Expectation vs Reality - The Conclusion
It's the final parcel..... (cue that earworm!) And by now we fairly much know what we're expecting - sigh.
If you haven't already, you probably want to start with part 1 of this miniseries.
For my (probably!) final in this miniseries, I present to you the 'Stylish ultra-thin 925 Sterling Silver Stackable Rings 14K Hammer Rring' - are they silver, are they 14k - who knows..... (spoiler - the seller definitely doesn't!)
So - lets have a look at the advertised set and what actually arrived.
Yep - you guessed it - the advert on the site is a stolen image (a quick reverse image search takes you to the Etsy seller that it was nicked from).
The rings that arrived were silver coloured for sure, but they aren't the skinny beauties that are in the (stolen) picture. They're obviously machine made, with some weird dents added for that 'handmade' feel. But there were 10 - yes I was only expecting one as it was free!
They felt heavy, and didn't have that twinkly jingly sound that sterling silver stacking rings have - it's one of my favourite sounds when I'm setting up at a fair - and they were sort of, well, dull.
What happened next?!
Well, I'll tell you! Ever the optimist, I parcelled them up and sent them off to Lovely Chap and his magic box (ok, it's an XRF machine - all sciency). After he'd finished shaking his head and cursing me for sending him more mystery metal, he got to work and scanned the things.......
Hello Cadmium* our old friend, you've come up in the scan again.... look I might have been listening to music while I wrote this - stop judging (bet you're singing it now too aren't you!)
Let do maths (I'm so generous!) and decipher the readings shall we? 16.99 = 1699 times the legal EU limit for cadmium in 'things that may be in contact with a person'. Also in the mix are Nickel, Zinc and, thankfully harmless, Copper - what a delightful cocktail - please don't lick it though!
So what have we learnt?
Hmm, we've learnt that:
- Original photos are stolen from the makers that worked to create something lovely in the first place.
- If a price looks too good to be true it probably is.
- Don't lick cadmium - or put it near your skin!
- You probably want to buy from reputable sellers (like me!), who can talk to you about what's in their products
- I like music.
- Lovely Chap really really hates cadmium.
- Science is our friend.
I really hope that you've enjoyed reading this miniseries and that it's given you some insight into the bloody dangerous things that are out there pretending to be something they aren't.
Now to go and scrub my hands before I do anything else!
if you feel so inclined it'd be ace if you'd leave me a comment and feel free to share with your friends!
*For more information about cadmium have a look here - this is the ECHA infocard about its toxicity.
**For more information about the EU safety standard (REACH) relating specifically to cadmium in jewellery, have a look at paragraph 10 here.
For more information about how hallmarking and buying from a reputable maker (like me!) can stop you from buying potentially harmful 'mystery metal' have a read of my 'What are these marks on my jewellery' blog here.