Monday, December 10, 2012

Authentic vs bootleg: Serah Farron and Snow Villier's engagement pendant

It's been a few years since my last review on an official Square-Enix product (partially because their sterling silver jewelry is so expensive) but I really feel the need to write this one to prevent people from getting ripped off.  For this, I will be using stock photos of the bootleg and authentic versions (my personal review of the one I own will come once I can take better looking photos).  Ever since the Square-Enix online merchandise website went down sometime in September, a great deal of bootleg engagement pendants have been popping up on eBay for ridiculous prices.  When I say ridiculous, I mean they're going for just as much if not more than how much the official piece costs!  The main tip-off of the bootlegs is the design.  Here is what the bootleg looks like:

(Bootleg engagement necklace)
Notice the chain of this necklace.  The official one does not have those little beads on the chain.  Another thing is that the bootleg can't even fit the ring on the chain properly.  It's supposed to rest on top of the actual pendant... not sit weirdly on the chain.  The links and eye pins look very poorly made.  This thing can break on you within a matter of time and that will be a ton of money wasted.

(Bootleg engagement necklace)
Its luster is incredibly dull.  This is because it isn't made out of sterling silver but instead made out of some kind of mystery metal (probably lead) with an electroplated coating to give it its silvery color.  Don't know what that means?  It means it's made out of the same stuff that you can get out of a $0.25 ring machine from a grocery store.  Do you want to pay $190-$260+ for that????  Why would you want to pay that much money for something that will turn your skin green?  Better yet, pay that much for something that you can't resell for anywhere near that value because it is a fake?  It's an extremely unwise investment...


(Bootleg engagement necklace)
Notice the ring.  It is incredibly dull.  Sterling silver doesn't do this.

This is a very bad bootleg and it doesn't look anywhere near as beautiful as the official one.  This necklace has zero resell value since in reality it's not worth more than $5-10 in materials and it's mass produced in some Chinese sweatshop.  Why pay like $260 for a bootleg when you can get the real one for $250!?



Now onto images of the official one:

(Authentic engagement necklace)
Notice the luster.  This is made out of sterling silver and the craftsmanship is beautiful!  The construction is very sturdy as well it should be.  This necklace weighs a ton but that's okay because it's made out of genuine sterling silver and is worth it's value (it goes for $250 on the official website... which is down for the moment)

(Authentic engagement necklace)
The chain is very thick and well constructed.  The pendant itself is quite heavy so you'll want the chain to be strong and thick enough to support it!  In fact, you can probably swing this thing around and knock someone out with it.

(Authentic necklace)
The ring sits on top of the necklace since it easily slips through the simplistic yet strong chain (unlike the bootleg from earlier in the review).  There are clear cubic zirconias in the slide ring, the small solitaire ring, and a nice sized one inside of the pendant.  It sparkles quite brilliantly because the pendant itself is quite shiny and the cubic zirconia is also very shiny.



So there you go.  A detailed comparison of the bootleg and the authentic product.  The authentic product is priced at $249.99 on the Square-Enix Online Merchandise website but unfortunately, at this time the website is down due to some hackers attacking the Japanese servers so I don't really know when it'll be up and running for the general public again.  Because of this, the price has drastically increased to over $400+ on websites such as eBay, Yahoo! Japan, and whatnot.  This price is a lot more understandable because the value of sterling silver has constantly been going up.

The bootleg... that is a huge waste of money no matter how you look at it.  It is made out of the same materials as a children's $.25 grocery store jewelry machine necklace.  Chances are it's made out of a lead-based base and the plating is electroplated... or as what some are claiming to be cupronickel.  ...Seriously though.  You do not want to be wearing that around your neck.  It starts to stink after mere minutes.  It's laughable that they want to charge $190+ for it when you can get the real one for just a little bit more and it'll actually have resale value.

Now that you know this, you won't fall to a bad deal on this product.  You won't get ripped off!  But if you still want to buy an overpriced bootleg after reading this then... well... you are a gigantic idiot.

8 comments:

  1. I'm really disappointed to read that this was happening. Sadly a lot of people don't know the difference between fakes and authentic when it comes to SE jewelry, so could easily be fooled by this (especially with a higher price as often the easiest way to tell a fake is by it's el-cheapo price).

    I'm lucky enough to own this pendant as I purchased it from the Square-Enix store when I visited Japan. It's amazingly beautiful and I plan to wear it at my wedding next year. But even now that the official online store is open again, they don't ship to my country (Australia), so buying from places like eBay is the only option people like me usually have (luckily for me, like you I can tell the difference between an authentic piece and a fake).

    I hope your article helped some people out and enabled them to become aware of these problems. I really despise sellers like this because they are not only taking advantage of people, but are also selling inferior product at a price it's not worth (not to forget the fact that it should be illegal but loopholes in copyright allow this to happen).

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  2. I was doing some research to make one when i found your article. Actually a pair, one for me and one for my gf. I work with hand made jewelry, and 250 dollars is a lot to pay for something that i can do myself. When i read this i was really disappointed. I know some guys who actually make these crappy replicas, mostly lead, with poor quality coating as you said. I would charge way over 250 bucks for a hand made one, with quality materials, given the complexity of the work involved, since it's actually 4 pieces put together, and making the sphere with the cutout by hand is really tricky.
    So, to sum up, if you are reading this, don't get fooled. A high quality bootleg would cost way more than the original product.

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  3. Sadly...now those bootlegs are being sold for what the real would sell for (on ebay lol) for example this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Final-Fantasy-XIII-Silver-Engagement-Pendant-Serah-Farron-Cosplay-JAPAN-NEW-/390655882143 $468 bucks for a fake?!?! Total Scam! The bad thing is...the person is from Japan too...its rare to find Japanese sellers on ebay to sell fake stuff.

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  4. Too bad the chain on the bootleg is more accurate than the official one, now thats sad.

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    1. That is true and something I've noticed off the bat. I believe the reason the official one has a chain like this because the pendant itself is very heavy. From the photos of the bootleg, the ring can't even rest ontop of the pendant itself because of the chain's beading while the ring on the official one can since its chain is simplified.

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  5. Thanks a lot for such an important advice! But um...it's 2016 now and the SE online store still doesn't have Serah's necklace display. Maybe I was too late or is it just temporary? have no idea whether I should wait a little longer or fly to Japan to buy one...

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    1. Yes, they do. They restock them periodically in their online merchandise shop. If you sign up for the wait list, they'll notify you once they have inventory.

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