Ok, so here is a story where no double standards were applied…
In the mid- eighties, when I lived in South Africa, I had a very
good, long term customer. Her name was Elizabeth and she owned a
cloth and furniture making factory. She was the breadwinner in her
family… an intense, hard working woman… and I admired her much. Her
husband was a bit of a lay- about, what with the wife earning all
I had made many pieces of jewellery for her over the years. She would
come into my shop to discuss a job and then, as a matter of course,
I would clean any jewellery that she was wearing at the time.
So one day she comes in wearing her 5 carat, color D flawless
diamond pendant. She had bought the diamond prior to me knowing her,
but I had made the pendant for the stone. An 18ct, one stone, eight
So after the pendant is cleaned, we sit down, and I look at the
diamond to check the prongs and just because I like looking at an
exceptionally well cut, totally flawless stone. This was one of those
stones that had ‘snap’ and I had studied it endlessly before (when I
was making the pendant for her.) Being a gem cutter, I love
As I look with my loupe, I see that this was not a diamond.
Indeed, a flawless, well cut cubic Zirconia. And as I look past my
loupe at her, as she is admiring her other cleaned jewellery, I
thought to myself, “Maaann, now the sh*t is going to hit the fan.”
I say “Elizabeth, this is not your diamond”.She looks at me and she
goes pale. I explain to her and I show her it is a cubic.
Oh Deary me, then there was a Tearful Woman in my shop… Most
So after a while, and a cup of tea later, the hard headed business
woman takes over in Elizabeth. She gathers herself, mutters something
about having a good idea what had happened, and takes leave of my
About a month later, she is back in my shop to pick up some
completed work. The same old Elizabeth (phew). So after a while she
says, " You know what happened to that diamond?"
"Yeah, it got changed " says I. ( Like I’m not itching to know what
“And you know who did it? My husband.— My ex husband”, she
Turns out that the hubby was in some shady deal and he needed some
quick cash. So he had another jeweller do the exchange job and then
put the pendant back in the safe.
Then he sold the stone for ONE TENTH of its value.
After going through it afterwards, I think THAT was the thing that
pissed her off the most.
How did she find out?.. She checked his bank statements. The
rocket scientist had put the money in his bank account because he had
been paid by check.
A divorce later, and the dude was hoofed onto the street.
Still, all the trouble caused much heart ache for her and her
She told me much later, that these days, she doesn’t trust men very
I said that being one myself, neither did I…
Cheers, Hans Meevis.