A proposed class action claims the operator of Jared the Galleria of Jewelry has systematically overstated the weights of uncertified diamonds sold in stores and online.
According to the 18-page suit, Akron, Ohio-based defendant Sterling Jewelers Inc. has intentionally misrepresented certain diamonds’ weights—and therefore their value—despite being aware that the average consumer “would have no way of knowing that the weights were inflated prior to purchase.”
The case claims Sterling’s conduct amounts to an “unfair and deceptive business practice” that violates consumer protection statutes in Florida and potentially other states.
The Federal Trade Commission specifies that when diamond weights are stated as a decimal figure, such as “.47 carat,” they must be accurate to the last decimal place, the lawsuit explains. Likewise, the suit says, when weights are stated as fractional parts of a carat, they must be accompanied by both a “conspicuous disclosure” that the diamond weights are not exact and a statement of the reasonable range of the weight for each fraction or the weight tolerance used.
The lawsuit alleges the weights for diamonds sold at the defendant’s 200 or so Jared jewelry stores or through Sterling’s website are not accurate to the last decimal point when displayed in decimals. Moreover, when the diamond weights are displayed as fractions of a carat, they are not accompanied by a disclosure that the weight is not exact and a statement of the weight tolerance used by the defendant, the suit alleges.
The plaintiff claims to have purchased a diamond ring from a Palm Beach, Florida Jared store that was accompanied by a product description purporting to state the total weight of the diamonds as a fraction representation of a carat. Per the suit, the plaintiff also received an “insurance replacement estimate” card that described the physical characteristics of the ring and stated the diamonds’ total weight to two decimal places. The lawsuit alleges that neither the product description nor the card contained a disclosure that the diamond weights were not exact and stated the weight tolerance used by the defendant.
Per the suit, the diamond weight written in the product description was “below the actual weight of the diamond,” unbeknownst to the plaintiff at the time of purchase.
The case claims Sterling Jewelers has violated the FTC’s requirements for both the decimal representation and the fractional representation of diamond weights and thereby increased the diamonds’ perceived value at consumers’ expense.
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