A wife says she discovered her Argos wedding ring sold as 18ct gold was a fake – and actually made of brass.
The 55-year-old, who asked not to be named, has worn her ring with pride since she married her husband, aged 52, in 2004.
But the woman, from Headington, Oxfordshire, took the ring for re-sizing in June, only for it to snap during enlargement who then tested it.
The jeweller then emailed the couple to notify them of their find, and wrote: We tested metal and [it] appears to be brass.
She took the ring to another jeweller to get a second opinion.
The second report stated: The item has been tested and in my opinion the metal is no better than 9ct yellow gold. It has been incorrectly stamped or the marks are false.
The woman said: I really feel this is Argos selling fools gold, because thats how I feel: a bit of a fool.
When they said the ring was brass I laughed – I thought they must have made a mistake.
People might say “its a cheap ring, what do you expect?” but I expect it to be what it says it is. Its a reputable company.
No matter how much you pay or where you bought it from, if its got a UK hallmark you expect it to be what it said.
The customers have been back and forth with Argos, tracing credit card records to prove the purchase of the £99 ring, and gaining a written apology and offer of a refund.
But they say it is not enough and suspect others could be unwittingly wearing false rings.
In 2001 Argos issued a product recall after fears that gold hallmarks had been illegally faked.
The woman said: This is not the first time – for it to happen again is really concerning.
They dont appear to be making any effort. I think they should really think about recalling the batch of jewellery. Man finds ancient Byzantine vase after checking holiday pictures
She said the 5mm band was more than just a ring and the offer of simply refunding the £99 was taking the Mick.
She added: My ring is worthless, beyond repair and not wearable. Its fools gold, its just a lie.
It feels like I am missing a part of me – its about the blessing of the ring and the significance.
That ring would have been left to my daughter.
The pair believe buying the same ring in todays market would cost hundreds of pounds, and a ceremony to have new rings blessed will be extra.
She added: Im very disappointed with the response. Something on this level should be taken more seriously – its a crime to put a stamp on the wrong quality of gold or silver.
An Argos spokesperson said: We are investigating this with the customer.