December 24th, 2007

Judge Alex Diamond Case

judge alex on diamondsI’m a fan of the TV court shows. Watched The People’s Court since Judge Wapner’s days. You learn a lot about people and the law from watching these shows. My favorite episodes revolve around Jewelry, although most episodes are about tenant law, puppies that got sick after purchase, used cars that go bad within a couple weeks and family members not paying back loans.

Today Judge Alex had a case of a Jeweler who was accused of switching diamonds.  Fascinating case, at least if you’re in the business.

Now Alex is my favorite of the current crop of Judges (Marilyn Milian comes in a close second). It turns out, that besides being a former cop, former trial attorney and judge, Alex used to sell diamonds as well. Interesting…

Well this lady bought a ring off eBay. She didn’t follow up the purchase with an appraisal. Then she brought it into a Jeweler to get a matching band made. After she got back the ring, she noticed a little indentation in it. But she didn’t know much about Jewelry. She thought it was severe, but I think it was something easily polished away and both Alex and the Jeweler felt the same way.

The plaintiff lost the case. She thought that the Jeweler pulled out the small baguettes and switched them for diamonds of a worse quality.  Alex got an appraisal from a Jeweler he knew, who appraised the quality of the diamonds as identical to what her eBay ad said. I was really surprised at that. She got lucky with that purchase, but it’s mind blowing that so many customers have absolutely no clue as to when they are getting a good deal or getting had…

It’s clear she didn’t prove her case. She had to prove the condition before sending it to the Jeweler by getting an appraisal and then get another one after it came back from the Jeweler with issues. But just going by her recollection is not going to win her the case.

For those who have seen the show and wonder how to handle such a purchase…well first eBay is not the best place to buy Jewelry. But if you do want to use them, make sure the seller has a certificate from a reputable lab on the center stone. Then have the Jewelry appraised after receiving the item. Make sure the center stone matches the cert.

As Judge Alex said, for small stones, the labor is probably more expensive to the Jeweler than the gain in switching stones…let alone the loss in reputation. And if you have a cert on the center stone, the plot and specs are as good as a fingerprint and you can feel safe sending in the Jewelry for work. At least in terms of not worrying that stones would get switched. Also take lots of before and after pictures. Close-ups and from all angles.

Overall I thought the Judge did a great job.

3 Responses to “Judge Alex Diamond Case”

  1. Charles says:

    I’ve always been wary of internet-based jewelry stores and eBay services in general, so I’m glad i stumbled upon this article as i now know what to do in any case.

    Appraisal and certification is an excellent idea! recently i had purchased a watch for $4,995 from a major diamond retailer on the web, and i must say while this wasn’t my largest purchase over the internet, i was cautious of the color and clarity of these stones, so i asked for full Cert + appraisal.

    The watch can be viewed here:

    Needless to say, i was very satisfied when i recieved the watch, as the words of my jeweler were proved wrong as to the watch’s authenticity. I even had it appraised yet again at GIA and recieved the same results.

    Moral of Story – ALWAYS get certification for insurance purposes, and for self-satisfaction in knowing you made a great buy.

  2. Laura alexander says:

    Dear sirs,

    i got an engagement ring and the court 3 (after the marriage) years later made me pay for it I had to pay the apprasial price of twenty one thousand dollars. There was no certificate of authenticity, Is this legal

  3. devida says:

    how many people think to have their ring appraised, because they don’t think people will switch their rings. The jewelers knowns they didn’t have it appraised nor do they have a certificate ; therefore it’s easier for them to switch it for a cheaper stone and resale your diamond as an up-grade to someone else.I am in tears because this is what’s happening to me now ,and I don’t know how to prove it, only that I know my diamond and it doesn’t have the same clarity , the diamonds look different from the diamonds on the side. I have spoken to other jewelers and was told this doesn’t look like a 5000 dollar ring. Before it did. It got the attention of people when I had it on. Now I don’t want to wear my wedding ring because it looks like a cheap piece of glass.Because I didn’t appraise my ring which cost $5000, I have to settle for this cheap stone. It’s not fair and the jewerlers will continue to get away with it. They don’t loose their reputation because they know you can’t prove it and many times it’s us hard working people that works hard to pay for a 5000 dollar ring on payment plan.Diamonds are switch if it’s of any value it’s resold as an upgrade.(facts)You go to have your ring clean, and how many of you were told something was wrong with your ring? This is part of the promotional. You trust your jeweler and later to find out your diamond has been switch. Can you prove it. No!Most woman know their stuff. We take pride in our rings that our husband bought us. The lady made a mistake, but that doen’t mean it doesn’t exsist. I have spoken with a former employee and she notice that the diamonds are different, and she gave me some highlights on what goes on in that store. Woman you better believe this thing do happen.Judge Alex worked at a jewelry store. Maybe he was one of the honest ones, that’s why he’s a judge. I need help!! Maybe he can help me.

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