Wellington Diamonds: As Good as the Real Deal?

These diamond imitations can be found in heirloom pieces, but think twice before tossing the impersonations.

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It’s a suburban myth circulated by Main Line jewelers. The scion of a well-known family was given his great-great grandmother’s engagement ring to bestow upon his intended bride. When the groom had the ring cleaned, the jeweler told him the diamond was, in fact, not a diamond. It was a perfectly cut, four-carat fake.

Unsure of who knew the truth, the groom decided not to tell anyone—not even his bride. The secret stayed between the groom and his jeweler. The bride loved the ring. The groom loved the bride. And they lived happily ever after.

As it turns out, faux diamonds are common in our area. “They’re called Wellington diamonds, and there are a lot more of them than you’d think,” says Joe Bucci, owner of Bucci’s Jewelry & Design in Conshohocken. “‘Wellington’ is their trade name—sort of the insider’s way of not using the word ‘fake.’ And the truth is, they’re cut very well.”

In fact, Bucci recently made a Wellington ring for a client. “His lady’s real one is over six carats, and he didn’t want her wearing it on a daily basis,” says Bucci. “I made it an exact replica. No one can tell the difference.”

Telling the bride the truth, however, is a must for Bucci. “You don’t want to get caught lying—either the jeweler or the husband,” he says. “A woman would feel betrayed if she found that out.”

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