Expectation vs Reality - The Conclusion

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.

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That was a very interesting read. Unfortunately the people tempted to buy this stuff won’t get to read it. Thank you for your efforts.

Liz Taylor

Thank you for your services to jewellers everywhere! Even though I am aware this stuff happens, maddeningly with the theft of photos etc gggrrr, seeing the actual item and what it actually IS is SCARY! Stuff that can hurt you by touching it. No dont lick it!!!


Great series! Thank you for doing the work and confirming my suspicions.

If Lovely Chap hasn’t told you to lose his number yet, it sure would be interesting to find out the metal content of some of those dodgy, pyramid scheme, ‘Everything is $5’ jewelry brands, that vex every legit artist who’s ever had to face them down. Do they even let them sell across the pond? Or is that just another ‘perk’ of living in the U.S.?

As an aside, I’m pretty sure I have exposed myself to some really nasty fumes (made myself actually sick once, good thing I’m already old, lol) trying to solder or ‘test’ some of the “Sterling Silver” being sold in ‘destash’ groups all over FB. Some of these sellers get rabid, insisting it’s real, even when I’ve shown pictorial evidence and explained why/how that shriveled, charred, oozing blob, is not and can not be sterling. (I’m looking at you S.A.S) gaaaaahhhh

Must be in a mood, sorry about all the ’ ’ :-o


Fascinating read! I mean, even though I don’t know the first thing about jewellery (someone sent me a link here) and I could’ve predicted the conclusion, it’s commendable that you went to the trouble of getting these things tested. I suppose the message is that if you want something ‘proper’ get in touch with a real person, making their own real things. If you want to throw your money away on literal rubbish, faceless dropshippers like Wish are for you.


Another great post about the dangers of buying cheap. Thanks for doing this, I’ll certainly be sharing!


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