Did you hear what happened at Kay Jewelers?
Diamonds are forever – until you take your ring to one of the big jewelry chains in the local mall. Then, heaven forbid, you get the ring back after a repair and it seems…different.
It is different. Because it isn’t the diamond that you brought in!
One of your worst jewelry fears, right? Getting your diamond “switched” is one of those horror stories you hear about, but think it will never happen to you. Well, according to some upset customers at Kay Jewelers, it did happen. More on that situation later.
Trust me on this one: When your diamond or entire ring gets “switched”, whether accidentally or intentionally, the swap will never be in your favor. As any gambler knows, the house always wins.
How do these switches happen? Unfortunately, there are some people who are dishonest who would rather steal something than earn it. Fortunately, in my 28 years in the jewelry business I’ve only seen this happen a few times. And every instance resulted in the crook getting caught and going to jail.
The most common way a diamond gets switched is due to honest accidents. Still, doesn’t take the sting away if it’s your diamond that is the victim. You ask, “how could this possibly happen?” Typically, these accidents happen at large national jewelry store chains. You know, those jewelers who are in every mall across the country. Most of these stores mail off their customers’ rings to large repair shops to get sized and repaired.
Their repair shops are getting hundreds of rings, that all look alike, from a hundred or more stores. The repair person is being pushed to work on as many rings as he can. (Also, since these large repair shops typically pay a lower hourly wage, they employ entry-level newbies with very little jewelry repair experience.) He’s rushed and there could be two rings that look alike on his work bench, or in the sonic cleaner. And they end up in the wrong repair job bags. Then they get mailed back, each of the two rings ending up at the wrong store. You go pick your ring up and bam! The diamond isn’t the one you dropped off.
It happens at these big chain stores. More often than they want you to know. Recently, Kay Jewelers has been getting some bad press from some upset customers who claim this happened to them.
Check it out for yourself:
- www.refinery29.com/Why-You-Shouldn't-Get-Your-Engagement-Ring- From-Kays
- Detroit Free Press - DeWitt, MI woman says Kay Jewelers lost her $8,000 diamond
One of the devastated customers is Chrissy Clarius. She said her husband purchased a 14k white gold and diamond ring at a Kay Jewelers store in Maryland in 2010. The diamond came with a GSI diamond certificate. She took the ring in for a routine checkup in February 2016 and dropped it off. When she picked it up something didn't look right. She took the ring to another jeweler who tested the stone with an electronic diamond tester. She was delivered some gut-wrenching news. The stone was a moissanite, not a diamond. And the metal was platinum, not white gold. Wrong ring.
Chrissy Clarius of Maryland getting her stone from Kay's tested. Turns out it was not a diamond.
Even television news stations have received calls from many women requesting help getting their rings returned. News 8 in Tampa Bay, Florida, a NBC affiliate, conducted a one year investigation into Kays. Investigative reporter, Shannon Behnken, presents her report in the video below.
Channel 8 News Investigative Report, Tampa Bay, Florida
Here’s the bottom line: you are taking a chance every time you buy anything at the mall more expensive than a soft pretzel. Do you really want to take a chance with your diamond ring? If it is an heirloom piece of jewelry you are purchasing, or repairing, go to a reputable independent jeweler.
Experience, integrity and professionalism are essential qualities your jeweler needs to have.