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