If you saw an ad with a photo titled: "Faux 18k Gold Diamond Ring",
and another photo’s description was: "cz set in a gold colored metal ring",
which ring would you buy? Which ring would have a higher price?
Actually, both photos could be the same ring.
Are you familiar with the phrase faux pearl? It is often used for man made
glass or plastic pearls.
A large chain of women’s clothing stores mailed a spring catalog. Accessory
jewelry items are described as faux 12kt gold plated or faux rhodium plated.
The important word in all these descriptions is "faux", a French
word. It can be used as adjective, adverb, or noun. A French/English dictionary
translates faux as: false, untrue, erroneous, wrong, spurious, unsound, base,
counterfeit, artificial, imitation, mock, sham, pretended, insincere, double,
treacherous, deceitful, forgery, falsehood. Most of these words imply an intent
to deceive. Why advertise jewelry using a word with such a negative connotation?
Perhaps the merchant thinks a French word makes the jewelry seem more stylish,
or chic? Maybe the merchant assumes that most customers do not know French.
What does faux 12kt gold plated mean? Any word that follows faux could be false.
Is the gold not 12kt? Is the plating not gold? Is it not plated, just a gold
colored base metal? If this phrase is designed to tell what the jewelry looks
like, why not just say it looks like gold?
Why use 12kt plated? Why not faux 14 kt gold, or even faux 18 kt? Most necklaces
in this store’s catalog, or on the website, are priced between $49.50 and $79.50. Obviously
an 18 kt gold necklace would cost more than $50. A gold plated necklace could
be $50 or less. If a shopper overlooks the word "faux" the price might
One necklace is described as faux rhodium plated brass and zinc. Since brass
is usually gold colored, the zinc must be the plating? Another necklace is described
as faux rhodium plated steel and zinc. Steel is often plated with zinc for industrial
uses. Is this faux rhodium actually zinc plated steel?
Would a customer be more likely to buy "faux rhodium plated", "fake
rhodium plated", or "zinc plated steel"?
This clothing store and website are charging high prices for mass produced,
imported, imitation jewelry. Is it a rip off? You be the judge.
Is this false advertising? No. The simple little word "faux" prevents
it. A description can say anything if it is labeled false.
Is it confusing? Yes. The shopper is told what the item is not, rather than
what it is.
The photo shows how an item looks. The text should give additional accurate
Be a smart shopper. Look for both detailed photos and good descriptive text.