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An interesting story about buying a custom mounting.

Should a retailer make anything a bona-fide customer wants?

  • No. A retailer/designer must act as an expert and keep within safe limits.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Yes. A retailer can make anything a bona-fide customer wants.

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • I don''t know, but I wanted to see what others thought about this.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .
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oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 3, 2000
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6,318
A consumer brings a center stone to a retailer that they bought on the Internet. For our example, let''s say it is a rather large emerald, not a diamond. The consumer works with a retailer and they mutually design an engagement ring which the customer approves of, but the retailer warns them that too little metal is in the ring and that they had better buy insurance on it right away once it is delivered and worn. The consumer has been shown more substantial designs, but has remained adamant that what they want is minimal metal work. The retailer even gives them a Jeweler''s Mutual form and a complete appraisal allowing their customer to purchase the insurance directly.

Within a few weeks of wearing the ring, the center stone is found to be missing one morning on the way to work. No amount of searching locates this stone and it is lost. One of the delicate prongs shows some signs of bending back away from the stone, but no warning, such as looseness of the stone was ever reported or noticed by the wearer. The stone just vanished.

What responsibility lies on the retailer? They did not sell the lost stone. They made a profit only on the mountings. They gave warning of the delicacy of the design. They gave an insurance application and instructed the customer to buy insurance right away.

As an appraiser, I have an obligation because of NAJA membership, just like those in AGS, ASA, and ISA not to provide incomplete or incorrect documents. A rogue appraiser, one with no accredited memberships has no obligation to provide such complete documentation. If no harm is done, there is no legal recourse for less complete work.

Do such "rules" apply to retailers? Retailers who provide settings and customer designs often feel a deep moral responsibility to provide a safe mounting. However, what is actually a requirement of the law? If a consumer, properly warned, wants a certain thing done, if they are 21 years old and of sound mind, and are willing to pay to have it their way, what is a retailer to do? Do the work or say no?

If the retailer does the work are they taking on the risk of loss for the stone they never sold?
Should a retailer refuse the work and let his competitor take the job and make the profit?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

This is a good story and right from real life events. There is no simple solution, but making people aware of such a scenario is educational. You may have an opinion, but opinions are not necessarily they way the legal system responds to individual situations. Every story has nuances and two or more versions. What do you think should have been done?
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
pull this poll and try again. it didn't let me vote "no". or Yes/No. or anything....

edited... i NOW i see the choices....nevermind.
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
i think the retailer needs to build a ring that will hold up and be reliable. Reputation is also at stake.

there have been quite a few imploded /crushed platinum pave rings reported on here. "swiss cheese" comes to mind.

an engineer builds a bridge or a building that stands up and is reliable. retailer/jeweler needs to tell customer, No, I can't build that for you, this is why, here is what I suggest instead.

Is the retailer in the hypothetical situation liable? i don't think so , as long as something has been documented that this was a flimsy setting. CYA.
 

Sundial

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
5,532
Interesting question. I think this should play out one of two ways. The jeweler can agree to make the piece just as the consumer requests with a warning that it is too delicate and may very well not hold up to wear. In that case they should have no liability if a stone is lost. The jeweler could also refuse to make the piece saying that he simply doesn''t feel that he could stand behind the workmanship with such a delicate design. It is really a personal decision for the jeweler.
 

mrssalvo

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
19,132
I don''t think a jeweler should make it if they know it won''t be safe. There are vendors here that already do this and although it''s frusterating to the client it keeps them protected and their repuation b/c if the make something knowing it''s weak and then it fails they will still be the ones that will be blamed, pre-warnings or not. If someone likes a particular design mastered by the maker (i.e. daniel K, or Ritani, or a company that makes extremely thin band) then the person should by it from the person who can competantly make it.
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
4,607
I think the customer needs to heed expert advice and not have the design made they wanted as it is not practical. Designers of rings who are professionals will have had some education on angles, material strength etc. It may only be a ring but would you just get a house built to your design without consulting an Architect and Surveyor.

I believe there is more to the design of a ring than just being pretty to our eyes.

I had some experience of this when I was a lot younger, I got a jeweller to make me a ring, it was the cathedral style which was in at the time and I saw one but could not find out where I could buy it. Well I had drawn my little sketch of what I wanted. They told me it could not work like that as the stones would not be secure, I at the time thought they were talking rubbish as I had seen a ring already made like this (I thought!). However, I went with their expertise thinking maybe the ring I saw was not well designed or something I didn't know about. He made the ring, more substantial than the one I saw and I thought oh that must be it, they added more gold.

The end of the story is, I found this old sketch I had drawn, and being older or maybe because I have learned a little bit more, I can see what was wrong.
The stones which were all marquise in my drawing are lying down the side of the gallery at an angle,they were straight north to east but angled with the width of the table sloping downwards, the way you see them when you just glance at a ring but don't really know how it is structurally made, looking at the drawing now I can't believe I thought it looked like that. The ring they made ofcourse, has the stones set level with the baskets and stepped down a fraction which I had thought was just a slope in my mind.

This taught me that seeing something, (although I know now with that design), and thinking it is pretty is not the same as knowing how it is actually made.
 

Jelly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
2,518
Wow, very interesting situation.

The jeweler should definitely warn the customer about the safety of the stone. However, if a customer is stupid enough to go ahead with the design and not to insure it, then the blame should not rely entirely on the jeweler.

In fact, it almost seems unfair that the insurance companies have to pay for a replacement stone for a design that was not sturdy enough to handle the stone in the first place.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,318
I can understand there art "craftsmen", "artists" or "designers" who old themselves up to a higher standard of their art. But a regular retailer may be more a provider of whatever his client wants and have no limits on how wrong an item may be so long as they give clear warning. I don''t want to judge such choices, but not everyone holds themselves to any artistic standard.

This poll asks if there is a perception of any standard or if it is just imaginary.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
there are 2 I wanted to vote for:

No. A retailer/designer must act as an expert and keep within safe limits.

I appreciate advice from an expert and generally follow such advice.

In this day and age anyone who knowingly produces an unsafe setting is an idiot.
They could very well end up in court and even if they win be out far more than the profit on a setting.
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
I voted no. I think making a setting knowing it will be unsafe is foolish. I''d rather take a firm stance with the consumer telling them why you won''t make such and such a setting. If they don''t like that, well they can go elsewhere. There are vendors here who have refused to make certain settings as they are unsafe in the long run. But see how it can be tough, some people want what they want, and no matter how much warning you give them, they still want the setting. Glad I''m not a retailor, hehe!!!
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,534
There are things in this world that are very beautiful but not practical .. not wearable on a daily basis. I''d hate to think of limiting people & professionals creativity for the sake of "must be sturdy".

If an artisan/jeweler etc wants to make a piece that''s more delicate than he feels is safe -- this should be disclosed, discussed and the customer, if they still want the work done, should sign a waiver of responsibility. I know my risks ... I accept them ...i still want the work done.

People who skydive or bungee jump etc - or- geez ... even snowmobile, often have to sign such waivers. The "hold harmless" waiver.

If people can sign away the responsibility of THEIR LIVES ... why not a gem setting??
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
26,933
I voted, No, (retailer should turn down work that may fail later.)

Let the competitor down the street "make the profit". - It will only hurt them in the long run.

BTW, this may be a good place to mention a pet peeve of mine.
I see many pics of this here on pricescope:
I'm talking about the VERY VERY thin settings that are then made even weaker by cutting into them and mounting a zillion tiny diamonds around the ring.

Sure it's in vogue right now - but is it smart?
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
I have a differing view.........


Just about anything sold has "automatic" warranties unless they are disclaimed in writing.

Such warranties are part of the UCC and the Moss Magnusson Act.

For items that don''t hold up to normal wear, these are subject to "warranty of fitness for a particular purpose"..

In the case of a ring, that means it has to be functional for reasonable everyday wear.

Further these warranties fall under two categories.... Express Warranties ( those generally made in writing )
and Implied Warranties. In layman''s terms that means that the item need to function as it obviously is intended to do. I.E. a plane has to be capable of flying legally. A car has to be drivable.

For warranty documentation of many products, these warranties are disclaimed in writing.

In the event that a customer wants an item made that is made in a fashion that it wouldn''t hold up, the seller is obligated to disclaim that. If he does, then the liability for any problems falls on the consumer. If it isn''t done, then the seller may be held liable for any problems that occured.

There are obvious limitations to this, time being one factor. For example : How long is the item supposed to hold up?
A second example might be the duty of a consumer to maintain the item, such as having the tightness of the stones checked, or cleaning etc.

Additionally the causation of a problem such as losing a stone is important too. If the loss of a stone was due to hitting it, then that is the buyer''s responsibility to fix it.

But like most issues, reasonableness and common sense prevail, as each issue may have individual considerations. But generally, the test is "what would a reasonable person think".


Hope this helps.

Rockdoc
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
4,607
What would happen in the case of a ''cocktail'' style ring, these are surely not made reasonable for everyday wear, so if the ring is made like Kenny said very thin and then diamonds set in, could the supplier claim it was a cocktail style ring and therefore should not have been worn everyday as an engagement ring?
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
As an appraiser, I have an obligation because of NAJA membership, just like those in AGS, ASA, and ISA not to provide incomplete or incorrect documents. A rogue appraiser, one with no accredited memberships has no obligation to provide such complete documentation. If no harm is done, there is no legal recourse for less complete work.


Dave in your paragraph above, there is some recent interesting standards to be aware of. The IRS has issued new standards as of August 2006, that changed as to the requirements of an appraisal and requirements of an appraiser.

While this primarilly serves the issues concerning donation and estate valuations for IRS, persuasive authority of these standards MAY be accepted by a lower court judge in a civil matter.

Briefly, the changes are that an appraiser must have appraisal credentials, which changed from anyone who hold himself to be an appraiser, and that the appraisal document be compliant with industry standards. In those cases where these requirements are not met, the report is to be rejected.

Rockdoc
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I think the jeweler should make whatever the person wants BUT they should require the patron to sign a waver of responsibility akin to an AMA - against medical advice. If someone want a 9 carat round held by three of the tiniest needle prongs ever - that''s their choice, but a jeweler should cover their butt and of course then there is the insurance risk issue hat makes it way more sticky but you didn''t ask about that so I won''t go there lmao!
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
11,071
BTW your answers are such that I personally voted for #4 but I think if''s okay for a jeweler to make whatever the cust wants AND I think it''s okay to deny something you''re not comfortable with. If I was a jeweler and I recommended against something and the emerald was lost I''d have a hard time resisting an "i told you so"
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
11,071
Date: 12/3/2006 2:47:42 PM
Author: kenny
I voted, No, (retailer should turn down work that may fail later.)

Let the competitor down the street ''make the profit''. - It will only hurt them in the long run.

BTW, this may be a good place to mention a pet peeve of mine.
I see many pics of this here on pricescope:
I''m talking about the VERY VERY thin settings that are then made even weaker by cutting into them and mounting a zillion tiny diamonds around the ring.

Sure it''s in vogue right now - but is it smart?
ITA - I think they''re pretty but they''re not the toughness I want for daily wear.
 

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
This poll reminds me of an experience I had with Knox jewelers that went in the opposite way as oldminer''s story. I ordered a custom design through knox jewelers and was told that the design idea I had was too delicate. I can''t remember the exact words, but Brian Knox basically said something like, "This design is not structurally sound. Bottom line, it''s just not sturdy enough to put my name on it."

I really respected him for saying this instead of just making the ring as I wanted. I would have been very disappointed if he had made a ring that was not structurally sound. I have been very happy with my modified design, it was a good compromise between quality and delicacy.

I think it is the expert''s duty to create designs that work and function the way they are supposed to. Customers are often ignorant about their wants and needs, and it is the expert''s job to educate and clarify if a design won''t work. The customer and the vendor should come to a compromise that they are both happy with.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
ITA Kc - every time I see my jeweler I make sure to ask "are you sure this is going to be stong?" etc. because I need it to be tough
 

4themrs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
53
Hmmmm, being a novice at all this stuff, I may be contemplating a custom mount in the future for a gift for my wife,
I think that the jeweler should decide, if they have the skill, they should embrace the opportunity to get a customer for life if they provide top craftmanship and customer service.

When are you going to be posting the results?
 
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