1. LEARN ABOUT OVERGRADED DIAMONDS.
WHAT IS AN OVERGRADED DIAMOND? Overgraded diamonds are nothing more than a deliberate misrepresentation of a diamond’s characteristics by a retailer to a consumer. Most commonly, a jewelry store claims that one or more of a diamond’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 by thousands of dollars. When multiple characteristics are misrepresented by multiple grades, your diamond just went from jewelry to junk.
HOW DID IT OCCUR? Unscrupulous jewelers all over the country saw an opportunity to pass off inferior diamonds 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 the Four C’s of the diamond. 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.
HOW WIDESPREAD IS THIS SCAM? This is as big as it gets. And it’s still going on. Jewelers nationwide; large and small, chains and independents, in malls and freestanding stores are taking part in the con.
ISN’T DIAMOND 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.
WHAT CAN I DO? If you purchased a diamond that was accompanied by a certificate other than one issued by the GIA, you may have been the victim of diamond 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.