Story as told by Paul Harvey on “The Rest of the Story” and Cynthia Rutledge.
Genuine Imitation Amber A young couple from the Midwest decided to spend their honeymoon in California. They enjoyed the weather and walking along the board- walk with all of the small shops. In one of the shops they found a case with a sign saying “Genuine Imitation” next to a display of beautiful necklaces. The wife looked through the selection and found one that she really loved. It was a bit pricey, but the husband wanted to buy his bride a memento of the honeymoon trip so they left the store with an amber-colored necklace of carved beads.
The necklace was a favorite and she wore it on many occasions, always thinking of their honeymoon when she did. After 20+ years the necklace finally broke. She took it to her local jeweler to ask if he could re-string it for her. He said that it should not be a problem and took out his loop to look at the beads. While still examining the necklace he asked if she would be willing to sell it and offered her $1,000 for it. She very indignantly said “No – it was a gift from my husband, and anyway why would you pay $1,000 for imitation beads?” The jeweler did not answer her question, but did re-string the necklace as she requested.
When she returned home, her husband was just as surprised as she was at the jewelers’ offer. He was planning a business trip to New York City and told his wife that he would take the necklace along and if he had time he would stop at one of the famous jewelry stores there and see if they would appraise it for him. He did get time to stop at a jewelry store while he was in New York and they did agree to look at the necklace for him. The jeweler promptly asked him if he wanted to sell the piece and offered him $3,000 for it. The husband said, “Please tell me what is going on, why would someone offer us $1,000 and then $3,000 for a necklace made up of genuine imitation beads? I do not understand” To which the jeweler replied “You have never looked at these beads with a loop, have you?”
“Of course not, why would we?” replied the husband. The jeweler then went on to explain that the beads were actually carved amber, not imitation anything, and that each of the beads was inscribed: To Josephine from Napoleon 18xx.
Years ago I heard Paul Harvey tell this story on the radio, it is such a great story for years I have remembered it. I decided to put it on my blog so I searched, and I searched. I have searched the internet high and low to find some kind of truth to this story, I have had no luck! Below is what I did find that sounds like it could be the “Amber beads” they are referring to.
JOSEPHINE’S STOLEN NECKLACE A MYTH; Parisians Unanimous in Denying Story of Its Theft and Recovery.”LOVE GIFT” OF NAPOLEON So it Was Described in Cables From New York, Which Said It was stolen From Louvre.
By EDWIN L. JAMES. Copyright, 1921, by The New York Times Company. By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
June 16, 1921,
PARIS, June 15.–Paris is being entertained with a pretty story of an ember “love-collar,” which Napoleon gave to Josephine–a collar which was stolen from the Louvre twenty-five years ago; for which the French Chamber of Deputies offered a reward of $150,000; for…
Enameled Silver Snuff Box with Empress Josephine Miniature Portrait,