Gift necklaces from US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey have sparked a huge online backlash from audience members Down Under, The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
Fans who attended one of the shows filmed during Winfrey’s December extravaganza in Sydney, New South Wales, were excited to be told they would be given jewelery — but complaints started flooding in after delivery delays and disappointment with the finished product.
Some said they were expecting a pink diamond-encrusted “O” pendant on a gold chain — but instead, the Telegraph reported, they received a rather unfetching silver-chained “O” pendant featuring seven “tiny” diamonds courtesy of Australian mining company Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia.
“I finally got it yesterday after six months wait,” one reader told the newspaper. “And I can’t see any diamonds on it but other than that it looks like a cheap piece of costume jewellery.
“They call it a ‘special edition,’ but really there’s nothing special about it. I’m really disappointed.”
The items were made by China’s Chow Tai Fook jeweler and are officially valued at AU$405 (US$433) — although the business has been selling an “unofficial” version of them online for AU$200.
A local spokeswoman for Winfrey’s Harpo Productions said the necklaces were Rio Tinto’s responsibility. A spokeswoman for the mining company said confusion had been created after a AU$7,000 diamond-encrusted necklace was mistaken for what was always planned.
“What has been delivered is what we promised and while there has been negative feedback based on false expectations we have also had a lot of extremely positive feedback,” she said.
Winfrey, 57, showcased the jewelery during the evening recording of her talk show at the Sydney Opera House during her “Ultimate Australian Adventure” tour. Each member of the 6,000-strong audience was then given a gift certificate to claim the limited edition necklace.