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Platinum Memoire band altered by Charleston Alexander

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suckeredinmaryland

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Feb 17, 2009
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Has anyone has any problems using Charleston Alexander Jewelers in Bethesda, MD? I ask because my fiance bought (on October 1, 2008) a platinum 1.0 carat shared prong e-ring into which he had them put a center stone. When setting the center stone, for some unknown reason, they used 14k white gold solder. The ring immediately started turning yellow where the prongs meet the band and Charleston Alexander will do nothing to correct the problem. They altered a perfectly beautiful, new Memoire ring and will not provide any corrections to the problem that they created? Any advice on how to proceed?
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I would contact Memoire directly. If you go to their website, they have contact information. I don't know what their policy is on other jewelers setting stones in their mountings but I'm sure they would not want to hear of this type of workmanship. Perhaps they could help you work something out with Charleston Alexander.

Memoire produces really fine quality rings - I have their five stone band. It is a real shame to have one of their rings botched in this way. Charleston Alexander should go out of their way to make you, their customer, happy as well. Did you ask to speak to the manager about this situation? Don't take the salesperson's opinion as the last word - go directly to the manager and discuss your dissatisfaction with him/her.

What explanation did they give you regarding the solder? I wouldn't stop until I had some answers!
 

mrssalvo

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Jan 3, 2005
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I''m confused. Did you all buy an eternity band and remove a stone and have a head soldered on it? I''m just wondering why CA would have used any solder if they are just setting a stone into the memoire e-ring. Also, did you buy the memoire ring from them? If so, then missgotrocks has good advice that contacting Memoire might be the way to go b/c I don''t think they''d want a retailer messing with their rings that way. But, many designers have warranties on their rings that they will not cover damage that has happened while someone else is working on it.
 

suckeredinmaryland

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
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He bought me a new Memoire shared prong band which has a total of 4 side stones and comes with an empty prong in the middle. He bought both the band and a loose stone from Charleston Alexander...he bought the whole ensemble from them...they took it out of the case and should have simply mounted the loose stone...but, they used white gold solder in the process. We asked why they did this and they said "because gold is stronger than platinum"!!!!!!

We did speak to the manager as well as the sales person...they provided no solution except to have it plated with rhodium every so often. We tried to get a replacement for the Memoire band and they adamantly refused. I feel that they ruined the band doing this and that they should give me what we paid for which is a PURE platinum setting as advertised by Memoire. I read about the special strengthening process that they use to create the bands and mountings prior to selecting this ring. While reading the Memoire webpage, I see that this unrequested modification by Charleston Alexander voids their warranty.
 

MissGotRocks

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Jun 23, 2005
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12,186
It may very well void their warranty but I would certainly let Memoire know that one of their retailers set the stone this way and that you were unhappy with the outcome. In this day and age, it really doesn''t make much sense for a retailer to let ANY customer walk away unhappy. Business is too hard to come by these days.

I would also ask CA to contact their Memoire rep about sending the entire ring to Memoire for resetting or maybe contacting them yourself about resetting the stone. I''m sure it would be done at your expense but it may be the only way to get the ring done to your satisfaction.
 

suckeredinmaryland

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3
I agree. Another interesting piece to this story is that when I went in last Saturday to look at the 1.5 carat 5 stone matching wedding band (and to discuss the discoloration of my engagement ring), they offered me the Memoire band that I wanted...or the Charleston Alexander in-store manufactured exact copy of the Memoire band. There was about a $5,000 difference between the two bands.
 

MissGotRocks

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Another thought is that Quest Jewelers in Northern Virginia carries the Memoire line. They do some really nice custom work as well. Since you are in the area, I''d consider calling them and taking the ring to them for their opinion. They may be able to help with the ''repair'' and you could see about pricing of Memoire with them.

Also, Pearlman''s, a PS vendor, carries Memoire. If you have idenified the band you want, give them a call for pricing. They have excellent prices on the Memoire line and are a pleasure to deal with.

As for CA, I wouldn''t give them any more of my business. They haven''t made you happy with the initial purchase - I just couldn''t keep feeding them business. As for their ''exact'' copy of Memoire, there are laws prohibiting an exact duplicate. I highly doubt their rings are made with the same process as Memoire. The price difference is large but so will be the quality.

Good luck - please let us know how this all works out for you!
 

mrssalvo

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Jan 3, 2005
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19,132
okay, I guess I"m slow b/c I'm still not understanding. Did you buy the memoire e-ring that already has the head for the stone? Or did CA have to make a head for you? If you bought the actual e-ring why was any solder used at all? And, their WG story is BS. most jewelers actually prefer to use platinum heads even on WG and yellowgold rings b/c it is more less brittle and actually more likely to bend rather than break if you pulled a prong saving your stone from a possible loss or damage.

I agree with MGR, Quest carries memoire so you might go over and talk to them and they do great work. I would also get a hold of someone at Memoire letting them know what CA is doing. I would let CA know the ring is not acceptable and you want the new correct entirely platinum setting or try to get a full refund on the setting and get your ring from someplace else. Did you all pay by Credit card perhaps? You might be able to dispute the charges with your CC company if CA won't agree to work with you.
 
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