At times, the cheap deals available in thrift shops are hard to believe — particularly in the case of one vintage pair of earrings recently discovered by a Redditor.
Posting to the r/ThriftStoreHauls subreddit, the Redditor shared their disbelief at the price tag attached to their new jewelry, which cost them just $5.
A pair of deep red gemstones are set in gold clasps, with a smaller jewel adorning the top. Commenters are debating whether the stones may be garnets and diamonds.
That debate could be settled by the earrings’ makers’ mark. A closer inspection of the earring stud has revealed an engraving of the manufacturer’s stamp “RNM”, along with a 14-karat label.
While the original poster has questioned whether the earrings may be by Angara, meaning they are worth hundreds of dollars, some Redditors have suggested that “RNM” links the earrings to Avon, which would designate them as costume jewelry made with plastic, not gemstones.
As for the 14k stamp, that usually indicates a gold purity of at least 58.3%. According to the London Gold Center, 14k gold is worth about $35.81 per gram — far more than the $5 price tag.
Clearly, although some detective work is needed to work out these earrings’ true worth, their new owner has lucked out getting them so cheaply.
They’re not the only ones to discover the beauty of thrifting. One Redditor nabbed a 14k and 18k pendant for just $1. Another bought a second-hand necklace for $6.10, which the “Antiques Roadshow” then valued at between $50,000 and $60,000.
There are great gains to be made from thrifting and not just for people’s wallets. Mining for precious metals like silver and gold has been linked to deforestation, air pollution, and the destruction of aquatic habitats.
They come with a human cost too, with miners often working in dangerous conditions. In Ghana, miners have been found working with the toxic mineral mercury, while in Tanzania child laborers have been injured by a collapsing mine shaft.
Buying second-hand instead helps to ensure that your jewelry has a more ethical, environmentally sound origin story.
“They’re very nice and definitely worth more than $5!” one Redditor commented.
“The thrift gods were looking down on you. Wicked find!” another wrote.
“Gorgeous! Wear them well!” added another.
Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.