Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Macy's Kate Spade Jewelry - Gold Tone vs. Gold Plate

Briana would tell you that I'm a bit obsessed with all things Kate Spade.  I love the clean, but colorful looks for both fashion and home.  My everyday casual china is the Larabee Dot pattern. That's right, I'm using fine china as my everyday slap-it-on-the-table dishes...which I then hand wash to make sure the dots don't come off.  I'm fully aware that I will probably want to shoot myself when I have babies and I will be lucky to make sure my hair gets brushed let alone fine china gets hand washed...but until then I loooooooooooove it.  To make sure you know I'm not entirely insane, I actually mixed this pattern with Williams-Sonoma's Pillivuyt Ecletique line which is dishwasher safe and looks great mixed in, but I digress.
Larabee Dot
Kate Spade China
$139 per place setting
Image Source: Bloomingdale's

Since I'm partial to this particular brand, I like to search Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond to see what's new in the Kate Spade home goods line up.  I recently looked through Macy's new selection and I was surprised to see that not only does Macy's carry Kate Spade home goods, but it looks like they are now stocking Kate Spade jewelry and watches

Initially, the Posh Purpose bargain hunter in me got really excited and started calculating..."if I have this coupon and shop on this day and then use Ebates I can get a really, really good deal!!!!"  Then I started looking a little bit more closely at what Macy's is actually selling.


I noticed that a good many of the items were all listed as "gold tone" which usually means that the jewelry has a gold finish or appearance, but there is no actual gold content that can be measured in karats.  For me, this makes a big difference.  I have a metal allergy that makes me break out in dry patches when I wear costume jewelry and the dermatologist usually has to prescribe something to make it go away (icky, I know!  TMI, I know!).  Gold tone jewelry doesn't work for me because of this issue.  I didn't develop this allergy until a few years ago, so when it came to replacing jewelry, I had very few choices to turn to without spending a ton of moo-lah.   Kate Spade is one of the few designers making affordable gold plated jewelry (I usually buy mine during their awesome online sales or from the Kate Spade outlets). Gold plated jewelry has a thicker, but still thin layer of gold attached to a base metal.  It will wear down over time, but until I can afford 14 carat jewelry for everyday wear, it will have to do.

At first I thought, ok, maybe they are just running a different line out of Macy's and it won't be as high of quality.  Then I spotted the same watch being sold for the same price, but the first one from Macy's is listed as "gold tone" while the other is from described as "gold plated."


Kate Spade

Based on this little bit of sleuthing (I channeled my inner Inspector Gadget...go-go gadget shopping!), I found a few other instances where the Macy's item and the prices were the same, but we still have the gold tone vs. gold plate issue.  One possibility is that Macy's definitions of what qualifies as gold plate is different from Kate Spade's.  Another possibility is that the descriptions are just off, but I'm a bit skeptical because Macy's has taken the time to specify certain items as "gold tone" and others as "gold plated."  This leads me to believe that there is indeed a difference in materials.  I've got two problems with this situation if there is indeed a difference: (1) Macy's is charging the same price for lesser quality goods and (2) people who are loyal to the Kate Spade brand because of metal allergies may unknowingly purchase goods that will cause a reaction.

Anyone know anything else about this or heard anything out there?  Please let us know!