The first one is easy: They're highway robbery and for NOTHING. They're $250 if you get the most expensive ones (basic most expensive ones, by the way), and about $220 if you get the basic "less expensive" ones. Then, they tell you that if you lose it, they'll replace it for like $80. Yeah, I think that just about tips everyone off to the fact that the ring only costs about $80 to make in the first place. Let's get out the chorus of "Rip-offf!!" please.
However, that's the least of my worries. What I found out about them today bothers me much more.
One of my friends is going to buy a class ring, so she had the brochure at lunch. She was lookin' through it trying to decide which ring style and what designs she wanted on her ring. I was looking over her shoulder because I was bored and some of the designs were kind of neat. She turned to the page with the samples of all of the designs that you can put on the side, and we looked them over. They had little names in the examples, just like in the image above. The names in my friend's brochure were "Bryan" and "Robin". Here's where things get ugly.
They have different sections for the designs. There's one for "Pride", such as Christian symbols and the flags of different countries that customers might have roots in, etc. There's also one for "Activities". As you all probably already knew, Bryan gets the good portion of the ring examples. However, sometimes Robin shows up. Bryan takes up nearly every space in this section, "President", "Calf Roping", "Academics", "Debate", etc. Here is the list of what Robin gets: "Dance", "Ballet", and "Secretary". That's all. That's it.
There are other categories as well. I also liked Robin's list of Careers: "Cosmetology", "Interior Design", "Child Care", and "Nursing" (As opposed to "Medical Services", which went to Bryan). Once again, that's all.
I find it amazing that in the few places that they could manage to place a female name, it had to be in what most would consider "frivolous" professions. If it wasn't frivolous or highly competitive (e.g. "Dancing" and "Ballet"), however, it was being a secretary, a nurse, or a child care professional. The first two are simply second-in-command positions which most often require subordination to men. Hell, even the examples themselves had poor Robin being subordinate to Bryan, as he's probably going off to be in Medical Services as a doctor! And if it wasn't pure subordination, it's a stereotypical "woman's job" as a child care professional, because that's the only thing us womenz think about is babies and nursin' people. We don't have ambitions outside of that.
So there it is. Two good reasons why Balfour sucks. Not only are will they rob you at gunpoint, but they'll fore gender stereotypes and women's subordination down your throat in the process.