It doesn’t and applies to any product or its parts, but for assessing whether the consumer guarantee applies, the purchase price is used a guide of what a reasonable person would expect. For example, Michael Hill has cubic zirconia (man made diamond) rings for $29 and (real) diamond rings for $11749. Like other products with similar scale of pricing difference, a reasonable person would not expect a $29 ring to be of equal quality or durability of a $11749 ring. If a $29 ring failed in 5 years, most reasonable consumers would possibly think they got a good product life. If a $11749 ring failed in 5 years, a reasonable consumer would be seeking resolution under the ACL for the product’s failure.
If one starts assuming that a cheaper man made diamond ring is equal quality as a real expensive diamond ring for determining consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law, then the same principle would apply to all products irrespective of the purchase price. This is inconsistent with established precedence.
Assuming any ring of any value is of equal quality is also an incorrect assumption, unless one has information (as indicated in my previous post), that this is not the case.
Do we know how the approximate purchase price of the ring in question?
Irrespective of the value of the stones, would a reasonable customer expect a $50 ring to not loose stones, a $500 ring to not loose stones, or a $5000 ring to not loose stones.
Since we don’t know, we don’t know. Is this even a rational discussion? There is a price point above which irrespective of the stones provided a ring and setting would be expected to be of good quality and not likely to loose stones.
Suggesting the ACL says it OK for the stones to fall out of the lower cost purchase! It’s a bit like paying the minimum price for a base model Hyundai I30 or a premium (more than twice the cost) for the top end with all the bells and leather. Should one accept that for the cheaper version it’s ok if the wheels fall off, because one did not purchase the premium product?
I have never purchased any ‘gem’ jewellery that did not state it needed to be checked for tightness at least annually either on paper or verbally by the jeweller. Some items in the multiples of $10,000s values. It is because (especially) gold settings are ‘soft’.
Your quote exposes the actual issue - it is the quality of the ring, not the marketing value of the stone set in it that makes the difference. You are correct that for mass produced jewellery where the ring and stone come as one purchase it could be difficult to separate the two.
The difference in price doesn’t have to be about the type of stone.
Take these two rings as an example:
Both are “real” diamond rings, one has a price of $29k the other is $2k. The price difference is almost entirely due to the size of the diamond attached to the ring. There is no reasonable expectation that the cheaper ring should fail earlier or be of lesser quality than the more expensive ring. Ironically the cheaper ring in 10ct gold is actually more durable than the expensive 18ct ring.
Yes, price is a useful indicator, since in general you get what you paid for. But it is not the only factor to consider, the question is what is reasonable, and like the example above, price is not the only factor. A reasonable person would expect the cheaper ring to also be reasonably durable. A ring without any diamond at all should also be reasonably durable, but would be an order of magnitude cheaper again…
Both are what would be considered expensive rings and a reasonable person would expect them to have a long life/similar durability.
As outlined above, if one compares a cheap $29 ring with an expensive ring ($2K, $11K or $-28K), a reasonable person would not expect the cheap ring to be of the same quality nor have the same durability/life as an expensive ring.
Looking at Michael Hill and other major jewelery chains online, a general statement can be made that man made diamonds (such as cubic zirconia or even crystal) dominate the cheap ring price range, while real diamond rings dominate the more expensive price range. This fits with the expectations under the ACL that real diamond rings should have a longer fault free life than man made diamond rings. If one wishes to buy a cheap ($29) ring hoping it will last as long as a expensive ring, there is a higher chance they will be disappointed.