Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Engagement Ring Conundrum

The Engagement Ring Conundrum

First let me say, I was an innocent party to all this.  I was trying to be helpful.  This is what happened.

My friend in North Carolina called me up to tell me he was thinking of getting engaged. 

He wanted me to get him an engagement ring.  I asked how big and he said about 1 ½ carats.  I told him I wouldn’t spend thousands without his being here to see it.  Once I bought it, we owned it, no giving back for a refund. I suggested he come with me to the Jewelry Show and we would pick one out together.

The problem was he and his soon to be fiancé were going to visit her family over Christmas, 2 weeks away and the Jewelry Show was in February.

I told him not to worry.  I could get a perfect CZ version that no one would be able to tell wasn’t real.  It would be 14k gold, with baguettes and it would be beautiful.  I would have it to him before he left for the Christmas Holiday. His fiancé could show her family she was engaged and we would replace the ring in February with a real one.  Problem solved.

I ordered the ring.  It arrived, it was beautiful.

For fun, I decided to make up a phony Appraisal.  The Appraisal was from “Irving’s Fine Jewelry of Beverly Hills”.  It specified a 1 ½ carat D (D is the best) quality diamond with matching baguettes.  I put the appraisal amount at $10,000.

I put the ring and the appraisal into a Fed Ex envelope and over nighted it to him.

I expected to hear from him and was waiting for his call the next day.

Around 2 o’clock he called.

“Can you do me a favor” he asked.  “I have made copies of the appraisal and scattered them around the office (they worked together) and on her desk.  She hasn’t noticed them.  I need you to call her, tell her she needs to look over the papers on her desk for something like an invoice and you will know it when she finds it”.  I did business with him so this was not out of the ordinary.

I agreed and called his fiancé.  I told her what I wanted her to do and she started searching the papers on her desk.

“Here’s an invoice, here’s a message, here’s an appraisal for something, here’s another invoice….wait a minute, what’s this appraisal?  It’s for a diamond! It must be for me!”  With that the phone went dead.

I waited about a half hour and called my friend.

“What happened?” I asked.

“She loved it, couldn’t stop admiring it.  She’s back at her desk now”.

“You did tell her it wasn’t real, right?” I asked.

“No, let her be happy” he replied.

“You need to tell her, she will be showing it off to everyone she knows.  This is bad,” I said.

“No, no, don’t worry.  She’s not like that, besides, who would she tell?” he replied.

“In fact, I may never tell her” he said.

I hung up with a feeling of foreboding.

The next morning he called.

“You were right.   All of her girlfriends came over that night, they had a regular party”.

“So what did you do?” I asked.

He explained that he had to tell her the truth after the girlfriends left. 

Together they cooked up a new story:    

This was a loaner ring from the Jeweler for the holidays.  She would get her “real” ring, a much larger, ring,  in a month or two.  If she was a “good girl”, she could have both rings to keep. 

They never told anyone the first one was a CZ. 

In February, he came to the Jewelry Show and together we picked out a nice 2 ½ carat stone.  He took the stone with him and had it set in North Carolina.  She remained at the Jewelers while it was being set and wanted assurances from the Jeweler that it was real.  It was.

The aftermath was he wound up paying for a much bigger stone as penance for trying to fool her.

Her friends think he is a Prince for letting her keep both rings (they think the first one is real). 

And last but not least, her grown daughter has asked for the first ring (she also thinks it’s real). She told her mother she doesn’t need two engagement rings and it would be a nice present for her (the daughter) to wear as a pendant.

Her mother told her she would leave it to her in her will.

I hope Harry Winston is laughing.

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