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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December, 2003, 16:58 GMT
Diamonds binned in junk-mail error
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC, The Hague

Thousands of Dutch residents have been rummaging through their dustbins in a diamond rush after a jeweller's anniversary mail-shot was largely ignored as junk mail.

Millennium diamond
The diamonds sent out by Johan de Boer were smaller than this
Jeweller Johan de Boer in the eastern Dutch town of Apeldoorn, sent real and fake diamonds to 4,000 of his clients - telling them they could keep the real ones.

He couldn't sleep last night after his promotional effort backfired.

Amsterdam is famous for its diamond-cutting industry but it is most unusual for clients to receive real stones as a Christmas gifts from their retailers.

So most of Mr De Boer's clients didn't take him seriously when he mailed them stones to mark the 10th anniversary of his jewellery store.

Naive

It cost him 48,000 euros (34,000) to send out 200 envelopes containing a small diamond - the rest with zirconia - a cheap diamond look-alike used in costume jewellery.

The letters asked the clients to bring the stone into the shop - if it was a real diamond, they could keep it.

Only 35 people turned up. After calling some of his clients, Mr De Boer realised most had thrown the envelopes away without even opening them.

He told a newspaper he had been very naive and regretted it.

No doubt many of his clients regretted dumping the envelopes as well.


SEE ALSO:
Huge diamond fails to find buyer
20 Nov 03  |  Europe


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