If you have ever met me, you know that I love jewelry! Over 90% of my collection is what as referred to as “costume jewelry.” Translation: the stones are not real, the “gold” isn’t really gold. But, I still love it.
One of my favorite costume jewelry designers is Betsey Johnson. I remember the very day I fell in love with her work. My husband and I were just about to leave the mall when I saw this unusual necklace on the clearance rack. It was a small zebra in which pearl like stones were used to signify the zebra’s stripes.
I had to have it! That is the piece that started my Betsey addiction. She is so creative in the styles that she uses as well as the different stone types. Plus, she is a HUGE animal lover (like myself). I was beyond excited when she came out with a complete panda set: necklace, bracelet and ring. My mom gave the set to me for Christmas.
I couldn’t wait to wear it! So, I made sure to incorporate these pieces into my “Day After Christmas Shopping Event” outfit. At the end of the day, I noticed that my shiny white panda ring wasn’t so shiny. In fact, it somehow had received several black scratches. How could this have happened? Is it really possible to damage jewelry by shopping? That’s not exactly a contact sport.
The next Christmas, I received the King Kola necklace and ring. They are so adorable! Having just worn them yesterday, I noticed that the king is missing one of the stones in his crown.
What gives? Betsey’s pieces sell for anywhere between $30-85, full price. Thankfully, I wait until they are put on clearance and get them for as low as $15. But, still. I would be one mad person if I had paid $85 just to have my jewelry scuffed and missing stones a few days later.
What happened to the quality of Betsey’s products? Some of my older pieces are in much better shape than my newer ones. I hope she is not using cheaper materials (or labor) to get the job done faster.
A similar situation happened with a ring that I purchased from a Jewels by Park Lane representative. This ring originally cost $115! Crazy, right? Since I hosted a party and earned free merchandise from the purchases of my friends, this ring is one of the first items I snatched up…for free! As I was admiring it the other day, I noticed that a stone was missing. Granted, I can have the ring replaced for a $7 shipping fee, but what’s to say that the new ring will not to the same thing?
I will end my jewelry rant with one last product: Lotti Dotties. This innovative system offers necklaces, bracelets and rings with interchangeable stones. What is truly amazing is the prices. The stones are just $5 each and the most expensive necklace is $24. For our anniversary, my husband bout me a $16 ring and about 5 dotties. While reading the care instructions, I was bothered by one thing: “Avoid getting the item wet as it reduces the strength of the magnet.”
Does this mean that I will have to take off my ring each time that I use the restroom? Then the problem becomes, where do I put the ring? I work at a college and am not exactly very trusting. One co-worker had her cell phone stolen from leaving it out on her desk! And the dress pants that I wear daily do not typically have pockets.
So, I tried not to worry about it as I had not yet noticed a problem. Then, on the way to work one day, a woman cut me off. She ended up being the car in front of me in a long line of traffic. What truly bothered me was the fact that she was texting and not moving up in the line. That is when I said, “Oh, come on!” and flung my right hand toward the windshield in an exasperated gesture.
That is when I saw something shiny go flying onto the passenger seat. Sure enough, the new orange stone that my mom gave me was laying in between the bristles of my hair brush. Needless to say, I kept a vigilant eye on the stone and vowed to never wear it again.
I transitioned to wearing my turquoise dottie that I purchased after I received a promotion at work. The dottie stayed on my ring all day. I took the ring off to exercise when I got home. I put the ring on later and continued with my house hold chores, such as laundry. When my husband got home, I looked at the ring…and the stone was gone! I believe that it is lost somewhere in the washing machine, if not completely melted.
I realize that the jewelry is inexpensive, but does this have to mean that the quality is cheap as well? We all cannot afford to shop at Tiffany’s. But, I would like to proudly wear the jewelry that I can afford. Not hide it away in a drawer because of missing stones and scuffs.