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Jeweler lost stones. What now?

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Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
I have been lurking here for a long time and I believe this to be a wonderful community full of knowledge and support. I hate that my first post has to be about this but I need help.

Here's the background:

I had been wearing my orig rings for 9 yrs when I developed an allergy. After multiple attempts to wear them again over the course of a year, we decided to take my rings in to be reset in plat.

All seemed to be going ok until I received a phone call from the jeweler saying he lost my diamonds. I seriously thought he was joking but then soon realized it was no joke. I'm naturally devastated to know that my rings are no more.


We want to be reimbursed for the full replacement price of my rings so I started to collect updated appraisals. What do you think?

Specs: E-ring custom made 18kt yellow gold 1 center prong w/ side channels
Center stone – princess
4.99 x 4.73 x 3.05
.70 ct
VS-1 – VS-2
H
Good

6 channel set princess (3 on each side of center stone)

Total wt 0.47 ct
VS-1 – VS-2
H
Good

Orig appraisal 10 yrs ago was 5950.00 Now the orig jeweler says 6100.00

Wedding band of 18kt yellow gold w/ 7 channel set princess stones
Total wt .56ct
VS-1 – VS-2
H

Orig 1500.00 Now 1800.00

Do these values sound right? And how many more appraisals should I get?

I greatly appreciate any help.
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
12,578
Oh thats so awful! I am so sorry this has happened. I hope you are going to use a different jeweler to make your new rings.

Maisie
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
14,167
That is horrible! I''m so sorry that you have to go through this.

Unfortunately, as far as I understand, the thing about appraisals is that you need to have the jewelry to get it appraised. You can ask a jeweler for a quote, but that isn''t the same thing as an appraisal for insurance information. So now that the jeweler has lost your stones and ring, the only appraisals you can have are the ones that you had before you handed it over.

Do you have insurance for your ring? Or is your jeweler covering it on their insurance (which they should be!)?

The other slight problem with the details you listed is that you don''t mention if it has a certificate. Is it certified by GIA or AGS? If so, you will need to bring that too. That certificate can ensure that you get a stone that is really equal to the one you have. This will be especially important for the clarity and cut. Since it has a "range", I assume the stone wasn''t certified. Try to get the jeweler to replace it with a VS1 if possible and make SURE you try and define what "good" cut means on your old stone. If your old jeweler where the original ring came from can define what he means by "good" that would be fantastic.

This whole thing is really shady, so make sure you get an independent appraisal before you accept anything in replacement from this new jeweler-except cash of course.

If they are asking for details, and not an appraisal, try and get your old jeweler to write down as MANY details as possible about the original ring so you can be sure you are getting another of equal value if the new jewelers insurance wants to just "replace" it instead of handing over cash.

Good luck!
 

bujiatang

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
91
Good sounds like a GIA cert. If I were you I''d play hardball with this jeweler, and demand he replace the ring.

They''ll likely prefer to replace than pay cash anyway. Sorry about the loss though. I''d be sick with anger.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
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Messages
8,895

I’m sorry to hear of your loss.


This is a post-loss insurance type question that’s a little outside of the norm but most of the professional appraisals are familiar with the process. Online guessing is going to make this whole situation worse. How many appraisals you need is a far less important issue than getting the right one. The appraiser who did the original inspection is probably a fine place to start if they are still available unless they are the jeweler involved or they are not familiar with this type of work. This is not the same sort of assignment as the original appraisal. Have they put their opinion in writing? Have you showed it to the jeweler? What did the jeweler have to say about it?


If you haven’t already done so, talk to the jeweler about it and ask them specifically how they propose to resolve this. Ask them if they have insurance that covers them for this kind of loss and you should be talking to their insurance company or if they will be handling it themselves. ‘Replacement value’ means very different things to different people and you really should nail down what the various participants mean by it. For most insurance companies, this means the expected budget required for them to replace the lost item with another of like kind and quality. On many appraisals that use the term it means something completely different, more like suggested maximum retail asking price. These can be quite different and this difference often leads to an argument where neither side even understands what they’re arguing over because no one has bothered to define their terms.


Is the jeweler working with you towards a solution? What have they suggested?

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

kcoursolle

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
10,589
I''m not sure I''d want to work with a jeweler who has lost my rings. I think I would take his reimbursement in cash and then buy new rings elsewhere. Very strange.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/20/2007 10:41:34 AM
Author: bujiatang
Good sounds like a GIA cert.
GIA doesn''t grade stones with a clarity range so it probably wasn''t graded by them. Ask the original appraiser how they came by the grade conclusions if it''s not in the body of the report already.

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

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
This is a perfect instance for having had a well documented appraisal done previously with plots, photos, and values.

A pertinent question here to ask is if you had the items insured. If you do have an insurance policy, then they will handle settling with the jeweler after paying the claim to you.

Appraisers can value an item with detailed information having not seen the actual item, but needless to say that type of report doesn''t carry as much weight as when someone qualified HAS seen and examined the item.

Photos can help a lot.

In that your "e-ring" was "custom made", WHO made it is rather an important detail as to the valuation of the item.

Updaiting values, particularly for item not seen, is a bit of a challenge when complete information is lacking.

Rockdoc
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
Date: 3/20/2007 11:56:02 AM
Author: kcoursolle
I''m not sure I''d want to work with a jeweler who has lost my rings. I think I would take his reimbursement in cash and then buy new rings elsewhere. Very strange.
Exactly. We are hoping to be reimbursed in full and credited back the deposit paid for the plat setting. Then we can move on and start over.

A friend of mine gave me a name of a jeweler that was a family friend to consult with. I spoke w/ him this morning and he agreed the best approach was to handle it ASAP. He asked if there was a tab attached to our work order that showed est value and when I told him yes, he said that number is what was agreed upon so that is what would be paid. I''m fine w/ that even though it is about 800-1000 less than current appraisal. I just want to move on.

Thank you all for the help and suggestions. DH is placing a call now to see if he can meet w/ the owner today to discuss the situation. I will keep you posted!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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8,895
Date: 3/20/2007 12:43:41 PM
Author: Fire and Ice

He asked if there was a tab attached to our work order that showed est value and when I told him yes, he said that number is what was agreed upon so that is what would be paid.
This is probably not correct. That estimated value when jewelers take in repairs is usually not the same as an agreed amount of liability but this can vary from store to store and state to state and will depend, to a large degree on the source of that value.

1) Talk to the jeweler and/or their insurer if they have one.
2) Talk to an expert who is working for you, not for the jeweler and who has no vested interest in the replacement process.
3) Talk to your own insurer.

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

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
Update:

DH met w/ the owner yesterday. It was not the way he wanted the meeting to go and felt the owner was quite callous in his approach but we have a pending settlement.

They will pay us the amount equal to their estimated value when we left the rings with them (which, btw, is $900 less than the current appraisal) and credit the deposit back for the custom setting. But they will subtract $350 for the value of the 18kt gold from my original setting since they still had it and will let us have it back.

I''m not very happy since I feel they are adding insult to injury by not giving my original setting back to me.

To be continued....
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
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Messages
8,895

How and by whom was this ‘estimated value’ determined at the time you left your rings in their care?


You gave a deposit for a ring that they didn’t end up making and therefore are refunding the deposit. That part sounds reasonable but I don’t understand the deal with the $350 holdback for returning your damaged ring. Are they saying that YOU breached the deal to make a custom ring and are therefore penalizing you for that?


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

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 3/21/2007 4:49:54 PM
Author: Fire and Ice
Update:

DH met w/ the owner yesterday. It was not the way he wanted the meeting to go and felt the owner was quite callous in his approach but we have a pending settlement.

They will pay us the amount equal to their estimated value when we left the rings with them (which, btw, is $900 less than the current appraisal) and credit the deposit back for the custom setting. But they will subtract $350 for the value of the 18kt gold from my original setting since they still had it and will let us have it back.

I''m not very happy since I feel they are adding insult to injury by not giving my original setting back to me.

To be continued....
oh no no no... oh no HELL no no no....

give my back my setting. Give my back my deposit. Give me cash for what you lost. Period. ..... and walk away quickly.... anything and I mean anything less... not pretty...
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,461
Date: 3/21/2007 5:15:21 PM
Author: Cehrabehra

Date: 3/21/2007 4:49:54 PM
Author: Fire and Ice
Update:

DH met w/ the owner yesterday. It was not the way he wanted the meeting to go and felt the owner was quite callous in his approach but we have a pending settlement.

They will pay us the amount equal to their estimated value when we left the rings with them (which, btw, is $900 less than the current appraisal) and credit the deposit back for the custom setting. But they will subtract $350 for the value of the 18kt gold from my original setting since they still had it and will let us have it back.

I''m not very happy since I feel they are adding insult to injury by not giving my original setting back to me.

To be continued....
oh no no no... oh no HELL no no no....

give my back my setting. Give my back my deposit. Give me cash for what you lost. Period. ..... and walk away quickly.... anything and I mean anything less... not pretty...

Agreed. This isn''t okay at all. You owe them NOTHING.
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
Date: 3/21/2007 5:11:34 PM
Author: denverappraiser

How and by whom was this ‘estimated value’ determined at the time you left your rings in their care?



You gave a deposit for a ring that they didn’t end up making and therefore are refunding the deposit. That part sounds reasonable but I don’t understand the deal with the $350 holdback for returning your damaged ring. Are they saying that YOU breached the deal to make a custom ring and are therefore penalizing you for that?



Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
The jeweler who was going to work on the new setting was the one who quickly looked at the rings and gave them an estimated value. They aren''t saying we breached the deal at all. I think they just want to hold onto an extra $1250 (900 difference in value + $350 for gold). It''s such a petty amount knowing the kind of jewelry they work on daily. And it''s not even about the money, I just can''t believe they would treat customers this way.


After giving it more thought, DH & I are going to sleep on it tonight and we may contact an attorney tomorrow. Part of me wants to be done and move on but I also don''t want to be taken advantage of.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
The jeweler set the value, based on a quick glance?

Seems a bit one sided, if they intentionally sub value the articles they are receiving.

This MIGHT even be perceived, as them having a motiveor incentive to have losses, particualrly if the value is less than the item is really worth.

Has the jeweler made an attempt to explain how the loss occured, or does he openly admits that it is due to carelessness and/or negligence?

In your particular instance, I would suggest you go to someone who understands valuing for bailment issues, who has no axe to grind either for or against either you or the jeweler, and inform the jeweler who lost the stones that you expect him to pay the fees for an independent valuation. Generally you won't find a jewler that understands or is independent in their valuation approach. If you close to Neil, he certainly understands these type of valuations, ring him up and chat with him on the phone. If you're not close to Neil, there should be someone else that should be able to help you with this.

It would of course be a large "help" if you can provide this expert with as much documentation, photos, labs reports etc, to assist him in a basis for the quality of the missiing items.

If you're cancellng the transaction - you need to put back the identical place you were before the loss occured.

The valuation should also include any costs to put the ring back in the condition it was in when you started with this as well.

Rockdoc
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
RockDoc,

The jeweler spent no more than 2 minutes looking at the ring: He confirmed the size by our statement and his glance. Then he looked at the stones under a microscope just to verify there weren''t any major chips or cracks. He counted the stones and gave a description of them and the setting to the clerk who typed it into the work order form.

No attempt has been made to explain what happened other than "I''m sorry. I''ve never done anything like this." He says he lost the diamonds and the last time he remembers seeing them was the middle of last week. However, I believe they have been gone much longer because the rings should have been done weeks ago. Everytime I called, I got "They''ll be done next week." or 2 weeks later... "You''ll have them by the end of this week." I feel like there has been some stalling going on.

I only have the original appraisal and the updated appraisal for documentation. I do not have lab reports, certificates, or photos (unless you count the one from our wedding day).

I''m sure my next ring will be so well documented it would make anyone choke. lol
 

Maisie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
12,578
How can someone just lose a persons diamonds though..... its so strange. He must be so careless.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Date: 3/21/2007 7:17:40 PM
Author: Fire and Ice
RockDoc,

The jeweler spent no more than 2 minutes looking at the ring: He confirmed the size by our statement and his glance. Then he looked at the stones under a microscope just to verify there weren''t any major chips or cracks. He counted the stones and gave a description of them and the setting to the clerk who typed it into the work order form.

No attempt has been made to explain what happened other than ''I''m sorry. I''ve never done anything like this.'' He says he lost the diamonds and the last time he remembers seeing them was the middle of last week. However, I believe they have been gone much longer because the rings should have been done weeks ago. Everytime I called, I got ''They''ll be done next week.'' or 2 weeks later... ''You''ll have them by the end of this week.'' I feel like there has been some stalling going on.

I only have the original appraisal and the updated appraisal for documentation. I do not have lab reports, certificates, or photos (unless you count the one from our wedding day).

I''m sure my next ring will be so well documented it would make anyone choke. lol
The thoroughness of a properly prepared and totally completely detailed appraisal when you need it is priceless, and when one considers what is spent on the gems, the design, the material, and the labor, of a nice item, the appraisal is the least expensive part of the project.

In the "beginning" it does seem like it isn''t needed, but like insurance it is better to have it and NOT need it, than need it and not have it.

If the original or updated documentation, is complete enough, an advanced, credentialed appraiser can provide you with a very accurate report as to the costs, that need to be considered in resolving this matter.

Is the jeweler a gemologist? Is he educated, trained and experienced and TESTED by an appraisal organization? If he isn''t, well my advice would be to search appraiser resources tab here, review the resumes posted, and do what I always say........... "Appraise the Appraiser"...... get the best guy will make differences in this matter.

If you have decided to discuss the situation with an attorney, ask him about mediation or arbitration, as it is a lot less costly and stressful than litigation.

Several of us here are Certified Mediators, if that would help.

I am assuming that since you didn''t mention if the item was insured that is wasn''t?

Rockdoc
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,895
This settlement offer is ridiculous.
This valuation methodology is ridiculous.

You seem to be putting a lot of confidence in your most recent appraisal as being the ‘correct’ value to be using and that a payment of anything less than what it says is evidence that the jeweler treating you unfairly. This is not necessarily any more reasonable than the jewelers magic eyeball approach. It’s quite likely that the appraisal was describing a completely different situation and consequently the value conclusion may be irrelevant but you really need to decide what from that appraisal may be applicable to the situation at hand. Is the appraiser who wrote your appraisal still in business? Are they associated with either the store you’re having trouble with or the store where you bought the piece? Have you spoken with them? Did you buy the piece from the store that you’re fighting with?


If you have insurance, I’m with Rocdoc that you should call up your insuror, file a claim and let them deal with the jeweler. This is almost certainly a covered loss and that’s what you’re paying them for.


The damages definitely include the cost to restore the piece, not just the stones. If they don’t return the mounting or it’s been damaged beyond what can be repaired, the damages would include the cost to remake or replace the piece in it’s entirety.


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


 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
7,255
Date: 3/21/2007 5:15:21 PM
Author: Cehrabehra

Date: 3/21/2007 4:49:54 PM
Author: Fire and Ice
Update:

DH met w/ the owner yesterday. It was not the way he wanted the meeting to go and felt the owner was quite callous in his approach but we have a pending settlement.

They will pay us the amount equal to their estimated value when we left the rings with them (which, btw, is $900 less than the current appraisal) and credit the deposit back for the custom setting. But they will subtract $350 for the value of the 18kt gold from my original setting since they still had it and will let us have it back.

I''m not very happy since I feel they are adding insult to injury by not giving my original setting back to me.

To be continued....
oh no no no... oh no HELL no no no....

give my back my setting. Give my back my deposit. Give me cash for what you lost. Period. ..... and walk away quickly.... anything and I mean anything less... not pretty...
I could not have said it any better myself! This is terrible and completely unacceptable. I am so sorry this happened and I hope that you get what you deserve here.
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139

I can''t thank all of you enough for your thoughts and time.


DH spoke w/ the owner again today and I believe we''ve finally reached the end of this saga. When DH said we wanted the appraised value, the deposit, and the orig setting back the owner was much nicer this time around. The owner said he would be willing to work with us by giving us stones of like value and comp the setting but he understood if we just wanted a check so would give us their est value, deposit, and orig setting (w/out charge). DH explained that the new stones & setting would not be my ring meaning that w/out the original stones it had lost all sentimental value. Therefore, we would most likely want the value of the orig rings so we could just start over and upgrade. The owner told DH that they would work with us if we wanted to do that too.

(I wish the owner had taken this approach earlier in the week. This would be an entirely different story.) DH said he would talk to me first and we would give him an answer on Mon.


I''m almost 95% sure that I would prefer the check so we can start over.


However, I would like input on the 1st option of replacing the stones into the comp setting. Here are my thoughts: It''s not my ring and I feel I will always have negative emotions tied to it so it would simply be something to wear until we upgrade in a few years. And then what do we do with it? Can I get the full value out of it if we sell? I''m thinking no, so it would be best to go ahead and upgrade now.

 

risingsun

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
5,549
If I were in this situation, I would insist upon being reimbursed and start over with a new jeweler. I wouldn''t trust that jeweler to work on another project. I''m sorry that you have been through such a difficult time.
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
Risingsun, that''s exactly what I think too which is why I just want to start over. And when I say start over I mean completely and with a new jeweler.


DH and I are going out today to try on rings around town so I can get a feel for what I like. I had a princess cut but a RB is in the running so I need to make that decision first and then what size.

I''m sure everyone will see me on the boards for a while as we design new rings.
 

Diamond*Dana

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
7,255
I agree. I think that with the attitude this jeweler already demonstrated with you, I would go elsewhere to complete my ring. Good luck to you.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Not that it matters now, but did he say HOW they lost them, were yours the only ones, etc?

I am so sorry! It must make you feel sick inside, but hopefully it will be resolved soon!
 

Fire and Ice

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 5, 2006
Messages
139
Diamond*Dana - I couldn''t agree more. I will certainly be taking my business to someone else . I''m learning so much from PS and also finding better places to shop.


Diamondfan - No, he never said how he lost them or any other info. I guess it doesn''t really matter at this point since I''ll never know.


DH and I looked at settings and a few stones on Sat and didn''t find anything we liked. I can tell this will be a very long process.... I can''t even decide if I want another princess center stone or switch to a RB.
 
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