[Update: The lawsuit detailed on this page was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff. Judge Lucy H. Koh of California’s Northern District granted the plaintiff’s dismissal request on December 14, 2018. The dismissal order can be read here.]
Herff Jones, LLC and Herff Jones, Inc. are the defendants in a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a California resident who alleges the companies sold to consumers rings that did not contain as much gold content as publicly represented. The 26-page lawsuit claims Herff Jones overstepped the federal Gold Labeling Act of 1976, as well as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and California consumer protection statutes.
The lawsuit explains that potential Herff Jones customers, such as those in the market for high school and college graduation rings, have the option to choose the exact specifications of their rings down to the gold content. According to the complaint, Herff Jones purports in its marketing materials that its gold class rings—available in rose, white or yellow gold—are marked on their inner band with 10K, 14K or 18K to indicate the percentage of gold in each ring.
Since at least 2012, however, Herff Jones has allegedly knowingly instructed its plant employees to “put less gold into the class rings than necessary to achieve the gold content indicated by the stamp on the inner band.” The case claims the result of the defendants’ conduct is yellow, white and rose gold class rings made in or after 2012 contain less gold content than the amounts paid for by consumers.
Per the plaintiff, the suit claims three separate laboratory tests of a ring she purchased from the defendants found the item to contain less gold than previously believed.