable proposal — but he probably should have thought his plan through a little better. He hid an engagement ring in his girlfriend’s Wendy’s Frosty — and then he and his friends challenged her to a race to see who could eat their Frosty first. What could go wrong?

Fortunoff Files For Bankruptcy (Again)

Fortunoff Files For Bankruptcy (Again)

Regional jeweler Fortunoff has thrown in the towel and filed for bankruptcy today. The retailer cited terrible holiday sales, a “severe liquidity crisis” in January, and the cost of expanding its jewelry line into Lord & Taylor stores as reasons. Fortunoff was brought out of an earlier bankruptcy about a year ago by a private equity firm, but it didn’t take.