Their Brain Is 0.11 Karats

, , , | Right | June 12, 2017

(I work at a precious metals refinery. Like it sounds, we buy precious metals. I get a phone call from a customer who asks me what we will pay for a triple band ring. That being rather vague, I have to ask some follow-up questions:)

Me: “What karat of ring is it?”

Caller: “It’s, uh… I don’t know what karat it is.”

Me: “Okay, we can’t give you a quote without that information, but just as an estimate, if it was 14 karat it would be—”

Caller: “No, it’s not 14 karat. How much for a triple band ring?”

Me: “Again, I can’t give you a quote without knowing what type of metal it is, but if you brought it in, we’d be able to give you an accurate estimate.”

Caller: “Okay, thanks anyway.”

(Ten minutes later he calls back.)

Caller: “How much for a .11 karat ring?”

Me: “I’m afraid there’s no such thing as .11 karat.”

Caller: “But I need to know how much it would be.”

Me: “And I’m still going to need to know what gold karat it is.”

Caller: “It’s not gold.”

Me: “So it’s… silver?”

Caller: “Yeeaaahhh.”

Me: “Okay, well, an average silver band would weigh about 5 grams, which would give you about $4.00.”

Caller: “That doesn’t sound right. It’s not that small! It’s point 11 karats!”

Me: “Wait, you mean weight? As in, .11 carats?”

Caller: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay, well, give me a minute.”

(I assume that he has a small jeweler’s scale and has weighed it in diamond weights — carats — because he couldn’t figure out how to change the scale to grams or pennyweights. Not being all that familiar with carats since we don’t do gemstones, I Google the conversion factor. I am sure that something has gone wrong, however, when I see the results of my search.)

Me: “Uh, sir, .11 carats turns out to be less than a thousandth of a gram.”

Caller: “Okay.”

Me: “You can’t have a ring that weighs less than a thousandth of a gram. It’s physically impossible.”

Caller: “That’s what he said.”

Me: “That would mean your ring weighed less than 1/2,000th of a penny.”

Caller: “I called the jeweler I bought it from and that’s what he said.”

Me: “Oh, the stone in your ring weighs .11 carats! Unfortunately, we don’t buy stones of any type. We’d only be able to buy the metal, and I’d need a weight on that to give you an accurate quote.”

Caller: “It’s point 11 carats!”

Me: “Again, that is for your stone. We cannot buy the stone from you. The metal itself has an entirely different weight. Did the jeweler tell you a weight for the metal?”

Caller: *getting really angry* “No. Look, don’t you have any point 11 carat rings around the shop that you could weigh up for me to see how much it would be?”

(I had absolutely no words for this. Apparently this man believes that every ring in the world with a certain stone size has the same weight. At this point, I decided to stop arguing with him.)

Me: “No. We don’t. You’ll just have to come in to get a quote on it.”

Caller: “Fine. Goodbye.”

(20 minutes later, I’m working on another order, so my boss answers the phone. A few minutes later I hear my boss say “Sir, .11 is not a karat.”)

1 Thumbs
657