On Your Side: Class Bling

By: Ryan Duffy
By: Ryan Duffy

Along with a diploma, graduates this spring may also be wearing a new class ring.

But are you getting the best bling for your buck?

12 On Your Side's Ryan Duffy has the secret to picking out the right graduation ring.

When a graduate buys a high school or college ring they usually want it to last a lifetime.

But if you can't see a difference on the outside, how can you spot a quality ring?

After both Barbara Curtis and Martha Berrien graduated from Voorhees College three years ago, they both ordered the same class ring...both their rings had the same problem.

They say the lettering on the front of both rings fell off.

Barbara sent hers back to the dealer, Martin's School Supplies in Goosecreek, South Carolina.

But she says the letters have since fallen off again, two more times, and her ring is now in the shop again.

We took Martha's ring in to get inspected by 23-year veteran jeweler Stephen Cranford at the Jewelers Bench.

He says there's no way to know the quality of a class ring by simply looking at it.

"Class rings are made all alike, non-gold looks the same as gold."

Unfortunately just looking at a graduation ring you can't tell if it's gold or an alloy. But you can put them on a scale. The real gold ring we used weighs 39 grams; the alloy was 24.

Cranford says to only buy from a dealer that is well known with a good reputation at your school.

As for Martha and Barbara's rings?

"They look like foil in the letters - should be easily taken care of," Cranford said.

But Barbara and Martha say Martin's School Supplies is now ignoring both of their requests for a repair or refund.

Both Barbara and Martha say they paid about $350 for the rings, so they were expecting quality.

We contacted Voorhees College about Martins School Supplies. We made them aware of the problems these two ladies are having with the ring company selling on their campus, and the school plans to investigate it.

Martin's owner Larry Martin told us he is working on the situation, but he refused to answer our questions.

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