1. LEARN ABOUT OVERGRADED DIAMONDS AND JEWELS.
WHAT IS AN OVERGRADED DIAMOND OR GEMSTONE? Overgraded diamonds and gemstones are nothing more than a deliberate misrepresentation of a piece of jewelry’s characteristics by a retailer to a consumer. Most commonly, a jewelry store claims that one or more of a diamond or gemstones’s Four C’s (carats, color, clarity, and cut) is better than its true grade.
WHY DOES IT MATTER? It matters because the difference in a single grade in a single one of the Four C’s can affect the value of a diamond or gemstone such as tanzanite by thousands of dollars. When multiple characteristics are misrepresented by multiple grades, your stone just went from jewelry to junk.
HOW DID IT OCCUR? Unscrupulous jewelers all over the Caribbean saw an opportunity to pass off inferior diamonds and gemstones as far more valuable than they actually were by having them “certified” or “graded” by fraudulent grading houses. Organizations such as EGL-I issued bogus certificates purporting to grade their characterstics. The bogus certificates were designed to look identical to legitimate GIA certificates and even use GIA’s grading scale. Unfortunately, the bogus certificates aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. But that didn’t stop dishonest jewelers from charging inflated prices for the misgraded stones; in fact, that was precisely the point of the scam.
ISN’T DIAMOND AND GEMSTONE OVERGRADING ILLEGAL? Absolutely. Practically every state in the country has laws barring retailers from, misrepresenting goods to consumers. Many of those states allow the customer to receive back three times their losses in cash as well as attorney’s fees and punitive damages. If you are a resident of those states, you can require Diamonds International to answer for their conduct in the United States.
WHAT CAN I DO? If you purchased a diamond or gemstone that was accompanied by a certificate other than one issued by the GIA, you may have been the victim of jewelry fraud. But you have rights, and the law gives you remedies. Keep reading to find out how to secure the compensation and recovery you deserve.