I’d like you all to repost this and share it with the world so that you can learn from my mistakes. I also want to help people become more aware and careful consumers regardless of what jewelry store or diamond seller they go to. Let me tell you a little something, which happens to be my own personal and true to life experience. It was something so unexpected and I am writing of it now after two and a half months of drama.
My husband proposed to me on July 15, 2004. That was SEVEN years ago. He worked hard to get me the ring he knew I would love. Every 6-9 months I get my diamond ring cleaned and polished to keep it looking spanking new and shiny. I’ve handed it to the same lady for the last seven years, at the same store inside Woodfield Mall! She is the same lady who I buy all my jewelry from and the same one my husband has been buying from too! They have also had the same jeweler who works in the back room for the last 10 years. Each time I hand it to them, I sign a piece of paper and come back for it the next day. Sometimes when I don’t have time, I have even left it for a couple of days without ever doubting anything could happen to my ring. I’ve never even had to sign a piece of paper stating that I have taken possession of my newly cleaned diamond, except the first 36 months, if even that. I actually loved that they did the resizing and cleaning and all sorts of things FREE OF CHARGE and at an UNLIMITED number of times FOREVER! Now in retrospect, I wonder if there was a hidden agenda behind that warranty and guarantee. After some searching I have seen some complaints against them from consumers. They even have a few complaints with the Better Business Bureau. So here is where my story begins.
About four months ago, a co-worker of mine was checking out rings she could upgrade hers to because her 10 year anniversary is coming up. She was randomly talking about certificates and diamond switching and how well she knew her diamonds. After all this talk, I realized that I didn’t know a damn thing about mine. Beside the shiny bling bling outer aspect of my diamond, I didn’t know what it’s characteristics were. She encouraged me to buy a loupe magnifier and even showed it to me on Amazon.com that very same day. I did end up purchasing one that week out of curiosity. When it arrived, I was super excited. It even had a built-in-light. Now in no way am I saying that I had a perfect diamond, but when I looked into my diamond with this magnifier, I didn’t know what to look for. I couldn’t see a thing. I’d look at it before bed sometimes trying to find that “fingerprint” that I could use to identify my diamond and I honestly couldn’t find something. I must have looked at it in different angles and in different shades of light and still could not find that one mark that I could use to identify my rock. I was kinda bummed!
About a month later, my ring was due for it’s rhodium plating and cleaning. I dropped it off and my husband picked it up two days later as scheduled. For some odd reason, I went shopping at Macy’s for a last minute gift we needed for the next day and had the husband pick it up. I think because of the fact that I examined my ring with a loupe for the whole month, I asked my husband to make sure to check my ring before leaving. For the first time in 7 years, she actually tested it with the light to make sure it turned green- meaning the diamonds were real when we got it back. My husband was pretty upset, telling me that my coworker has made me a paranoid freak. It was also the first time in the seven years that I was not present at the time of pickup. It was a a sign from above that something was going to go wrong- and I didn’t even take notice of it.
The next day, I took my ring out of the box and put it on. For some odd reason, when I looked at it once it was on my finger, it didn’t have that shine that it normally had. I knew it right away and my heart was beating really fast just looking at my diamond ring. My husband calls me absolutely crazy and says my coworker has really made me crazy and paranoid. I explained that I have been looking at my ring for SEVEN years and I know how it shines. A corner of my diamond was completely blurry looking. So I got my loupe magnifier and my heart started beating faster. There was a big bubble right on that corner. I knew my ring had been switched because I had such a hard time looking for an imperfection for over a month.
I went back into the store the very next day and calmy/nicely told my saleslady what I found. She told me I had to get my certification. She was absolutely positive that this was my ring that I had been wearing for seven years. Two weeks later, I get my certification from New York with a diagram of where the imperfections should be. Let’s just say that my original inspection was probably correct. Nowhere in the diagram did it indicate that there should be a HUGE bubble in the corner of my ring.
To make a long story short, they completely denied any wrong doing for the next two and a half months. They stated that I had the wrong certificate or could have probably switched the diamond myself due to the fact that they didn’t check my diamond before I gave it to them, nor did we check it when we picked it up. My original receipt also did not include the certificate number of the diamond purchase. That basically means that I have no proof that the Certification Card belongs to me and not anyone else. They tried to do many different things to keep me satisfied, but in the end, I realized that they were truly trying to still scam me. They refused to give me a refund of the value of my diamond after 7 years. After much debate, they did agree to refund me the original price paid after trying to scam me into getting “higher quality” diamonds in exchange of my original one. They basically stated that they could not get laser inscribed diamonds in their store, but they would inscribe it after I picked the diamond I wanted to replace my “switched” one with. They were also only showing me copies of the actual certificate which looked like it was copied 10 times over. This was total BS because pre-inscibed diamonds are found in almost all diamond sellers stores, especially diamonds that are high cost. My husband also had to sign a statement that HE could not sue them or do anything else to try to go after them. I had HIM sign it, because if HE didn’t they refused to give me my money back or replace my diamond. I say HE, because this diamond actually belongs to ME and not him. Thankfully, I WAS NOT required to sign this paper, which was pretty stupid in their part.
This has been one of the worst experiences of my life. It was totally unexpected. I learned so much about diamonds and the business of diamond sellers only after it was too late and it has already happened. I watched people come in and out of the store during my almost two months of trying to resolve this and couldn’t help but think that they are just like me- NAIVE. There were so many guys buying the rings and they probably had no clue what was going on. So here is what I learned that I want to share with all of you. I wish that I was this educated before this happened to me. It’s kind of sad that the ring I’ve had blessed at the church on the day I got married is gone. I am currently ring-less, happily married and somewhat excited to get another ring back on this finger soon. Good luck and always be careful. This does happen more often than people think because when it does happen, people are just not aware because they’ve never taken the time to know their diamond. So read the following and hopefully, this will be a lesson for all of you diamond owners and those of you also getting ready to buy that diamond for your loved one!
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1. Only buy certified diamonds (preferably GIA certified) and only the ones that have been pre-laser inscribed. These diamonds have the certification number laser printed on them and can be viewed under the loupe magnifier. Make sure this number matches the Certification Card you are getting at the time of purchase.
2. Get a copy of your certification with the diagram of your imperfections. This certification has all the information you could ever need about your diamond. Make sure you get this BEFORE you purchase the diamond so you can compare the diamond with the actual report. GIA certifications have a hologram of authenticity. Here is their link: GIA
2. Make sure that the Certification Card number is printed on your receipt at time of purchase. This proves that you bought that particular Certified diamond.
4. Make copies of your official (GIA) report. When you get it cleaned or rhodium plated, check the report with the jeweler. Make sure you both compare the report with your diamond. Sign off that your diamond was laser inscribed and matches the report. When you pick it up, sign off that everything is the same. In my research, I have learned that doing this alone will decrease the chances of your ring being switched by 99.9%. They will not mess with you if you have this information.
5. For those of you who already have a certified ring, find out who certified your ring and order your official Certification Report with the diagram. Get yourself a loupe magnifier. It costs as low as $5. Mine was $18.95 with free shipping. Get to know your diamond and always sign off before giving it to the jeweler for any reason.
This is the picture of my so-called-ring that I knew was not mine. You can even see the bubble with the naked eye located in the right upper corner in this shot. I can’t believe I have to replace the original, but I am at least happy that I discovered the switch by the simple fact that my friend from work had warned me just a month before. I know in my heart it was all a sign from above.