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by Abigail Van Buren

Sapphires Pass as Diamonds in Case of Mistaken Identity

DEAR ABBY: Last year I gave my new (at that time) girlfriend, "Alyssa," a pair of earrings for her birthday. They were in a box from a department store marked "fine jewelry." She loved them and became emotional in expressing her gratitude. I thought it was because it was the first piece of jewelry I had ever bought for her.

When she opened the box I explained that they were her birthstone -- sapphires -- but white sapphires. In her excitement she must have missed that part.

The earrings are large -- maybe one carat apiece. Yesterday I overheard my granddaughter ask Alyssa if they were real diamonds, and Alyssa told her yes!

I kept my mouth shut when she said it, but now I understand why she was so excited when she first saw them. She cherishes the earrings and has told me numerous times she will never take them off.

I want to make this right, but I'm afraid she'll feel embarrassed because she must have told her girlfriends and family I gave her diamond earrings -- which I didn't. Abby, what do I do? -- LOVING BOYFRIEND IN VIRGINIA

DEAR BOYFRIEND: You should straighten this out with your girlfriend, but do it privately. After that, let her disclose the fact that her diamond earrings are really sapphires at her discretion -- or not.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Love & Dating