Out of 3 pieces of jewelry purchased at Macy's, all 3 of them
(rings) were stamped 18kt or 18K and not one of them was actually
18kt yellow gold - as tested with an XRF gun. The emerald ring -
first, let me add that the emerald was so included it should have
only been glued to cardboard to make one of those educational '
mineral specimen ' charts. Secondly I didn't buy it (my very elderly
father did- as a gift for my mother, so it was purchased at least 3
years ago)! The second piece was pave'd "white" diamonds (about.25
each and at best SI2 !) on a rather wide/heavy banded ring stamped
18K. The 3rd piece was an oval opal cab (domed but actually quite
thin) surrounded by 36, 4-4.5 mm blue sapphires set in what looked
like they were going for bamboo sections in the casting and arranged
in a 'sunburst' around the elevated center stone. All of them came
from Macy's jewelry dept and were purchased over a 5-7 year period
for holiday gifts.
I occasionally buy gold and silver (rarely does anyone present
platinum) from neighbors and friends to help them out when I can-
recently a friend brought some 'sterling' by to sell- when I tested
it ( though it was stamped.925, it was far too shiny and clean to
have been sitting in a cabinet for 'a few years' (according to the
neighbor) The XRF gun indicated majority Fe -iron, Cu- copper and Mo
-molybdenum and 12% rhodium! No silver there - she also said it came
from Macy's within the past 2-3 years.
Hopefully these are isolated incidents but I suspect it is far
reaching since before these incidents, yet over the past 10 years, I
have seen more than a few pieces mis-marked/stamped All from
department store jewelry counters and generally bought during extreme
sales (the price close, if not less than, the fix for the metal at
the time and generally while the stores were having Christmas or
after Thanksgiving day sale promotions). so being a national chain my
bet is that these are promotional pieces (in fact, one of the labels-
the emerald ring- said 'promo-rings' on the price tag) bought in mass
quantity and assembled in China and no one is questioning the pieces
as there is so much profit in the retail price! So a word of caution
in accepting scrap-without testing it particularly if it feels
overweight, or appears 'off '...rer
Have you notified Macy's about this?
A few years back Macy's got publicly busted by Antoinette Matlins on
the Today show for selling lead filled rubies as natural stones. My
best guess is that Macy's has deep enough pockets that they don't
think consumers will have the stamina to sue a big rich Corp with
lots of lawyers.
I used to work for a shop that did repairs for Macy's. It was awful
stuff. We all hated working on it. As the "chick jeweler" I received
the lion's share because the foreman hated me and did not think women
should work in a trade shop. As a result I got very good at thinking
fast on my feet and became a better jeweler for it.