Colorado Springs, Colorado
5.5K views
8 comments

My husband bought me a lovely pair of ruby earrings last Christmas at Penneys made by Effy. If one peruses the internet, one is left with the idea that Effy is decent quality jewelry; we had always heard so and alot looks nice, if not top of the line, you still expect to be getting what you pay for.

But after digging, (and that too late-we didn't have the internet until now), I find "Effy Lawsuit" through Google. It seems Macys, who sells alot of Effy jewelry, is being sued for selling rubies with alot of lead filled glass with added color as "natural" rubies, made by Effy, and not disclosing to customers that the material is worth far less than the natural heat treated stone they are claiming it to be; is damaged by some cleaners and standard repair methods for jewelry, and the color fades in heat and light. I know that the sales person at Penneys that sold my earrings was the manager of the jewelry department and represented them as natural rubies along with the tag of Effy's stating ruby and diamond, and did not disclose anything -now wonder what she knew since they're carrying the brand. Macys had a staff gemologist identifying garbage sent from the company that owns Effy, including other stones they were getting from them along with the rubies, and telling Macys, the company he worked for, that if Macys insisted on selling the stuff, to keep their good reputation they had to disclose it properly and quit calling it what it wasn't, and Macys fired him instead of Effy.

Even though my earrings are modest with small stones, and my husband and I are not out more than a thousand dollars, that's alot of money to us and I can't help thinking how much of that we would have saved if we had bought CZ's and cheap created rubies that would at least hold up and not fade. We feel sick we wasted our money and my husband of 40 years is sad and embarrassed about his gift to me of my birthstone. We are fed up with the ever increasing crooks everywhere.

I wish we had bought them from Macys so we could join in that lawsuit. To read about what kind of stuff this is, go to afpublicpress.org/news/2010-07/macys-sells-rubies-filled-with-glass and www.jewelersethicsassociation.com/archive/Feb2011_news.html Apparently, this is not just about about the facture filling, a treatment that most people should probably avoid buying because it isn't that durable,(and is appearing increasingly on many different stones and should always be disclosed), and not only about sales people who don't know their stuff and should, because the customer trusts they are being told what they should know; this is about companies knowingly selling material with large amounts of glass, that have to be diffused with color to have any, that no respectable gemologist would call a stone, and instead is a composite that may not keep its good appearance for long, is not durable like natural ruby and should not be labeled or sold as natural ruby or sell for anything close to the carat price of even the least quality natural ruby used in fine jewelry, according to gemologists cited in the articles.

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Anonymous
#1185998

In San Francisco and the gem and jewelry trade across the U.S.A.

was in agreement that Effy bought there way into Macy's. Europe reacted to the case of non-disclosure by Macy's and kept the topic of conversations going for years.

Still Macy's sells Effy.

Macy's now is known for selling Effy but read the fine print that is tells you to go there website for full disclosure. The jewelry has a unclear way of disclosure because their salespeople are not expert or educated in that category.

Anonymous
#1053690

Princess cruise line just opened an entire efffy jewelery store on the grand princess which goes in and out of San Francisco

Anonymous
#1189664
@Anonymous

We just returned from a cruise on the Grand Princess and I made a quick visit to the Effy store onboard. I am a geologist (not a gemologist), but have had some professional mineralogy training and experience.

A quick look with the naked eye, without a hand lens or loupe or magnifying glass, showed the stones to be inferior. Good-quality gems are supposed to be clear, sparkling, and deeply colored. These were colorful, but irregular and extremely cloudy -- to the point of being opaque. The high-pressure sales efforts were clearly aimed at the uninformed consumer.

My husband and I immediately left. If you are interested in buying gemstones from a professional gemologist, I suggest visiting a local rock and mineral show (Google "rock and mineral shows" online), and buy your stones from a reputable dealer there, for pennies on the Effy dollar. Then have your piece set by a professional jeweler.

I've done that several times and have had great results. An 8mm x 13mm irradiated London Blue Topaz cost me ~$35 and a similar-sized amethyst cost about $60 -- and my stones are much better quality than anything from Effy.

Anonymous
#763455

Yes, just read the article (http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2010-07/macys-sells-rubies-filled-with-glass) recently and felt betrayed by Macy's. Truly despicable of the people who allows this to continue...

Anonymous
#709905

I just bought an emerald ring from The Bay in Ottawa, Ontario surrounded with supposed diamonds. It is an EFFY and I thought the price was too good to be true.

All I am reading are comments regarding ruby jewelry but I now presume all the EFFY stones must be the same bad quality. Thank you for warning me about the possible failures when I get the piece of jewelry fixed and about the discoloration in the sun.

I will be returning the piece to the store, albeit with a broken heart.

Anonymous
#700307

Actually she is telling one hundred percent the truth, while the lawsuit is what it is, this issue about lead glass filled rubies has prompted major Gemological institutions to define ALL lead glass filed rubies as a composite gem, and thus manufactured...meaning it is not a natural stone. The problem is that the "Ruby" is so altered by the process it is no longer suitable to call it a Ruby. This is for many reasons, ruby being a corundum is second only to diamond in hardness, thus it should with stand everyday wear and tear. Lead Glass filled rubies so alter the stone that it loses all traits of a corundum gem (fact is they are also treating sapphires this way, and as you may or may not know, sapphires and rubies are the exact same stone the only difference is color, Rubies are Red, all other colors are termed sapphire) the glass causes the gem to be so fragile that unsuspecting jewelers believing they are dealing with a ruby might very well damage the fragile stone...glass has a substantially lower hardness than corundum.

This has brought the gemological world together in hopes to have the United States Federal Trade Commission step in and revise Corundum "treatments", making it much stricter what is just a treatment and what becomes a synthetic or even a simulant. In my humble opinion, Lead Glass Rubies aren't even worth calling synthetic, they should be deemed a simulant. The reason behind this is that it only "looks" like a ruby by color, all other traits are nothing like Ruby. That is the difference between synthetic and simulate. A synthetic has the properties and the colors of natural stones, the difference is they were made in a lab.

It is dishonest and morally reprehensible that a company would sell gems in this manner, for thousands of dollars to unsuspecting consumers. Disclosure is the foundation of gemological service...without it the field is ripe for *** artist and fraud. Short of a gemological education, the best thing a consumer can do to arm themselves is insist that "ALL" gem treatments be disclosed on the sales slip. A reputable jewelry will have no problem doing this. Sadly though not enough jewelers know about the LEAD Glass issue. It is even worse for retail stores like JC Penney and Macy's, the staff there is not usually gemologically trained, and if they are it is an in-house gemlore course they are taught, and that is just towing the line for the company. All reputable retailers will benefit from the word getting out about this and other gemstone treatments...otherwise as consumers get more savvy and educated, more lawsuits will be forth coming.

Anonymous
#454233

Just a question...

your complain is dated 2011-07-11 we are in march 2012 and Macy's still sells Effy in its stores (and so do many Cruise Companies in the Caribbean(, the Brand is still partecipating to the most important Trade Fairs all around the World, and about this "lawsuit" nobody else is writing anything on internet.-

what this can mean???

It's just a question, maybe you guys have better news than I do.-

Anonymous
#434890

As far as department stores that sell heat treated jewelry, Macy's is pretty bad and most of the complaints are specifically with Macy's; Thus, I'm persuaded to believe that the problem lies with this store alone and not all department stores. JCPenney discloses heat treated details of its products even on its website.

I wouldn't be as upset until you have a professional look at it.

Since you're not a professional jeweler, don't try and appraise your jewelry using information you found on the internet regarding a store you didn't even shop at.I don't want you to hate your jewelry if it isn't heat treated. That's just negative emotion that you shouldn't be exuding.