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Just realized I was sold a clarity enhanced diamond...

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by JenRN, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. JenRN
    Rough_Rock

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    by JenRN » Jan 11, 2019
    hi all,
    Newbie here. Prior to joining this group and doing research, I purchased a 2.35 ct, graded H and I1 from a local jeweler who came recommended. The grading was based on their appraisal and it was not certified but I trusted them because friends have used them. After realizing I wasn’t happy with the round stone, I reached out to the sales lady and told her I wanted something different, radiant or oval. She was quite rude so I sent out a search to maybe trade this diamond in with a different jeweler. I was getting a lot of push back from jewelers about what a bad stone it is. I reached out to the jeweler again and this time the sales lady told me I need to learn to be happy and not worry about grading, the money I spent with them ($14,000) wasn’t really all that much money, etc. I talked to the owner and he apologized and assured me he would find me what I wanted and asked that I give him a month to find what I asked for, especially since he had a trade show coming up in February. I initially agreed to that but Came to find out that it appears this diamond had a fracture filing and this was obviously not told to me. I got it looked at by a master gemologist and haVe the documentation to prove it. So essentially it’s fraud now. Would you wait a month to see what the jeweler can find or call them out now and demand a refund or a replacement t diamond sooner? I’m not asking for anything crazy, either an elongated radiant, emerald or oval within the $11,500 I spent for this stone. Just wondering if I should be patient and see if he gives me more bang for my buck or call them out and demand money back or a diamond sooner. Thank you all!
     
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  2. lovedogs
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    by lovedogs » Jan 11, 2019
    That is fraud, plain and simple. Do NOT use them again or give them a month. Demand the $$ back and let us find you somethig worth your hard earned money!! Tell them you are happy to report them to the BBB if they don't agree to a full refund.
     
  3. yssie
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    by yssie » Jan 11, 2019
    I'm honestly not sure if it's fraud in a legal sense if they didn't tell you that it wasn't clarity-enhanced. Sketchy? Most definitely. But fraud? If you didn't ask and they didn't volunteer an untruth, in words or in writing... I don't know that an omission counts.

    But here's my question: now that you know how this jeweller operates, morally and ethically, why on earth is giving them a chance to screw you over again with some new stone even on the table?
     
  4. lovedogs
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    by lovedogs » Jan 11, 2019
    Good point. Maybe not exactly fraud, but insanely sketchy and dishonest. And still something I would report. Especially if OP has their appraisal and it doesn't say CE.
     
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  5. JPie
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    by JPie » Jan 11, 2019
    Count me in as another who's not sure whether the jeweler committed fraud. It depends on what information they disclosed at the time of purchase. Yssie is right about it being shady and I agree with cutting your losses and getting a refund ASAP.
     
  6. sledge
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    by sledge » Jan 11, 2019
    I am curious -- was it $14,000 or $11,500 you spent? You gave two different numbers.

    Legal case for fraud? Not sure. But this vendor has violated your trust and I absolutely would not give him a second chance. No sense in waiting. Just negotiate a refund.

    After you get your money back....

     
  7. Karl_K
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  8. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 11, 2019
    Thank you all. I agree with not trusting them again but they also accused me of getting it looked at because I was looking for a refund. Sketchy, just like you said. I spent $11,500 for the diamond but total with setting was close to $14,000. When I spoke to the gemologist he stated that you have to disclose if a diamond has been clarity enhanced and you can not claim ignorance in a court of law. It is fraud, from what he said because you are selling a diamond as something it’s not. He goes to court quite frequently about this. I agree that I should just get this in writing and present it to the jeweler and tell them I want a refund and NOT another diamond.
     
  9. JPie
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    by JPie » Jan 11, 2019
    It sounds like the clarity enhancement wasn't disclosed in the appraisal, which works in your favor. I hope you get a full refund!
     
  10. sledge
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    by sledge » Jan 11, 2019
    Honestly, I wouldn't want the setting or diamond given the situation.

    Might be worth getting some legal advise before doing more. Present the attorney a copy of the article @Karl_K linked along with all your paperwork. I'd move very strategically from here.

    I think @MollyMalone is an attorney. She may have some other guidance or suggestions.
     
  11. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 11, 2019
    Thank you for this!
     
  12. Crazie4Cuts
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    by Crazie4Cuts » Jan 11, 2019
    Perhaps also seek out legal advice and ask the gemologist who did the appraisal if there is an attorney to assist you. I think that this would mean you are definitely serious and want to receive your refund! I think that accusing you to have your diamond / ring looked at by a gemologist was a good thing you did (and really none of their business)
     
  13. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Jan 11, 2019
    If you end up going the lawyer route I would ask the gemologist who it was that he has worked with in these type of cases who has won a judgement.
    Someone who is familiar with these type of cases may be better.
    The problem with a judgement is actually getting the money.
     
  14. JenRN
    Rough_Rock

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    by JenRN » Jan 11, 2019
    Exactly, none of their business. And if you
    Sold a quality stone like you claimed, you would encourage an appraisal and evaluation.
     
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  15. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 11, 2019
    Ok thank you. I will see what he says and go from there. Fingers crossed a lawyer isn’t needed but I guess you never know
     
  16. sledge
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    by sledge » Jan 11, 2019
    Sounds like you are dealing with a snake, so proceed with caution. Hope you don't need a lawyer either but visiting with one doesn't require you to utilize the legal system. He/she can just guide you on the best way to proceed so you don't compromise any legal rights in the event this does need to go to court.

    While all details are fresh, establish a written & detailed time line of events with specific dates & times. Things like when you paid, when you got the finished ring, when you made initial contact to express dissatisfaction, when you contacted other jewelers, when you made the second contact, when you spoke to the owner, etc.

    Also, establish a written diary of events for everything that has happened to date. Be as specific as possible. Remove your emotion. List facts. Identify people by names, position/title, etc. This and your time line should be in sync with one another. If you have had email communications print/attach these to your diary as proof.

    Gather all your paper work, including appraisals, sales receipts, refund policies, buyback policies, etc. Be familiar with all the policies.

    Utilize email communications to notify jeweler of expectations/desires. If jeweler elects to call you, then document the conversation and send a "confirming email" detailing out the conversation. Goes something like this:

    "Confirming our conversations earlier this afternoon, you have agreed to accept my diamond & setting sold on xx/xx/xx for $14,000 total and agree to a 100% refund as long as I return the stone & setting by xx/xx/xx.

    Thank you for your help and diligence in the matter. It is most appreciated.

    If you have a different understanding, please respond to this email with corrections. Otherwise, I will assume you are in agreement with the above information."

     
  17. Crazie4Cuts
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    by Crazie4Cuts » Jan 11, 2019
    Another thing, did you pay by credit card for your ring? If so, You may also want to contact your credit card company and find out about restricting payment since you now have documentation that the purchase you made was not what you received. And that you do have consumer protection rights. Here’s a link but for California:https://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/m_1.shtml

    I would have your Fiancé go with you as well and let the jeweler know that you have changed your mind and you want an immediate refund. DO NOT wait until the jeweler ‘comes back’ from the show in February. This situation may get tense as I am pretty positive he will not just ‘credit’ you back with $14,000. He will probably persuade you to wait and when you see him again he will try to put you off. Under no circumstance should you do this. When you see him next and I am hoping that will be soon—you have all your information, laws that protect consumer information and legal advice ready. Meaning even having attorney business card ready to show him. I know going ape on this sounds extreme, but if you don’t raise the level of this situation and that you want an immediate refund you may then be stuck with a ring you don’t want because you waited too long ‘hoping’ he found a better stone for you.

    And don’t leave his business until you get your refund! No matter who is in the store or how U G L Y it gets, hold your own and get immediate payment. And not a voucher, gift card or another ring as compensation. I hate being scr*wed! I wouldn’t want you to start out your life with a ring you know for sure is NOT what you thought you purchased!
    -C4C
    PS. I do think that Sledge said above to create a time line of when events happened and document your discussion when you met with the owner/jeweler is important, but I also think It is also ok to change your mind and let the owner/jeweler know that you want an immediate refund as this decision is best in both yours and his interest!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  18. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 12, 2019 at 4:55 AM
    This is a great idea! I will work on this over the weekend and get some advice on Monday prior to contacting them again. And I will get their email address to confirm everything. Thank you for this. Thankfully I have a great memory, especially with dates!
     
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  19. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 12, 2019 at 4:58 AM
    Thank you! I am getting all of the documentation on Tuesday so I’m going to make my time line this weekend and get some advice on Monday (hopefully) so that I can proceed next week. I don’t want to wait any longer and don’t want to see what else he can gather. And really, who takes a month to find a diamond? I’m just really hurt and disappointed. Also, we used cash/debit card so unfortunately it’s all paid for already. I will certainly post an update.
     
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  20. Johnbt
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    by Johnbt » Jan 12, 2019 at 7:23 AM
    I'd be at the jeweler's front door when he opened Monday with a copy of the fraud law pertaining to diamonds. Then I'd ask how he wanted me to deal with the situation. He would get one chance to answer correctly. (I'd take cash; no checks, no promises. I'd wait while he went to the bank.)

    I'm a nice guy most days. I'm retired and a newlywed, but now I'm old and grouchy with some aches and pains and I've always hated cheats and liars. If he didn't pay up I'd get a lawyer and I'd head to the courthouse and then I'd spread the word to everyone who would listen. I might even call the local tv station that does the channel-12-on-your-side consumer segments. I'd make the guy my hobby. Grrrr.
     
  21. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 12, 2019 at 9:35 AM
    I love this!! I will get everything in writing Tuesday morning from the gemologist and you can bet I will go in. I’m not going to call and give warning but go in with my documentation and give him a chance for a refund, in cash (like you said) and if there are any issues, I am
    Most def getting a lawyer at that point. I am going to write my timeline out as well for back up. What a disaster but def a lesson learned. Maybe that’s why the sales girl was mad I went and had it looked at. Makes total sense now.
     
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  22. rockysalamander
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    by rockysalamander » Jan 12, 2019 at 10:05 AM

    I chatted with a friend who is an experienced Assistant AG in our state. Here's the summary of what we discussed had this happened to me (trying to remain out of my states specific laws which are stricter). He said, about 10 times, to consult a private attorney in the state of the event and be sure you understand their fees up-front. I am not an attorney and simply providing guidance if I were in this situation.

    Stay focused on the only point that matters. They failed to disclose the treatment of the diamond. Failing to do so is an "unfair or deceptive act or practice" (USC 15 section 45(a)(a)) which is fraud. That is a violation of FTC Disclosure Rules. The FTC rule does not exempt the seller for lack of knowledge either, they had an obligation to disclose. Clarity enhancement requires direct, point of sale disclosure as it is not a "permanent" treatment. The fracture-filling can be melted out during routine jewelry repair without care and foreknowledge. A placard on the counter or "for more information read this..." is not sufficient to treatments that are not permanent (laser drilling is permanent and could be argued to not require such direct POS disclosure). It also does not matter if you paid a fair price for a clarity enhanced diamond as opposed to a natural one. They failed to disclose the treatment. Do not get into fair-value. It is irrelevant. The only point covered under the FTC is that is is an "unfair and deceptive act or practice" (cited above) and they had a legal obligation to provide a direct, point of sale disclosure. Nothing else is relevant. Don't get distracted or baited. To the extent you can, remain polite and calm. Do not interrupt them every 10 seconds. Let them speak. When people speak they often give you important information.

    You want a full cash refund or transfer back to your account of the payment, which you will phone your back from the store to confirm before leaving the store. You paid cash, you get cash back. You may need to eat the cost of the setting, as it is not subject to this FTC Rule. Also, while FTC rules are called rules, they have the legal effect of being a law. Its simply semantics. Do not sign any silly waivers or non-disclosure agreements. The law does not provide them with the right to require one and you have no obligation to sign one.

    Bring at least one, and better yet, two witnesses. You BF can come and be an active participant. An attorney would be my first choice as the 2nd person. Failing that, the other party will be stoic and silent. They are simply an observer. This person is ideally a very calm person with an excellent memory and little facial reaction. They will not jump into the conversation or get red-faced. They are not there to influence the situation or to intimidate, simply to offer a clear memory of the event outside the emotions of the other parties. If you do not get your refund (or are asked to leave at any time), before any of your party members speak or exchange anything other than "OMG" or "ACK". Sit in a car or someplace nearby and each person, independently, writes down what happened from beginning to end. The facts and the actions. So, have 3 notepads or typing devices handy.

    Many states have more stringent rules. If they resist, contact the state's Attorney General's Office.
     
  23. LLJsmom
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    by LLJsmom » Jan 12, 2019 at 2:18 PM
    @lovedogs @yssie @sledge @JPie @rockysalamander @Johnbt @Crazie4Cuts @Karl_K
    Thread jack for a second. You guys are awesome. This is the absolute best advice ever. In fact this thread should also be a sticky. You guys are all on fire with such practical advice and helpful information.
    @JenRN good luck and hope it all turns out in your favor. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. But you sure have come to the right place to ask for help. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes for you.
     
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  24. cokitty
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    by cokitty » Jan 12, 2019 at 2:53 PM
    I wouldn't wait a day. Return the diamond for a full refund right now and leave and do not come back. They have mislead you, been rude, and are now giving you a run around. If this goes to court waiting a month would be a major strike against you. Walk away while you can.
     
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  25. Swirl68
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    by Swirl68 » Jan 12, 2019 at 7:35 PM
    I'm curious what the appraisal from the seller DID say.
    I wonder if the clarity enhancement could have been described in language the OP did not recognize as clarity enhancement? Is there a standard way it must be worded on appraisals?
     
  26. rockhoundofficiando
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    by rockhoundofficiando » Jan 13, 2019 at 1:00 AM
    I wonder too if the receipt and/or appraisal had "CE" written on it somewhere. Dishonest or not, this was apparently an established jeweler. Surely he would be aware of the law necessitating disclosure of clarity enhancement.
     
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  27. sledge
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    by sledge » Jan 13, 2019 at 1:35 AM
    Hey @JenRN, can you post a copy of your appraisal? Be sure to black out any confidential information (name, address, etc).

    My 2 cents is simply stating CE on a cert would not alleviate the seller of the responsibility to properly make the buyer aware they are buying a clarity enhanced stone. I haven't read the entire article that was posted but it may detail out methodologies of how to properly inform buyers so they can avoid litigation.
     
  28. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Jan 13, 2019 at 11:38 AM
    This is why a lawyer may be needed.
    Case law says anything presented after the money was paid or buried in small print was not disclosure.
    It went to the appeals court level and was upheld.
    The case off the top of my head was either blockbuster or gamestop and involved used games.
     
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  29. rockysalamander
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    by rockysalamander » Jan 13, 2019 at 11:54 AM
    I agree on the lawyer...and each state has different regulation that are on top of federal rules.

    I doubt that saying "CE" will be sufficient to meet the point-of-sale disclosure (keeping in mind I'm not a lawyer). More and more it seems judges are leaning toward a 'plain language' version of this. You see this in a range of FTC rules (banking, ATM feeds, etc.). Wasn't there also a big case around Yehuda diamonds being sold through Genesis?
     
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  30. JenRN
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    by JenRN » Jan 14, 2019 at 7:07 AM
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
     
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