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I recently had a ring crushed on my finger when I dropped a heavy pole on my hand.  I was not injured but the 18 ct gold ring was pinched on my finger so it had to be cut off.  The ring was very sentimental, I had not taken it off my finger for 10 years so the original stone which was an amethyst was very scratched.  The ring has 4 small diamonds on each side of the bezel.  The stone is an oval cabouchon set in a regular bezel.
   My jeweler said the amethyst was not worth polishing and I had always wanted a star sapphire ring so I bought a very good natural blue star sapphire from the jeweler and had it replaced in the ring.  The ring had been crushed so the jeweler reshaped and resized the ring as well.  The price of the stone was $5,000.  The jeweler "discounted it" and sold it to me for $4,400.00.  The new stone was set in June 2012.  Five months later in November, the stone fell out and was lost.  The ring was not damaged in any way, I had not hit the ring, nor had it been exposed to any extreme temperatures.  The stone just popped out!  I told the jeweler I thought they should replace the stone. They said they couldn't do that but that they would 'work' with me.  
 Two weeks later the jeweler called me and said she had a star sapphire and some other stones to show me.  When I went to see her, she showed me a synthetic Linde star sapphire and did not tell me it was synthetic. I know about Linde stars and found the stamp on the bottom and asked her if it was natural.  She admitted that it was not.  I told her that I wanted to see some natural sapphires as that was what I had purchased and she said she would get some for me.  
 What do you think of this scenario thus far?  Do you think they should replace the stone?  Remember that I had worn the ring with the original stone for 10 years and the stone didn't come out, even when the ring was crushed on my finger.  And then to offer me a synthetic stone worth about $25 to replace a stone for which I paid them $4,000?  Do I have any legal recourse?  They suggest I claim the ring on my home owners insurance but I have a $2500.00 deductible and don't want to make a claim that will increase my premiums.  
Please advise me - I have gone to this jeweler for years and had a good relationship built on trust but now I am not sure they are behaving in a trustworthy manner.  They are a 3rd generation family business with several stores in the NY, NJ area.  Can you help?

Answer
Hi Jill,
I am sorry to hear about the problem you have gone through with your ring, to start I have no idea what the size of the "star sapphire" was, there is natural star sapphires that you can buy for $300, there is also clarity, type of blue like medium rich vivid blue , strong, medium or soft, ray with six legs, very well centered or not, etc. to have such a value. I am sure the jeweler provided you with a Certificate for the stone if you paid so much.
The cabochon stones are very hard to set in any mounting and the jeweler must be experienced and qualified to set it right or you will eventually lose the stone and seems like this is what happened here, by reading the rest of the story seems to me like your jeweler does not care that much for you as a customer.
I will suggest you to take the ring to a different jeweler and explain the situation, a good experienced jeweler will be able to see if you lost the stone due to poor craftsmanship and if that is the case then the jeweler who sold you the stone is liable for your loss, do not touch or clean the ring because sometimes jewelers will use crazy glue or any glue to secure the stones and if you find traces of this action then your case against the jeweler gets stronger.
I hope your jeweler admits their mistake if that is the case if not then proceed to a legal claim but if you do not want to do it legally then you can claim to your home owners insurance, if you decide to go for the last suggestion then make sure you present your appraisal for that ring/stone at a value that will cover the deductible.

Hope it helps,

Orlando Cajamarca
Master Jeweler
www.ocjdesigns.com

Jewelry Making

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