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That "ruby" in the department store jewelry counter might not be a ruby at all. Rossen Reports took hidden cameras along for a ruby shopping spree for the Today show, buying thousands of dollars worth of ruby jewelry at NYC outposts of major department stores like Lord & Taylor, Littman Jewelers, Macy's, and JCPenney. They then took the jewelry to two independent labs, only to find that all the gems purchased contained high contents of lead glass. A gemologist appraiser assessed one of the rubies as "fish tank gravel."
Salespeople at the department stores described the rubies to the reporting team using words like "genuine," "natural," and "real." Just how bad were stores ripping customers off? One "real" ring from Macy's was priced at $1,200. According to the Today show, "the stores all say full disclosure is company policy and they do mark lead-glass rubies with tags, and some mention it online." Macy's, JCPenney, and Lord & Taylor all released statements about the Rossen Reports investigation, and JCPenney and Lord & Taylor are now offering refunds for dissatisfied customers, while Macy's and Littman Jewelers are retraining their sales associates. JCPenney plans to remove any references to "genuine" in the tags for the glass-filled rubies.
· Red Ruby Alert: Major Stores Selling Gems 'Filled With Glass' [Today]
· Vogue: Diamond Engagement Rings Are So Basic [Racked]