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Friday, January 23, 2009

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, RIGHT? NOT THIS TIME! NEITHER WAS HIS GEMOLOGIST!

Today I want to share a horror story with you. Well it has been a horror story for us and it's centered on that beautiful ring shown above.

First some background: in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, we pride ourselves on accuracy and go out of our way to make sure what our customers are buying is what we say it is. In many cases, we get written appraisals done on our more expensive rings. In the case of the gorgeous ring above, we didn't have a written appraisal, but we had the verbal confirmation, on 2 separate occasions, that the primary gemstone in the ring above was a natural sapphire with a slight color/hue change. This confirmation was provided by our regular gemologist, THE JEWELLERY JUDGE, who is regarded as one of the very best in Canada. This gentlemen does work for the RCMP, Birks and other major companies. He also lectures across Canada. So when he told us the stone above was a sapphire we added this ring to our shop, fully confident of what we were selling even though there was no written appraisal.

Enter our customer. He purchased this ring just before Christmas. He took it to his jeweler to be re-sized. His jeweler looked at the stone and told our customer it was merely an amethyst. Our customer was furious. They took it to their gemologist who did an appraisal. He too said it was an amethyst. By now our customer was livid: he demanded a refund, threatened court action, derided us in emails and amongst his friends. Without our own written appraisal, but only the word of one of Canada's best, we had no argument. We asked the ring be returned for full refund and we even paid for the appraisal the customer had done. If there was one good thing about that appraisal it was that the appraised value was 3 times what the customer had paid.

We couldn't wait to take the ring to THE JEWELLERY JUDGE to see what he would say. His credentials and knowledge were now being questioned, just as our credibility and integrity were being attacked. We now have the Jewellery Judge's written appraisal for this ring, stamped and signed on January 22, 2009: PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE WRITTEN APPRAISAL.

His writtten appraisal, and his recognized excellence in his field was all we needed to come to one final conclusion: THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT and neither are some appraisers! This customer's appraisal, for starters, came in at less value than that given by the Jewellery Judge. Secondly, the diamonds in the ring were of higher quality than that stated by customer's appraiser. Thirdly, it's obvious the customer's appraiser did NOT apply the usual tests required to determine the difference between a real sapphire and an amethyst. There are criteria and tests. The jewellery judge used those. The customer's appraiser did not. So his conclusions were wrong. So was our customer!

So while we now have the satisfaction of knowing we were right all along in our description, and that our reputation is intact and that our customers have nothing to fear when buying from us, we do have a horrible experience that won't be easily forgotten, for more than just what you've read above.

But here's the final irony and the one that's made me so mad I had to blog about it: when the customer was bringing the ring back, he insisted I refund in cash. So I walked up to the bank, got out the cash, put it in an envelope and headed back home. Somewhere en route, I lost the envelope. I immediately retraced my steps but it was gone. Maybe buried under the snow piles the trucks were clearing; maybe picked up by someone who didn't have the honesty to turn it into the local police station. It's gone: all of it!

I suppose we have to write this one off as an occupational hazard. There's nothing more we can do. It's done, over. But at least we feel justified if many dollars poorer for the experience. All in a day's work.

Well that beautiful ring is back up for grabs in our shop and if you are looking for an exceptional ring for VALENTINE'S DAY, take a look at it, along with the many others in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE.

We've taken a risk posting this story here but we know we've done nothing wrong. And there's another reason for posting: if you're a jewelry buyer, be careful who you're buying from. There are tons of rings on eBay. Many come with huge $$ value appraisals. Our appraiser evaluates on the low side, meaning the ring would probably appraise higher with someone else, provided he/she knows the difference between an amethyst and a color-change sapphire LOL! But better low than BS. Research the appraiser before you buy. Not all appraisers are equal ... obviously!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

JULIANA SET by DeLIZZA & ELSTER in TOPAZ & COBALT BLUES, PERIDOT & PURPLE IS BREATHTAKING!



If you follow my SHERMAN VINTAGE JEWELRY BLOG along with this one, you'll know that one of my more recent passions is for "JULIANA" jewelry by DeLizza and Elster. But my biggest problem with this new passion is finding and buying pieces I can afford. Like Sherman, Juliana doesn't come cheap. In fact, as I perused Katerina Musetti's fabulous book, "The Art of Juliana Jewelry" and fell in love with the gorgeous designs, color combinations and overall excellence of the pieces shown, I despaired of ever acquiring any Juliana if it were to cost me what is shown in that book! Prices ranged from low hundreds to many thousands of dollars. How could I, a retiree on an old age pension ever afford these beautiful pieces worn by the likes of Renata Tibaldi, the opera singer, when she played "Tosca"? I tell you, if you don't have Katerina's book and you love opulent, magnificent jewelry, you MUST get the book to see what I'm going on about.

Well anyway, despite the realization that I am not in the position to buy the really high end pieces, I've nonetheless kept looking and have scored a couple of beautiful sets, like the one shown at the top of this blog. This is a brand new addition to my SHOP AT RUBY LANE and you must go take a look. It's gorgeous. It's a fabulous array of cobalt and topaz blue marquise and round cuts, set against brilliant peridot green navettes, and accented by a handful of smaller purple round-cuts and clear diamond-like rhinestones. Click on the photos or the link provided so you can see and read more about this beautiful set which I'm selling for only $325.

While you're over there, you might also like to take a look at the classy hematite-colored grande parure below consisting of Necklace, bracelet and earrings, and just reduced to only $395.


This is such an elegant Juliana set that you save for very special occasions where monochromatic shades are called for instead of brightly colored stones. And just for Valentine's Day, you can take another $50 off this price if you order it before February 14th. We're trying to keep Juliana affordable for all you collectors out there.

Because there's a chip in the scorching fuschia brooch/earring Juliana demi shown on the left, (you need a magnifier to see it unless you're really looking for it) we've dropped the price on that set to only $85!! That's just about giving it away. Look at that glorious fuschia color! Fuschia is popular in any vintage jewelry and this is no exception. If your taste is for the bold and dramatic, you can't go wrong at this price. Just click on the photo to learn more and see more pictures. It's SO beautiful!

There are other Juliana pieces in our SHOP AT RUBY LANE, including a mint condition Cobalt blue bracelet/earring set, and a marriage between Sherman earrings and a Juliana brooch that work perfectly together. We've priced them all to sell! Very affordable and ridiculously low for this highly sought after name: JULIANA by DeLizza and Elster. Check them out now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DIAMOND SOLITAIRE RINGS - PERFECT IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO POP THE QUESTION ON VALENTINE'S DAY


As the song says, "Diamonds are Forever" and if you're planning to ask someone to spend forever with you on Valentines Day, what could be more perfect than a gorgeous, high quality solitaire like the one shown on the right?

Now brand new, a diamond ring with a .65 carat diamond of VS2 clarity, flanked by another .12 cts of accent diamonds on either side would cost you a pretty penny. And in today's economy, for some paying a fortune for a new ring just isn't feasible. That's why it's just smart thinking to consider a vintage, pre-loved ring. After all, a quality diamond doesn't lose value just because it once belonged to someone else. The ring above is made by "RingCraft". It's 14k yellow gold and it's priced at only $1595. But if you purchase it before February 14th, we'll take another 10% of that price.

If that price is still more than you can afford, consider the JABEL .26ct solitaire set in 18k gold shown below:

JABEL rings are so expensive brand new and they're hard to find second-hand. Well here's your chance to get a top of the line Jabel solitaire of no less than VS1, and possibly as good as VVS2 clarity and F-G color for only $425! That's an incredible price.

In our VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE at RUBY LANE, we have an amazing collection of vintage diamond and gemstone rings at a fraction of the price you'd pay if you were purchasing the same ring brand new. Maybe you're not looking for an engagement ring to give someone special for Valentines, but you'd like to give her a ring. What about something like the dazzling emerald and diamond cluster cocktail ring on the left? That one's only $450 but we'll take another $50 off it if you purchase it before Valentine's Day.

And if that is still a bit more than you want to spend, we have so many others like our pretty little ruby and diamond ring in 10k for only $90 or our unique 9ct. Victorian synthetic Alexandrite ring shown below for only $150:


So many wonderful and affordable rings to choose from! Whether it's an engagement ring, eternity ring, or just a special ring you need for your Valentine, slip over to VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE at RUBY LANE now. We have lots of "Valentine Specials" running right now, but you need to hurry if we're to get it to you in time for Valentines' Day. Think love; think Valentine; think VINTAGE JEWELRY SHOWCASE at RUBY LANE.