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Worried I might be getting scammed...

vyper91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
4
Hi all,

I come asking for help with the purchase of a diamond, and I leave hoping to be a new member of such a useful community!

I am looking for an engagement ring in the UK, and have set around a 7k budget. I was originally putting carat above everything as I know my girlfriend would love a huge rock and may not care or notice too much about the other specs, however I then started to realise I would rather have a high quality diamond that sparkles like crazy and lower the size accordingly! I'd rather a diamond that clearly sparkles like a Tiffany's than a dull, large one.

Anyway, I was in Hatton Gardens and a dealer showed me some uncertified stones. I explained I would not buy a stone that isn't certified and it has to be from a body I am aware of, after he noted this is both well cut AND huge on carat.

He said EGL would give it a D/VS2 and I thought, well GIA that may be a G/SI2 which is still cool for me considering the cut was excellent and the carat was a whopping 2.10.

He said for 7.7k I can have the stone, with a platinum band. It definitely feels too good to be true, so alarm bells were ringing.

He convinced me I was going to miss out on an excellent stone, noting it had been clarity enhanced therefore cheaper.
I didn't know too much about this process and he ensured me there were no downsides other than re-sale value, so I thought ok and handed a small deposit of 300 on the basis he gets me an EGL certificate.

I felt immediately like things were fishy, but I thought if he's so confident maybe it's worth having a look.

He's come back to me with the certificate, and honestly now appears to be TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

We're talking D colour SI1 (Clarity Enhanced) with an Excellent Ideal shape, Excellent Polish and Symmetry @ 2.10ct Princess. For circa 6.7k just the stone.

Now where this gets interesting....
He showed me the certificate, which looked like a legit EGL cert, except for one detail.
IT told me to go to www.egl-lab.com to check the report.
I did, went to EGL151620706 and got the same report my dealer showed me.

Except this www.egl-lab.com seemed like the dodgiest website ever. It also calls a URL wgi-global.com when performing a lookup on the certificate, so it's clearly NOT EGL.

Running a who.is on the site shows it's registered in Auckland, since late 2015 - very very fishy indeed.

Now what do I do - unless someone can confirm this is legit I know I do not want to be anywhere near that stone.
Can I come back at the dealer and say this is bulls**** and to give me back my 300?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, I went a little to deep for my own good and am now going to run back to a local, reputable GIA certified seller :)

Thanks all!
 

Tourmaline

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,795
The fact that it is clarity enhanced makes the clarity rating absolutely worthless. Clarity enhanced diamonds cannot handle heat, regular cleaning or regular use, and the enhancement is rarely stable. RUN away from this dealer.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
9,637
Run away! Demand the $300.00 back (is it refundable?) or lose the 300, but do not buy that diamond!
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
You're being scammed.

He said EGL would give it a D/VS2 and I thought, well GIA that may be a G/SI2 which is still cool for me considering the cut was excellent and the carat was a whopping 2.10.
Let's skip the part where he--not EGL--it's him who is grading it, which is even worse. He wants you to do exactly what you are doing. I can guarantee that it's worse than a G/SI2 because otherwise he wouldn't be selling it to you at a G/SI2 price point.

Clarity enhanced stones aren't always all bad, but they need to be priced based on the unenhanced clarity, which further confirms that this is no SI2. The main problem with clarity enhanced stones is that the honest jewelers have mostly chosen not to sell them. So this is a bad idea all around.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,179
Wow....
Definitely try to get your $300 back- but be prepared for a SUPER hard sell. Ignore all of it.
If you do end up losing the $300, count is as the price of education.
I would advise anyone, in the strongest terms, not to buy a diamond from someone who's told you the things this person did.
 

vyper91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
4
Thanks guys - I am glad to know it's not just me who feels heavily uneasy!

I am definitely going to demand a refund - but out of curiosity has anyone got anything to add on what I assume to be a FORGED EGL Certificate?

I'm sure that he has given me a completely fake cert, which makes me feel like I should be doing more than just asking for my deposit back - perhaps reporting him to some sort of UK authority?

Or should I try and get my money back and leave it?

Either way the receipt says the 300 is non-refundable, but I think when I start quizzing him about the legitimacy of his certificate (assuming I'm correct) - he should bend and give me my money back.

Otherwise, as you say - I take the hit as the cost of education :)

Many thanks - GIA from here on out!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,179
trying to figure out why someone would lie about a report they know is not accurate to begin with....is like trying to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic:)
Don't waste a lot of brain time on that one is my advice.

About some sort of official action- unfortunately, knowingly selling misgraded diamonds is likely not against the law.

By all means ask for the refund.....does the seller have a Yelp page?
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,369
Shop from vendors recommended here. Many UK customers buy diamonds from reputable vendors, online. Post your budget in USD and your desired specs and people here would be glad to find you some options, with certs, that will be sparks bombs!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,457
I think if he tries to give you a hard time then tell him you'll be reporting him as a fraudulent seller on any/all review sites (like Yelp, Google, etc). Also, does the UK have a Better Business Bureau? If so you could report him there for knowingly providing false info about his products. But my guess is that when you demand money back and call him out on his lies/BS he will refund you.
 

vyper91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
4
Cool - just to make clear it isn't the fact he is mis-selling a diamond that I am annoyed with - it's what I am assuming to be a counterfeit document claiming to be an EGL certificate!

Anyhow I will go down to his shop tomorrow and ask for my money back and threaten some kind of legal action otherwise.
But as for online sellers - I did see Blue Nile but their actual rings to set the stone in didn't provide much choice or appeal greatly, and James Allen from the US may have the best website but also requires paying around 2k in customs charges - and Brexit hasn't been kind to the GBP :)

Any sellers recommended would still be much appreciated though - I have a budget of 7-8k and am looking for:
1.4ct Princess
Excellent Cut (or Very Good if it's still going to be really sparkly)
F-G
VS2 (or SI1 if the inclusions are eye clean)
In a platinum single halo band

Cheers guys !
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,179
I wouldn't suggest threatening legal action- because it's a dead end street, and they know it. It would likely get pretty nasty and you don't need that.
As was suggested, find his online reviews. That in itself will tell you a lot. If he has any interest in maintaining a good reputation, that would be your only leverage IMO.

About the EGL thing- don't feel bad. There's a whole bunch of labs calling themselves EGL. They exist in different places, and they are not even connected.
So the "certificates" are pretty much random- nothing like GIA where you can look them up reliably online.

GOod luck!
 

vyper91

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
4
Rockdiamond|1481071583|4105296 said:
I wouldn't suggest threatening legal action- because it's a dead end street, and they know it. It would likely get pretty nasty and you don't need that.
As was suggested, find his online reviews. That in itself will tell you a lot. If he has any interest in maintaining a good reputation, that would be your only leverage IMO.

About the EGL thing- don't feel bad. There's a whole bunch of labs calling themselves EGL. They exist in different places, and they are not even connected.
So the "certificates" are pretty much random- nothing like GIA where you can look them up reliably online.

GOod luck!
I am just worried he might try and dispute my claim for my deposit back - as it is written on the receipt that it is non-refundable.
However I do genuinely believe if a dealer is knowingly passing on a counterfeit certificate he requested to be made, then there are definitely some avenues available to me...

Thanks all!
 

Snowdrop13

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,862
If you do have concerns you could look at Trading Standards or Citizen's Advice for help. Hope you find your perfect diamond- I'd still have a look at buying online as I'm pretty sure you can get better value even taking VAT into account.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
You could make a case that he lied to you as he promised you an EGL certificate and you did not get what you expected. Hence he violated your contract. Of course he'll insist that he did get you an EGL certificate.

If nothing else, I'd complain to the real EGL. They might actually care enough to shut his scam site down.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,031
Did you give the guy cash or did you use a credit card? If you can't get them to give you the 300 back, and you used a credit card, go through them because what you explained in your OP is fraud.
 

diamondhoarder

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 5, 2012
Messages
543
Check out your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 - if you have been subject to dishonest sales techniques you may have some recourse. If the seller is up to no good, then mentioning that you understand your rights and are prepared to involve Trading Standards should persuade him to refund your £300.

I can highly recommend Smith & Green Jewellers in Hatton Garden. They are my go-to jewellers when I need anything I'm not comfortable with getting online. Their prices and very reasonable (for a non-internet vendor) and they are honest and knowledgeable.
 
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