Because you’re worth it, Honey…
It isn’t often that one of my posts generates serious economic debate. But a few days ago I explained that we couldn’t show a copy-quality photo of a Gaugin painting, because then people at home could paint their own and flood the art market with hundred million dollar paintings.
My readers were skeptical about whether it really works like that, so I’ll try again.
Recently, Britain’s Prince William got engaged to Kate Middleton. He gave her his mother’s sapphire and diamond ring, which was valued at more than $60,000 in 1981. Today, even though it’s used, it’s worth oh, a million dollars or so, give or take. Are you with me so far?
Now we have a story saying Chinese manufacturers are churning out tens of thousands of copies of the distinctive ring. This is not even to mention folks who are running over empty blue bottles of Bombay Sapphire Gin to make their own cheesy rings.
The Chinese copies, which are crap, wholesale for under $7.50 each. See, that’s a lot less than the real ring.
One jewelry manufacturer said the replica rings have slight alterations in size or design, to avoid trademark infringement issues.
That reinforces my point about the Gaugin painting. Without such alterations, whole armies of women would be walking around with rings they think they could sell for a million dollars each.
Let’s just conservatively say there are 30,000 of the replicas, that comes to like thirty BILLION dollars.
That’s a huge chunk out of any economy, not to mention a lot of gullible chicks who eventually could be mistaken for the Queen of England in bad lighting.
My advice? For their own peace of mind, every woman who has recently been given a sapphire ring should immediately smash it with a ball peen hammer, to check its authenticity. Go ahead, do it now. I’ll wait.
Oops, my bad. I’ve just been informed that even genuine sapphires are soft and delicate gems. Sorry about that, Kate.
Top: Kate Middleton looks at the engagement ring given by her fiance, Britain’s Prince William, as they pose for a photograph in St. James’s Palace, central London November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Right: A combination picture shows a Chinese made replica of the British royal engagement ring (L) displayed at a jewelery factory in Yiwu, Zhejiang province January 12, 2011, and the original engagement ring. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Paul Hackett
Left: An employee packages replicas of the British royal engagement ring in Yiwu, January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Barria