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Diamond swapping at national chain store

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Fire131

Rough_Rock
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Mar 18, 2009
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4
1 1/2 mos. ago I took my 3/4 princess cut diamond to a national chain store and had the diamond set in a new semi-mount. The solitaire was purchased for $4200 at the same chain store 10 yrs ago, but at a different location. The diamond was inspected, weighed and dimensions of the solitaire were taken before the jeweler set it that same day.

About 2 weeks ago, the solitaire fell out and I took back to the jewelry store to have reset. The mgr inspected the diamond to make sure there were no scratches or cracks, said there were none and valued the diamond at $4700. They wrote me a claim ticket and said it would take a week. Earlier this week I went to pick up my ring, and immediately noticed that it was not my original diamond. I am not a diamond expert, but I owned that diamond for 10 yrs and admired it 100 times a day for the entire time I owned it. The shape was different, the color was yellowish, it did not have the same brilliance, and when inspected under the scope, it had a huge flaw in it that was never there before. I brought it to the mgr''s attention, and he measured it using a special diamond gauge. He pulled my original paperwork and the specs did not match up to the specs taken by their own people 1 1/2 mos when I purchased the semi-mount. Despite that, he swore up and down it was my diamond but promised to take it up with his manager. We refused to accept it and left it there.

The next day the store mgr talked to my fiancee and said that he pulled my receipt from 10 yrs ago and the current diamond fits the "general description" of the original purchase. All the old receipt says is the SKU # 3/4 PC and some other description he couldn''t explain, and the price. As far as I''m concerned, "generally" does not mean "exactly". I think Webster''s would agree. In any event, based on this "general" description, the mgr swore up and down again that this was my diamond. When my fiancee asked him to value the current diamond, the mgr said it was worth $2200.

Unfortunately, I don''t have a GIA certification, laser inscription or independent appraisal. Therefore, I understand it is my word against theirs. But let me reiterate the reasons why its not my diamond: 1. appearance alone (and my intimate knowledge of it); 2. specs do not match; and 3) based on mgr''s opinion, diamond is only worth $2200 today but was $4700 2 weeks ago and $4200 10 yrs ago. Am I missing something here? Can a gemologist on this site please explain to me what is going on?

By the way, I spoke with the regional mgr today who is looking into this problem and who assures me it will be resolved to my satisfaction. They better hope so, I''m getting married in 1 month and will have no problem turing into a bridezilla
 

Gailey

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
3,778
Fire, I''m sorry that this has happened to you and I hope the store resolve the matter to your satisfaction. I''m afraid I don''t have any advice that might help you - except BREATE, and then do it again and again slowly.

I would be very interested in hearing the opinion of more experienced people here as to how you avoid a thing like this happening in the first place. Especially for people who don''t have a certificate from GIA or other such lab.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
If your ring is insured. I would call your insurance tell them what you think happened. Then ask them if there is anything they can do on your behalf.
 

beach

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
714
I live in Tampa too and I am sorry to hear about what happened. I had a bad experience at Continental Jewelry. They were just terrible and their sales/business tactics were very sleazy!! Hope it wasn't them! Ended up going with Avant Gold on Dale Mabry and they were great!!! Of course, an independent appraisal would have provided objective proof for your case but it does not look like you ever had one done? With that, I would put as much pressure on this company as possible to fix things. If it does not get fixed, maybe contact Fox 13 on your side and they may investigate for you and play it on the news. I would be getting all correspondence with this company in writing. Confirm everything by email because words mean nothing and phone conversations will not hold up in any arbitration. The regional manager could deny everything you just stated and you will have nothing to prove otherwise.
 

purrfectpear

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
4,079
There is more wrong than a different diamond.

Diamonds don''t just "fall out" of a setting that is less than 2 months old. What kind of workmanship do they have going there
 

Fire131

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4
Thanks for your reply beach. I have taken extensive notes on all of the conversations. Additionally, I have talked to my boss (who is a Tampa lawyer practicing for 30 yrs) and he is ready and willing to jump in and assist if the store does not fix this. I will definitely be more cautious but this particular store is not a fly by night company. They have been in business for like 100 yrs and I had absolutely no problem with them 10 yrs ago. That''s why I went back there. But can you see how illogical it is, when the specs don''t match and the value is $2500 less w/i 2 weeks? Hope someone can offer me a reasonable explanation, as I have yet to receive one from the store. I just want my diamond back (which I''m sure is long gone) or to get a new diamond of my choosing for the amount I purchased for ($4200). I don''t think that is unreasonable.
 

sillygoose

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4
This is unfortunate for you, but this does happen.
I (shudder) used to work for a "chain store".... (so sorry) and when the diamonds are sent out for repair and you take your claim ticket, in our store, we shipped them to a "home store", to have the diamond reset by an UNQUALIFIED group of "want to be jewelers".
Then a week later, they ship the merchandise back to us. But....... NOT always do they send back even the right merchandise at all.
And yes, MORE than a handful of times, diamond swapping occur.
The best advice I can give you is to call there HOME office, send them ANYTHING you can with proof of what you are saying, and they should make it right with you.

Good luck sweetie~
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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8,189
Wow- that''s a bummer!!!

I agree with PUrrfect in asking how the diamond was set seeing that it fell out after such a short period of time.


I''d be peeved as heck if I was you- but the advice to stay calm is obviously sound.
In terms of the value assigned, that''s not what I''d focus on necessarily- as it sounded like a wild guess.


I don;t know if it''s possible, but I think getting back the cash so you can buy another diamond is what I''d shoot for.
 

beach

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
714
No problem. Did they weigh the stone too or just take the dimensions? It can still be done, but it is hard to find a stone that exactly matches the weight and dimensions of the stone you dropped off. The numbers will likely vary unless they have a huge inventory to choose from and they can find a stone with the exact dimensions. How much variance were in the numbers? There is always a little becasue it matters where they placed the gauge on the diamond. But it should be very close. Good to hear you have a lawyer ready to help out. In cases like these, a simple letter with the lawyers letterhead on it takes care of things very quickly. Most companies will just want to settle the issue to avoid litigation.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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10,648
Call the BBB to step in and it will be resolved lickity split! No one wants a bad feedback from them.
 

vintagelover229

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jan 23, 2008
Messages
3,517
Oh hun, I''m sorry this has happened to you. I''m sure everything will work out okay in the long run. You desirve your diamond back, and worst case, you have a lawyer get involved and get you the $$ your stone was worth...and maybe...(if u can do this) you can buy from a PS vendor. HUGS! I''m terribly sorry, esp. during thisi stressful wedding planning time!
 

JasonFaber

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Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
74
Date: 3/20/2009 7:02:28 PM
Author: AprilBaby
Call the BBB to step in and it will be resolved lickity split! No one wants a bad feedback from them.
Most stores will try their hardest to try and prevent you from calling the Better Business Bureau. Just tell them strait up...I want the diamond that I had originally brought in, or an exact equivalent, or I call the BBB. If that doesn''t work I will have to get a lawyer and take the next step. Most of the time they will not take you for granted after you say that.
 

atroop711

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
2,844
OMG I''m so sorry..I agree with the others about telling them straight out...to give you your diamond or an equiv (another diamond or cash)..if not you are bringing in the big guns. I hope it works out. let us know
 

Fire131

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I have been doing some research since I posted my story and and the majority of the articles I have read said that most jewelers wouldn''t risk their reputation or business to swap a lesser diamond for a more valuable one. While I do agree with that, this particular store still has not addressed the difference in specs. Before it was set, they took the dimensions and weighed it. My diamond was .85 and 4.5 x 5 mm (rectangular in shape). When the ring came back, they obviously couldn''t weigh it because it was already set, but the dimensions were 4.85 x 5.15. While I appreciate that there is some margin of error, the original specs were taken by one of their own people! I would imagine that a reputable company such as this one would have a certain policy, procedure, or method of measuring to verify accuracy with a fair amount of certainty.

It''s still my word against theirs, but is there an expert on this site who can explain the size difference?
 

Modified Brilliant

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 24, 2005
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1,481
Date: 3/22/2009 12:41:35 PM
Author: Fire131
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I have been doing some research since I posted my story and and the majority of the articles I have read said that most jewelers wouldn''t risk their reputation or business to swap a lesser diamond for a more valuable one. While I do agree with that, this particular store still has not addressed the difference in specs. Before it was set, they took the dimensions and weighed it. My diamond was .85 and 4.5 x 5 mm (rectangular in shape). When the ring came back, they obviously couldn''t weigh it because it was already set, but the dimensions were 4.85 x 5.15. While I appreciate that there is some margin of error, the original specs were taken by one of their own people! I would imagine that a reputable company such as this one would have a certain policy, procedure, or method of measuring to verify accuracy with a fair amount of certainty.

It''s still my word against theirs, but is there an expert on this site who can explain the size difference?
I''m truly sorry for your experience.

I''ll briefly address the "size" difference.
Not every store within this company has qualified employees I''m sure.
By qualified, I mean not trained in estimating diamond weights when a diamond is mounted.
Furthermore, gauges to measure could be different from store to store; some could be very basic
and some could be the latest digital gauge. I''ve seen stores use everything from a $4.00 sliding brass gauge
to an old outdated leveridge gauge from the 1960''s.
Estimating weight, especially fancy cuts is challenging to those that are not trained.
Estimating depth is especially a problem.
Most large national chain stores have no formal training in diamond weight estimation or proper
use of the instruments...and as you learned...little or no training in valuation (that''s a topic for another time).
Does this store have access to a local "independent" appraiser that could come to the store, look at
your diamond, and act as an arbitrator?

I hope this is helpful.

www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 

Fire131

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4
The saga continues...

The store has now sent the diamond off to the guy who originally inspected it and that guy says the specs "almost" match up with his original valuation. Therefore, the store has concluded that it is my original diamond and won''t do anything about it. If what they are telling me is true, why won''t they release to me their findings in writing or give me copies of the paperwork?

The store has not even addressed the difference in value either. They could not explain how when I dropped it off the mgr valued the stone at $4700, then a week later it is valued at $2200. When I had it set in the new mount 2 months ago the jeweler at that time said it was worth $3800. When I bought the stone 10 yrs ago it was $4200. I am at a total loss as to how they do business this way. Needless to say, I will never do business with this jewelry store ever again. I''m going to ask for a refund on the new semi-mount and deal with the diamond in court. If there is anything positive that has resulted from this, its that I am definitely more educated and aware and will be more cautious when it comes to diamonds.
 

babyness

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
30
Date: 3/28/2009 11:07:06 AM
Author: Fire131
The saga continues...


The store has now sent the diamond off to the guy who originally inspected it and that guy says the specs ''almost'' match up with his original valuation. Therefore, the store has concluded that it is my original diamond and won''t do anything about it.
I don''t understand why "almost" in their eyes means "exact."

I am no words of wisdom or so I have any help on what you should do next, but wanted to say that I am so sorry that you are going through this Fire...
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,251
This is crazy! It should be easy enough to tell by the mm size, weight, colour, and clarity if it is or is not the same diamond.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,751
So they told you it was ‘worth’ $2200, or $4400 or $4200 or some such thing, but they haven’t told you what it is or what it was beyond the fact that it’s almost the same as what it was when you dropped it off.

That’s nuts.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

beach

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
714
I think that you are placing too much control in the hands of the very people that are possibly screwing you. I would be contacting the better business bureau. I am sure you know about Fox 13 doing investigations of fraud in the Tampa area. I would contact them as well. Good luck!
 

MMT

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
2,565
Just wanted to tell you that I''m so sorry your going through all this
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 3/30/2009 9:15:12 AM
Author: MMT
Just wanted to tell you that I''m so sorry your going through all this
Ditto!

I hope this gets resolved soon in a way that is satisfactory, and one that does not involve deception and theft from a valued customer.
 

DiamondFlame

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 7, 2009
Messages
680
If I'd worn a diamond for 10 years, I bet I'd be able to spot a switch in less than a minute. Probably without a loupe either!
Every diamond has it's unique character...and you certainly know yours.

I'm sorry about your experience and if I were you, I'd want my exact stone back even if they were to offer one with slightly better dimensions. A diamond you've worn daily for the past 10 years is very personal. I'd have got personal with them and fire a rocket up their...


Anyway, I think the store made a real mess of it. Losses in transit happen all the time. The least they could do was inform you of the loss rather than to pass off another for your stone, and offer to replace the loss with another diamond of better dimension and quality (since they screwed up).
 
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