I would not have written this review if Effy had not blatantly lied to me by email. I'm so sick of fraudulent jewelry companies--either manufacturers or sellers. I had contacted Effy by email. In fact, there were many emails back and forth between myself and Effy. After seeing that JC Penny was selling Effy lead glass filled rubies on JCP, I wanted to know which Effy jewelry I could trust. Evidently, none of it. In one email reply from Effy, the representative wrote to me "We typically use a range of diamonds, which is H/I Color and I1 Clarity. Depending on the item, we can have an item GIA certified for you. We only use heat on our rubies." This was definitely untrue. Maybe I should have bought a bad ruby then asked them to have it GIA certified. None of their jewelry is certified.
Although Effy is considered an upscale jewelry brand, if you go to the Effy website, you will not see any information about the quality of stones used in Effy jewelry. In fact, if you choose a particular piece of jewelry then choose product info, you will only be told what the piece is. For example, title "Effy 14K Two-Tone Gold Ruby and Diamond Ring, 2.50 TCW" will only tell you "Effy 14K Two-Tone Gold Ruby and Diamond Ring, 2.50 TCW" for the product information. You will not find information about the quality of the stone or any treatments used on the stones. There is a reason for this. Effy is passing off very low quality gemstones as fine jewelry.
This is very important information. I first discovered this at JC Penney while looking at jewelry. JCP had Effy Final Call jewelry which was listed under clearance jewelry. While I was looking through the Effy jewelry, I found that every piece of Effy ruby jewelry was described as lead glass filled. What?! So, of course, I researched lead glass filled rubies. According to many many sources including GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, the most respected certification organization for gemstones, "lead filled rubies and some pink sapphires is a method of using poor quality gemstones and filling them with leaded glass to improve their appearance. GIA states "the treatment is amazing, in that it transforms corundum that is opaque and nearly worthless into material that is transparent enough for use in jewelry." "It is interesting to note that one lead glass–filled ruby that was submitted to the GIA Laboratory showed evidence of oxidation of the filler at the surface, undoubtedly a consequence of the extreme lead content."
GIA "In the case of lead-glass filling in rubies, the intent is clearly to enhance the apparent clarity of the stone. The treatment is very effective in this regard. Stones that are almost opaque can be improved to the point of being semitransparent to transparent. This makes it possible to market a great deal of previously unusable material. Fortunately, this treatment is easily detected with magnification."
"DURABILITY TESTING No damage to the lead glass fillings was observed with standard steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, setting, and even retipping of prongs, when these procedures were performed carefully on the limited number of stones tested, as described below. Some damage was seen with immersion in a pickling solution and exposure to other reagents."
GIA states that pickling solution which is used to clean jewelry metal repairs caused etching of the the lead glass filler. GIA also found that common household cleaners such as ammonia, bleach, and lemon juice also had this effect. Also in the GIA video "How to Classify a Lead Glass–Filled Ruby by GIA", they tell consumers that jewelry with lead glass filling cannot be repaired for this reason. The video states, too, that lead glass filling of rubies should not be called a treatment. It should be called a manufactured product. These are no longer considered rubies because of the lead glass filling.
Not only is this a problem with quality but it is also a problem with durability. GIA state "Glass, particularly high-lead-content glass, is significantly softer than corundum, which makes the polish noticeably inferior to the host." In fact, in 2011, Brandi Law Firm Consumer Fraud Attorneys filed suit against Macy's in in San Francisco Superior Court for fraudulently not informing customers about leaded glass filled rubies and treated diamonds.
First State Auctions, a major jewelry auction house in Australia, writing about lead glass filled rubies, states "Until this treatment was developed, these rubies had no commercial use. This treatment is not accepted by the jewelry trade. The value of Lead Glass Filled rubies are only a small fraction (less than 1%) of those of a heat treated ruby of similar appearance. It is not obligatory to declare this form of treatment, and sometimes it is hidden behind words like "enhanced ruby". This term could include acceptable treatments that do not alter the makeup of the ruby such as heat treatment. However, the First State Auctions gemological team carefully screens each ruby before coming to auction. We will not include Lead Glass Filled rubies in our auctions." So, your enhanced ruby might be only heat treated but it might be leaded glass. You have no way of knowing unless you buy it then take it to a reputable jeweler to have it examined. Do you really want to buy an Effy ruby?
In their report, GIA stated "All 30 of the samples that were analyzed qualitatively with EDXRF showed a significant lead content, as did the two measured semiquantitatively." You know, lead that is a health hazard.
Some Effy jewelry is certified but not many. That means that you don't know what the quality of their gemstones are. Filling materials are also used on diamonds and emeralds as well. So, do you really know what you are buying when you buy Effy jewelry? No, you don't.
Macy's sells Effy ruby jewelry. They state "All rubies are heat treated with residue". I suppose that puts a positive spin on it. Macy's does sell a few certified Effy pieces but you have to be careful with Macy's too. I searched "certified Effy" at Macy's. The second item that was shown was not certified. I even called to ask if it was certified. It was not. On the first page of 60 items, only 14 were certified. Macy's could ensure that all listings were Effy but not that all listings were certified even though I chose certified as the first word. Strange, don't you think? But Macy's will have a review on a different day.
Even Saks off 5th sells Effy ruby jewelry. They state that they are "Natural ruby" and that "All rubies are heat treated with residue. Almost all gemstones have been treated to enhance their beauty and require special care." There is that residue statement again. At this point, I would assume that the "with residue" part means glass filling. At least Kohl's doesn't sell lead glass filled rubies. In fact, they don't sell any Effy rubies. They do sell Effy and they do sell certified rubies but they don't sell Effy certified jewelry or Effy ruby jewelry. That should tell you something. Even Effy's diamonds at Kohl's per their "GEMSTONE TREATMENT & SPECIAL CARE GUIDE" diamonds information states "Occasionally laser-drilled or fracture filled to improve appearance. On rare occasions, diamonds may be surface-coated or heated with pressure to alter their color and/or clarity. Avoid recutting diamonds that have been fracture filled. For stones that have been surface-coated, avoid steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaners, and alcohol. They may adversely affect the stones' color and appearance."
GIA states "As with any treatment, clarity enhancement by lead-glass filling must be disclosed at all levels of sale to protect consumer confidence." So, what is my confidence in Effy? Zero out of ten.