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Protect your jewelry

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posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:13 PM
Being a prepper, with family who are getting into the practice, associating with this crazy lot on ATS - we're all familiar with the value of precious metals. Many of us have stacks of bullion in reserve in safe/secure places should the worst happen.

Fathers day, I was educated on exactly how far some will go to relieve me of my precious metals.

My wife's wedding ring had 3 broken prongs. A snag sent the largest diamond across the couch and I had to fish it out. It took about a half hour to find it. The following week, my wife took her ring into the local jeweler to have it repaired. 8 days and $51 later, I picked it up (Saturday, before fathers day) and I gave it back to her that night.

Being a man, my wedding ring is more symbolic. It's nothing much - a solid gold band with no special markings on it. I would know it from a distance, but I'm never far from it because it only comes off if I have to clean something nasty off of my hands. Many men are this way I suspect. It's just easier to leave it on - it's so simple that I take it for granted and don't oogle it or obsess over it.

Women, they're another beast entirely. They study their rings, getting to know the diamonds, looking at the curves, the recesses, the weight. Ask your wife anything about her wedding ring and she'll be able to tell you. My wife knows every inclusion in her diamond, every curve. She obsessed over it and was so incredibly proud of her ring when we finally got he anniversary bands joined that she must have been glowing for a week.

Fathers day, less than 24 hours from the time I picked up the ring from the jeweler - one of the repaired prongs broke off. My wife began studying the ring and started to realize that it had been modified. The more she looked, the more modifications she found. The purity stamp was ground off along with the makers mark. There were 2 new holes drilled into the ring where they would be hidden by the wedding band and the anniversary band. The wells below the top of the ring were no longer symmetrical castings, but had tool marks where every millimeter of the inside of the ring had been ground. The ring went into the jeweler weighing 20 grams and returned weighing 13 grams. For those who say that's not much gold, 7 grams = $300 worth of gold removed - and I was charged $51 for this "service" which failed in less than 24 hours. Do that to 4 (ish) customers and you've got an ounce, $1300 - and they paid you to do it.

Now, my wife cries every time she looks at it. They say "happy wife = happy life", well - my wife is not happy and neither am I.

The police say, nothing can be done unless there was a certified appraisal before the work was done. The officer offered his own experience of having a diamond replaced with a CZ - going to court, getting a default judgement and eventually ... nothing, because a civil judgement has no weight of law to enforce it until the business is sold. Unfortunately, my wife and I pieced her ring together over 8 years and only recently had it all permanently joined. We had no appraisal to serve as proof. My wife's obsession with her ring is our only proof - and that doesn't count for anything where the law is concerned. If we did take it to court, we'd spend more than it would cost to replace the ring and still have no weight of law to enforce any reparations.

We went to his shop to confront him today - but he's apparently closed on Mondays. Normally I EDC 4 knives, but tomorrow I'll return to confront him with nothing in my pockets but my car keys, cell phone, wallet and pen-camera (just in case he incriminates himself, or accuses me of something). It's sad that in the world we live in, you must protect yourself from the lies of others. What happened to honor?

My wife and I were discussing it with the police, and came to the conclusion that the next time we go to a jeweler for any kind of repair - we'll weigh the jewelry in front of him and make him sign his name to the weight - and verify that weight when we pick it up. Any significant change can be detected immediately. Before taking it in, we will take extensive and detailed (macro lens) pictures of the item from many angles to serve as proof.

This my suggestion to you, casual reader. Cover your ass, or someone will steal it from you.

edit on 16-6-2014 by stutteringp0et because: typo

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:26 PM
What's this? So now the Royal family are preppers!

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:33 PM
a reply to: smurfy

Nothing royal about my family. My ancestors were murderers, moonshiners and bootleggers (grandpa was all 3). And I'm sure my idea of a stack of bullion is equivalent to pocket change for actual royalty.
edit on 16-6-2014 by stutteringp0et because: clarification

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:46 PM
That's good advice for anybody. My husband thought I was nuts when I went in to have my wedding set sized, I took it to another jeweler to have him look at the diamond, and planned on taking it back after the sizing. Why was I nuts? The diamond was a chip. Just a chip. But it was my chip and I wanted to make sure nobody else was going to make it their chip.

People will do you dirty every time you turn around if you aren't careful. It's a shame you can't trust folks like you used to. It's also a shame that this guy is getting away with doing this to his customers. It would be nice if you could take it out of his arse while you are there. Just between me and you...
edit on 6/16/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:48 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et

What an ugly experience.

I've heard enough such horror stories, I'm of the perspective now to take such things only to hobbyists that I personally have known a long time.

BTW, I don't think merely weighing the ring would suffice. Somehow, there likely would have to be a water volume measure etc. etc. and some assignment of the percent of what quality gold. I think the gold buyers at the mall had a way to do all that but I don't recall the specifics.

Thankfully, jewelry is not a priority for me any more.

I don't think it will be for most people in the TEOTWAWKI situations.

I think I read a novel somewhere along the way . . . wherein a bloke had secreted 3 high quality diamonds in a deep incision in his leg calf. Seems to me airport screening would reveal such nowadays. And some blokes would likely saw or shoot a leg off just to get the jewels.

Things are only things.

Relationships with Loved ones and acts of service, humility and love . . . bring eternal results.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:52 PM

originally posted by: stutteringp0et
a reply to: smurfy

My ancestors were murderers, moonshiners and bootleggers (grandpa was all 3). And I'm sure my idea of a stack of bullion is equivalent to pocket change for actual royalty.

Like I said the royal family,

Seriously though, you could check out this about the Gold gram when you price the weight, use your own scales.

A possible source of confusion is that gold is often priced on the open market in the more traditional troy ounce (one troy ounce is exactly 31.1034768 grams, which is larger than the avoirdupois ounce generally in use in the United States and has a mass of 28.35 grams). Kilogram gold prices are commonly used by the Zurich Gold Pool where 1,000 kilograms = one metric tonne. (courtesy of Wiki)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 04:57 PM
Jewelry is a waste of money time and resources. Get something that MAKES something or another tool.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:02 PM
a reply to: BO XIAN

I totally agree that in a TEOTWAWKI situation, jewelry would be a low priority. But I'll spend every coin of my stored bullion before I ask my wife for a single piece of her jewelry. Things would have to be pretty dire before I'd even consider asking her for her wedding ring. Gold jewelry will be not quite as good as bullion, but it will be close.

There's some sort of metaphysical bond, as Kangaruex4Ewe explained, between a woman and her wedding ring.

If my wedding ring was lost or damaged, I'd be a little upset. My wife is deeply disturbed by what has happened to her ring.

It's not even the cost of the gold removed that bothers me. I spent way more than that on 4 guns last weekend (one was for the wife). The problem I'm facing is that my wife's proudest possession was defaced, reduced and in her mind - destroyed. For me, that's the biggest injustice. I would have given ten times the stolen weight in gold to have prevented this, and by the time I make it right - I probably will have spent that much.

If we can get any reparation from the jeweler (I'm only prepared to take the stolen weight in the same purity of gold), I've suggested we take her ring and melt it down to be remade into a new ring - so she isn't reminded of the violation when she looks at it. I'm even prepared to donate a 1/2 ounce ring I had made toward making this right for her.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:06 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et

Sounds like a good plan.

You might ask around your social groups . . . see if you can find a university/college student in a jewelry course . . . or a teacher in same . . . that is trustworthy . . . etc. Get them to handle the redesign/redo for you.

You could even insist on the lost wax process and design the ring yourselves in wax.

Alternatively, you and wife could take the course(s) yourselves . . . even auditing . . . until you felt up to the task and do it yourselves as a joint project. That would intensify the value and emotions attached to it by both of you and certainly by your wife.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:07 PM
a reply to: cavtrooper7

It's not possible to be 100% prepared for every contingency. You will always be deficient something. I have tools, I have guns, I have ammo, I have storable food - I have bullion for barter. If necessary, I have some jewelry of my own and my wife has some as well. I hope it doesn't come to it, but I'm prepared to barter with my own jewelry. I can't speak for my wife though. I can't imagine asking her for her wedding ring.

If you're married, ask your wife if she'd let you smash her wedding ring with a hammer, or cut a piece of it out.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:17 PM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

30 years ago, I could probably get away with taking it out of his arse. These days, you can't look at someone sideways without having the police involved (which is why I'm taking my pen-camera to document the confrontation). I plan on being calm and never raising my voice (going to be tough)

I won't pretend to understand the bond between a woman and her wedding ring - but I will acknowledge it. I'm seeing firsthand what happens when something happens to the ring.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:24 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et

I had a similar problem. I bought my wife a 1 carat IF Kimberley Blue diamond (bought in South Africa) and had it mounted in an 18k gold setting back in 1990. About 10 years ago, I wanted a pair of .25 carat diamonds added to the sides, so I went to the jeweller with her and the ring (for mother's day, 2 kids, 2 extra diamonds). The jeweller's jaw dropped when he saw the ring, then he pretended to take a closer look at it and said it wasn't a diamond and rather than have two diamonds added to the ring he would trade us a smaller diamond ring. So I took it for testing in Toronto because he got me a bit worried, but it was the original diamond I had bought her. So yeah ok, that trade's not going to happen or any work with that character LOL.

In another instance, I kicked a 28 carat diamond out of the tailings at one of the military bases where I "worked." I had it thermally tested a couple of years ago and took it to a rock splitter here who told me they send diamonds that big to India at $1k a carat to be cut and there are NO guarantees.

Before having any work done, get a certified appraisal, there are crooks everywhere.

Cheers - Dave
edit on 6/16.2014 by bobs_uruncle because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 05:45 PM
Always a good idea to have an appraisal done....what if it gets lost...or stolen? Your insurance company will not replace without that document.
Keep the appraisal in a safe place.

My ring was appraised at the place we bought it....the appraisal had a picture.
Also the specifics as to weight, size, color of stone.

Last summer, the whole damn setting came off....stone and all....and who knows where it fell off!!!!!
The jeweler redid the setting, with better prongs and a slightly larger stone....for what the insurance company paid out.
And did a second appraisal on the new ring, with an updated picture.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 06:34 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et

I am sorry you had to learn a hard lesson the hard way, and I can feel your wife's pain.

My mother gifted me a ring she had custom made when I was a child, many, many years ago. It contains an investment quality diamond as the center stone, surrounded by 6 other high grade diamonds and 7 emeralds. It is a gorgeous ring, heavy in gold weight. I took it by a jeweler's one Saturday to see if I could have it cleaned. One promise my mother made me keep was that I would wear the ring, not just box it up, and put it away. It terrifies me now, to wear, as I realize I am walking around with about 40k in diamonds, emeralds, and gold on my finger. Needless to say, I am cautious when I wear it.

Anyway, this jeweler looped my ring, and gasped, and started walking around the store, claiming to be trying to see it "in different light". I stuck to her like glue. At one point, she tried to walk into a back room, and I abruptly stopped her, "That ring does not leave my sight", I said.

She continously asked, "Where did you get this? I have never seen anything like this, where did you get this?"

I replied that it was a gift, and, are you able to clean it and safety check the prongs, or not?

Now, mind you, the cleaning and repair area was behind glass windows where there was about 5 or 6 employees working on cleaning and repairs. Instead, she insisted she had to take my ring into some back room, to which I was not allowed to accompany her.

"No thanks", I said, taking my ring back. There were all sorts of red flags going off in my head. She then insisted that I have the ring appraised, which would require it being "sent off" for a week. What part of never leaving my sight do you not understand?!

I have yet to find an appraiser, even by appointment, that will appraise that ring, on site. They all want to take it elsewhere, though they are fine appraising other items at that appointment.

Instead, I got the main gem mapped, and have dozens of photos, and the original appraisal from the 70's.

I recommend you get an appraisal done now, in person, and don't let it leave your site again until it's done.

I have zero doubt in my mind that woman at that store was going to steal my diamond. Her actions gave her away. That chain has since closed, and had many charges of theft and fraud made against them for just such actions.

It's a hard lesson, and only can help others to learn from your mistake. Just prevent it from ever happening again. No one is out to help you. Always stay cynical like that about gems and jewelry, and you will be okay. It's shameful, but true.

edit on 16-6-2014 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 06:44 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et

It's not even about value to me. We were pretty poor when we got married. My ring would be laughed at by most, but it means a lot to me sentimental wise. A couple of years later he gifted me with 1 carat solitaire with a sapphire and diamond wrap. Several years after that, we ran into hard times and that ring was pawned for a pretty good sum. I never missed it. I am glad my original isn't worth even thinking of pawning. It is worth a lot more to me than the upgrade was.

He promised another upgrade. I told him I didn't want one. He did it the first time because it would make him feel better in some way. It never has and never will matter to me.

Regardless of what any jewelry is worth, I think folks are missing the point that it was hers. All hers. Nobody has the right to take it or alter it without her permission. Making investments elsewhere isn't the point either. Destroying someone else's property and stealing is. If it was a $20 ring, it should have been returned as a $20 ring period.

edit on 6/16/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 06:55 PM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe
I can definitely see the point, and fully understand it. Mine and my husbands' wedding rings were plain gold bands from Service Merchandice. They cost 29.00 a piece, but they are symbolic of what we had, have, and meant to each other. Nothing and no one can ever replace those rings, nor their meaning.

My husband has bought me many rings since, and none meant to me what that original ring did, though I love my other rings. I guess people that don't have that bond don't get it, I don't know. It isn't the worth, it's the emotional investment. That can never be replaced or repaired. His wife isn't torn about losing the gold, she is torn about feeling like she was raped and robbed of the one thing no one should be able to take from you.

The hardest part to cope with these days is, nothing is sacred. No one seems to get that. So shameful. People just think they are entitled now, to anything.

edit on 16-6-2014 by Libertygal because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: Libertygal

I'm glad you managed to keep your ring safe, and I've had the same trouble getting an appraisal. The most they'll do is take the weight and verify that the stones are genuine - but not an actual appraisal. I suppose that they assume we're lying about the ring because it's so thin now that it couldn't have possibly been the substantial ring that it was just one week ago. The difference in felt weight of a 20 gram ring and a 13 gram ring is painfully obvious. Her ring used to "thud" when she set it on a table, now it "tinkles".

Our only hope is that the jeweler has an apprentice, and he (the jeweler) recognizes what has been done. Only in that circumstance do I believe I'll get any reparation from him. If the jeweler himself is the culprit, he'll deny it with every breath. If we do get reparation, it will still cost me hundreds more to have it remade or replaced. Under no circumstance will I ever take jewelry to this man again.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 07:05 PM
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

You articulate the main point of my original post very well. Because of greed, something was stolen that can never be replaced. I can buy more gold, I can buy another ring - but it won't replace the sentiment my wife has for HER ring. She used to look at it and BEAM, now she starts to cry. It spent the night in the jewelry box because she doesn't want to look at it butchered in this way.

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 07:05 PM
When you have been wronged. When there is no lawful recourse. What does a man do?

ETA: Why are you prepping if you're not 'prepared'?
edit on 1662014 by Snarl because: Clarity

posted on Jun, 16 2014 @ 07:18 PM
a reply to: stutteringp0et
If you live anyplace close to a Shane Company, try phoning them about an appraisal. They will usually do them on site, while you wait, in your presence. The trouble I was having with my mom's ring was, when I arrived at these usually 75.00 appointments, they wanted to abscond with the ring rather than do the appraisal in front of me, which I would not allow. A couple places even tried to get me to pay the 75.00 fee even though I hadn't gotten my appraisal, which I steadfastly refused. I told them you changed the rules on me, and I refuse to comply with your new rules, hence, I owe you nothing.

One guy I came right out and accused of attempting to steal the diamonds, and he had me tossed out. Fine, I didn't have to pay the appraisal fee for one I never got.

Honestly, I think you should try to talk to the guy first. If he acts like he doesn't know what you are talking about, explain yourself, and see what he says. He may well have an employee stealing from him. If he is solo, and still plays stupid, then come right out and accuse him. Just be sure you have one party consent to record in your state.

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