Kay Jewelers Accused Of Swapping Diamonds For Cheaper Stones In Engagement Rings

Photo: Courtesy of Kay Jewelers.
Kay Jewelers and its diamonds unfortunately aren't shining in the most flattering light, yet again. The specialty jeweler first came under fire in April for reportedly mishandling repairs, with rings allegedly disappearing or coming back in worse condition than before. This time around, customers are accusing Kay of swapping the diamonds in their rings for lesser-value stones when they're sent for routine inspection, according to a new report from Buzzfeed.

These complaints aren't exactly new, according to Today, but they've been brought to light following the initial flurry of stories flooding Kay's social profiles, and now more disappointed customers are coming forward.

Chrissy Clarius, a customer in Maryland, brought in her engagement ring — a solitaire diamond on a white-gold band, purchased for $4,299.99 in 2010 — to a local Kay store for routine inspection, according to Buzzfeed. After suspecting that the stone on her ring appeared lower-quality when Kay returned it to her, Clarius had it independently inspected at two different jewelers unaffiliated any Signet brands (Kay's parent company). She then learned that the stone on her ring was actually moissanite, a common, more-affordable alternative to diamonds. Similar tests at Kay as well as Zales (the latter is also owned by Signet) reportedly indicated that it was a diamond, despite the fact that they could not match the stone with the serial number on Clarius' certificate of authenticity from Gemological Science International.

Unfortunately, Clarius isn't the only customer claiming to be duped into inadvertently getting a lower-value stone. Buzzfeed found similar cases in different states, with customers having varying degrees of success in retrieving their misplaced diamonds. Additionally, a quick glance at Kay Jewelers' Facebook page — both at the comments on its wall and those on images unrelated to engagements or weddings — reveals that the dissatisfaction runs deep. Customers posted a variety of tales of lost or damaged Kay Jewelers-purchased engagement rings, plus pledges to take their business elsewhere. Yikes.

In a statement issued to Refinery29, a representative for Kay Jewelers explained that it "take[s] claims such as this very seriously," and that the company is "actively reviewing this issue," as is customary with all customer concerns brought to its attention.

"We have rigorous processes in place to help ensure this won’t happen," the statement reads. "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."

Head over to Buzzfeed for its whole investigation into this unhappily-ever-after tale.
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