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Get Some Money Back On That Diamond You Bought


If you bought any diamond jewelry in the past few years, you could be eligible for a hefty refund. It's all part of a proposed settlement in a lawsuit charging the company manipulated diamond. The company, DeBeers, is agreeing to refund hundreds of millions of dollars.

Miami master Gemologist, Joe Tenhagen, is one of the top diamond experts in the southeast. He said it was common knowledge inside the diamond industry that DeBeers set the price on its rough stones, and if you didn't like it you basically couldn't buy "wholesale" from anyone else.

"DeBeers controlled the world supply of rough, they dictated the price of rough and then the price of cut stones had to follow that trend because the dealers, the diamond cutters had to pay DeBeers price or they wouldn't get any rough," Tenhagen explained.

A recent class action lawsuit charged DeBeers was in effect a monopoly, illegally setting the price of diamonds and misleading the public. Insiders told CBS4's consumer investigator Al Sunshine that for years, the inflated cost of DeBeers' stones were simply passed along to consumers, who were charged more than the diamonds were worth.

To settle the case, DeBeers is agreeing to refund 295 million dollars. While most of the money is earmarked for big, commercial jewelers 135 million dollars in refunds is available to individual consumers, if they take the time to file a claim.

DeBeers Diamond Settlement
Refund Period:

Jan.1, 1994-March 31, 2006

Eligible Refunds:

Diamond Jewelry under $200:   0.5% Retail Price

Diamond Jewelry under $1000: 27.5%

Diamond Jewelry under $5500: 32% 

Loose Diamonds:                        59%

This is how it works:

If you bought diamond jewelry between Jan. 1994 thru March 2006, you are eligible to apply for a refund.

Depending on how much you spent, you could get back between 10 to 30 percent on the retail price. If you bought any loose diamonds, refunds could approach 60 percent. But be warned, some critics believe only the lawyers who brought the case to court will see any big bucks out of this national class action lawsuit.

"It's a waste of you time nothing is ever going to come out of it," said Philip Matthew, owner of Mathew Jewelers. "Cuz 135 million divided by everyone in the county divided the number of years and the court fees nothing is going to be left for the consumer."

Consumer like Mike Stancil said he'll take his chances.

"To know that they also price gauging and ripping off the consumer," explained Stancil. "Definitely I'll hit him where it hurts."

DeBeers is facing a lot more competition from diamond mines in other parts of the world. Changing the landscape of the diamond industry should be good news for consumers.

If you want to apply for a refund you have until May to get all you paperwork filled with the court.

Buyers have until May, 19 to file a claim click here or click De Beers to learn more about the settlement. - Get Some Money Back On That Diamond You Bought - |2008-02-18|

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