A Maryland woman has joined the chorus of customers who claim they were duped by Kay Jewelers.
Chrissy Clarius, who now lives in Hanover, Pa., took to Facebook back in March to sound off about the jewelry retailer, saying her 14-karat white gold diamond solitaire engagement ring was replaced with an imitation stone during a routine cleaning at the Town Mall of Westminster.
In 2010, her husband, Jim, purchased the ring from a Kay Jewelers store at White Marsh Mall for just under $4300. She said her husband also secured the ring with a lifetime guarantee, which requires an inspection every six-months.
RELATED: Customers accuse Kay Jewelers of swapping diamonds on rings
Clarius said she maintained regular inspections, yet this year, she was a bit behind on her routine appointments. She went to the Town Mall of Westminster in February and was told that the four prongs around her stone were loose, and she’d have to pay for repairs out of pocket since her inspection was one month overdue.
She told ABC2 that while speaking with a manager that day, an employee examined the stone under a microscope and asked if it was a certified diamond. The employee told Clarius that the stone’s GSI number, an identification engraved on the stone by a gem grading lab known as the Gemological Science International, couldn’t be found on the ring.
Clarius was alarmed.
“That was concerning to me because when my husband bought it,” she said, “they let him look under the microscope and he saw the number that was laser inscribed on the diamond.”
Clarius was reassured by store clerks, and the ring was sent to a repair shop. She stopped by in March to pick it up, but still felt uneasy. The GSI number was never located during the inspection and she said store employees told her that “it seems like the number was never put in there.”
“It just didn’t feel right,” she said.
Frustrated, Clarius took the ring to Littman Jewelers, also inside the Town Mall of Westminster, where she was told her ring was a fake. Jewelers said it was just under a carat, set in platinum, and the stone was actually moissanite.
“I’d never even heard of moissanite before, that’s why I was completely caught off guard,” she said.
Kay Jewelers tested the stone again and confirmed that it was a diamond, and even had the ring tested at Zales, a Kay Jewelers sister store, with the same results.
Clarius called the company’s customer care line to express her frustrations and disputed Kay’s alleged questioning that she’d taken the ring to other retailers for servicing. A few days after making her case public on Facebook, Kay told her their loss prevention team was looking into the matter.
She hasn’t heard from anyone since the end of March.
Since then, Clarius said she's filed a police report as well as complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Protection Division. Her Facebook post was met with an overwhelming response, but she said she just wants her money back.
“I don’t want to make anything off of this, I just want it fixed,” she said. “I hate to say it, but it makes me feel better to know I wasn’t the only one they pulled a fast one on, but I wish I was. I’m hopeful that they will correct this.”
No one at Kay Jewelers in the Town Mall of Westminster was available for comment. The company's headquarters released a statement to Refinery 29 last week:
"We have rigorous processes in place to help ensure this won’t happen. When a guest brings their jewelry in for repair or service, it is diamond tested before it is sent out and when it is returned. As part of this process, our team members plot the guest’s diamond and map out each unique characteristic. Our teams review these unique details with the guest both when they come in to drop their jewelry off and when they pick up their jewelry following service or repair to ensure their confidence in the safe return of their original piece."
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