Diamonds and Dirt

I quite like diamonds. Not for their look but for the whole backstory on why they are so desired today.

The De Beers ‘cartel’, amongst others,  inflated the price of diamonds since the 1800s. Around 1938 the De Beers diamond group invested heavily in marketing and the creation of an idea that diamonds were priceless rare gems, this strategy overwhelmingly worked. We now think of diamonds as a symbol of love and commitment, their size and clarity to define your worth and display a representation of love… but the value of a diamond is directly linked to the market volume – how many other diamonds are for sale at the same time. Around the world, large vaults of diamonds are kept and not acknowledged day to day so not to alter the global price of the stones that are on sale at the time. If people knew how many diamonds there were, then the ones you desire wouldn’t be as expensive as first thought.

It’s almost the perfect scam, it forces me to consider ‘value’ and what love actually is these days. It sure as hell isn’t a rock… I’m in my 30’s and I’ve realised that. Maybe diamonds continue to be favoured as a representation of the work and effort needed behind the scenes to purchase a  diamond? Luckily for you though, that’s where philosophy stops and we can talk about my favourite kind of jewels…


AliExpress Fake Jewels

50 years ago it was easy to tell the costume jewellery from the designer rings… but it’s not so easy now. If you and your partner want to sit down and have a little shop on AliExpress – spending £30-60 will really get you a bargain. You place your order and a few weeks later a ring arrives. It would also be telling of a very healthy relationship if this was the case too! As per the above section, there is nothing wrong with something that is almost identical to the hyper-inflated real thing. Especially for much less!


Dirt Diamonds

Well, the criminals couldn’t leave it there, could they? For a second the fake diamond ring from AliExpress was the pinnacle of an open and honest relationship, or used for dress up with children… but no. They had to ruin the fun.  Explaining the scam is dreadfully easy, I want to show people just how easy it is – hopefully, raising awareness of the scam as we go.

There is no mining needed, just grab a credit card and head to AliExpress:

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Princess Diana Rings On AliExpress

A lot of the jewellery on AliExpress is stamped as 925 silver or 24 karat gold but it is not. This is the kind of stuff criminals look out for.


The Up-Sell

So the crime is to pass these tat jewels off as some really rare gems! To do this sellers use a host of tricks:

  • Fake Reviews – Purchased reviews that build confidence in the seller.
  • Convincing Stories – I was getting married but *some reason*, I need to sell it quickly…
  • Online Platforms – Etsy seems to be a favourite but eBay, Gumtree, Facebook adverts all seem to be hosting fake tat jewels.
  • Fake return options – Sure the website says free returns but when you do, they will claim you have swapped the ring for a cheap copy!
  • Fake Discounts – The piece of crap only costs like £20 so don’t get all excited when some cretin knocks £280 off it at £1,420

Online shop fronts can appear quite convincing, covering a horror show of fraud and illegal activity. Relying on a platform makes it easier as there is less to go wrong, buyers see a bargain and can quickly get sucked in.


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Princess Diana Ring on Etsy


Keeping Safe

To avoid being caught up in these kinds of scams it’s best to avoid buying items like jewellery online at all – but if you must,  be sure to follow these tips:

  • Buy from a high street jeweller – It doesn’t have to be Argos either! Boutique back street jewellers can be genuine too! Just be sure there is somewhere to go back and complain should you be unhappy with your purchase.
  • Pay With PayPal – In conjunction with online platforms like eBay, PayPal offers some guarantees over your purchases.
  • Never Pay With Bank Transfer – The second you transfer money to the seller it is gone. No bank refunds either. Gone.
  • Beware Poor Branding – If they’re genuinely in the business of selling overpriced gems online – I can bet they have enough money to make a good website and have a solid brand.
  • Do Your Research – Shop around online and try and find places that scream genuine.