Because you’re worth it, Honey…

January 14, 2011

royal rings kate 490

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.

BRITAIN ROYAL/RINGMy 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.

royal rings box 220That 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.

Join the Oddly Enough blog network

Follow this blog on Twitter at rbasler

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

More stuff from Oddly Enough

33 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

See… that makes me want to ask this very important question…

What flavour of donuts do we have today?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

In other words, Prince William is so cheap that he didn’t go out and buy her a ring. That makes me feel better about how frugal Mrs. Doc and I were back when we got engaged. At least I didn’t say, “Hey, Mom’s got this old used ring. That’ll do, and it’ll save me a few bucks. And that’ll be another $19.95 I can bet on the ponies. Oh, hey, Mom, do you have a house we can have our reception in? How about a house we can live in after we’re married? With furniture.”

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Face it, Doc, you and I are old-fashioned guys who did things the right way.

When I got engaged I told my girl she could have any ring in the jewelery store window. I mean, that’s what bricks are for, right?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Shra: why it’s sapphire blueberry doughnuts today! Soft and delicate, they don’t need to be hammered before dunking.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

My mom ex-law is a gem and I love her to this day.

Can you imagine being a new bride with a Queen for a mother in law? Egad!!!!

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Ah, memories. I’m thinking about the chat Mom and I had the night before I got married….

Doc: MA! We’re outta beer!

Ma: Does Marsha know how much you drink, Boomer?

Doc: MA! I need some money to go to the bar tonight.

Ma: Look in my purse, Boomer.

Doc: MA! TV’s busted!

Ma: What did you do, Boomer?

Doc: I was playin’ my games and … it’s busted, Ma!

Ma: Does Marsha know how helpless you are?

Doc: MA! Is my other T-shirt ready for tomorrow?

Ma: Does Marsha know you don’t have a job?

Doc: I told her I work for the CIA, Ma. MA! What’s for supper?

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Doc: You have a CIA T-shirt? Awesome!

I want one that says “Witless Protection Program.”

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Mr. B. unfortunately this raises more questions than it answers. If you wish me to proceed further into the debate I shall, otherwise I will leave it where it stands for sake of not becoming too serious on a blog that proclaims its lack of seriousness right in its title.

The only two key points I will make are these; 1) Did Prince William’s mother actually trademark the ring? 2) You can’t compare an item whose value is based on the materials of which it is made to that of an item whose value is based soley on someones desire to have it hanging on their wall. Cause really if you based the value of a Gaugin painting on the sum of its parts you might come to find he only spent $24.99 at his local arts and crafts store.

With that said I shall request two sapphire blueberry doughnuts please, heavy on the sprinkles. :)

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

This brings up really bad memories Baz. Thanks a bunch. Kick a girl while she’s down with a coughing fit.

:(

E.

Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

My wife and I were very economical, when we purchased our wedding rings. For our 25th, I wanted to buy her a more expensive diamond ring (a lot more expensive). She wouldn’t hear of it.

I actually spent the night before my wedding day in a hotel room with 5 women. They were college friends of mine who came for the wedding. It was, of course, entirely innnocent. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I find that diamond refusal anecdote very difficult to believe, Doc. But since you’ve already told us that your wife doesn’t read this blog, I guess we’ll never know her side of it.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by robert basler, Jon Hughes. Jon Hughes said: Because you're worth it, Honey…: The Chinese copies, which are crap, wholesale for under $7.50 each. See, that's… http://bit.ly/fzEZnh [...]

Bombay Sapphire medi-doughnut for Egeria, stat!
Maybe a plateful.

I bought an engagement ring at an estate auction several years ago and gave it to the soon-to-become first Mrs Nosmo. When she found out she was wearing a dead person’s ring, she was not impressed – although I note she neither took it off or gave it back when we divorced.
It really was lovely – unlike the first Mrs Nosmo, as it turned out.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Not every piece of estate jewelry is from a dead person, Nosmo. Unless you use “estate auction” as a euphemism for an armed robbery that went south….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Kate’s hair looks so incredibly Finess touchable!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Mrs. Doc is one in a billiion, Bob.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Yeah, I tried the whole ‘estate jewelry doesn’t necessarily mean a dead person’s jewels’ line, but it didn’t work. I probably would have got a much better reaction if I had tried the ‘I got it in an armed hold-up’ bit. I must remember that for next time (should there be one).

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

No Spin, being Chinese would make her one in 1.3 billion. Perhaps she’s from India, one in 1.1 billion.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Imma let ya’ll finish, but first, placement is everything.

For instance, the phrase in the third-to-last paragraph “in bad lighting.”

Does that mean “gullible chicks who eventually be mistaken IN BAD LIGHTING for the Queen of England”
or is simply that they resemble the Queen as she appears in bad lighting?

Posted by KWest | Report as abusive

Yes

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Spin,

She likes Chinese, but is not.
She looks upon fineness and asks
“What’s this bloody rot?”
From her nose there falls roses
But never falls snot.
She’s one in a billion,
And she’s all that I’ve got.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I am such a great guy! I just told my main assistant to take the rest of the day off and that she could take the next 2 days off! Boss of the Year, here I come!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I’m pretty nice myself, Doc. I told Lamar he could take Sunday off, though of course he’d better be here on Monday. I’m just getting too soft.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Poor Lamar. Guess he can no longer have a dream of Monday off.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I remember the first time I bought Bombay Sapphire – I was gutted it was only the bottle that was blue rather than the gin. :(

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Wow, CrowGirl. Don’t waste your money on Tanqueray Gin, then – it’s not really green.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Oohh, is Mrs.Doc Indian?
If not, then does that make me one in a billion? :D

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

S’okay Mr B, I’ve since discovered the stuff with the little viking ship on the label, which does indeed make me want to go on a pillaging spree. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Unca, I think they would say “oI, Ya bLOodY wAnKEr!” (They may be German Shepherds, but they think they’re Cockney after they’ve had too much to drink.)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Crow, I don’t even KNOW what has the viking ship on the label, unless you’re drinking shoe polish…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

:) It’s posh Scottish gin, nothing dodgy, honest! It’s not Viking berserker drink or anything. Although I do have a recipe if anyone’s interested…

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Poshj Scottish Gin?? Mind telling me more, CG?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Ah. You talking about Blackwood’s Vintage Dry?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Now thats an expensive gin!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive