Sunday, February 26, 2012

This is what happened when I asked for my band to be resized...

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My boyfriend proposed to me on Valentine's day and gave me the loveliest ring. It's a 200 year old Georgian rose cut diamond cluster ring from a store in the USA, which we chose together on our last trip to the states. Due to the way the diamonds are set and its age, when having it resized it was very important that the jeweler take care not to allow any moisture inside the setting.

I researched jewelers in Brisbane who could cater for this and was advised of a jeweler to use. On the 15th I dropped it into the store and explicitly told them that the ring could not under any circumstances get wet. I simply wanted the band to be resized from a size 6 (US) to a H 1/5 (Aus).

They asked me what metal the ring was, I told them it was a 14k gold shank and had silver foil underneath the diamonds which couldn't get wet. I also explained that it was an 200 year old antique Georgian ring from San Francisco, that had foil backed rose cut diamonds. I asked to give them a printed sheet of extra information about the ring, which they said they didn't need as they knew what they were doing and that I could pick it up on the 21st.

I didn't call into the shop until the 23rd, as I had been sick. They said they were about to call me as they ring was not ready yet. During the ring resizing they noticed that the diamond had turned black, so they soaked the entire ring to try to remove this. Even though I had told them the foil behind the settings could not get wet.

They then said that they almost refused to finish the ring, but went ahead anyway and pulled the middle diamond out, without ever consulting me. They were also confused as to why there were gaps between the diamonds. I had told them the ring was originally a button. They then told me that the middle diamond would need to be reset with claws. I told them I did not want this, but was assured the ring would look exactly the same and that the claws would be completely invisible. I was never ever told that there was a problem with the surrounding diamonds and setting.

On the 24th I returned to pick up the ring and noticed that the diamond was quite raised they dismissed me and said it looks identical. Upon showing it to my fiance, he was disgusted and we decided to return the next day.

Yesterday we returned to the store to discuss this with them. They denied knowing that the diamonds couldn't get wet and denied that they had filled in between the diamonds with a material. Even though she had previously questioned why there were gaps. They told us to leave the store and that the ring is exactly the same as before. Clearly it is not. There are now disgusting silver claws around my diamond, gunk surrounding the outside diamonds, some of which are now partially covered and some of the filigree on the button has been completely eroded.

After receiving some fantastic advice from the lovely Vogue girls we are going to pursue every avenue to have this situation rectified. If we can have the ring repaired, we will seek compensation for the damage. However I fail to see how 200 year old filigree can be restored onto a button.

I know that in the scheme of things, I am so lucky to have a lovely fiance. I am just disgusted with the lack of respect the store has shown to me and my partner as well as a very delicate and irreplaceable ring.

note: I want to point out that this ring was not damaged by the jeweler we purchased it from. I adored their service and store and can only wish we had the ring resized there.

23 comments:

  1. I am so sad for you lovely :(
    I really hope you can get the ring repaired - and I wish you all the best in seeking compensation from the jewellers who destroyed it! xx

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  2. Oh my God.
    Oh that is so sad :( :( :(
    I am really hoping that you can get it fixed, restored even and I hope that you contact the Fair Trade Ombudsman, Hamish said contact the Small Claims Tribunal.

    The jeweler should pay for the damage. I'm surprised you didn't name then in this post, this is both smart and very self controlled of you. I would have named them out of anger but if you're making claims against them it's probably better that you don't.

    Best of luck to you honey, this is the last thing you need to happen to such a significant treasure.

    xox

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  3. Hamish said go to www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au

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  4. I nearly cried reading this story. I often have nightmares where something terrible happens to my engagement ring.

    It was such a stunning ring. I seriously don't understand what the hell the jewellers were thinking?

    There is just no way you can't win this battle against them, they've clearly destroyed the ring! it's just a shame it might be difficult to fix the ring :(

    Hope you are ok love.

    x

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  5. Ohhhhhh My Gosh!!!
    This is so wrong and you should definitely pursue it! Like the ladies above, I was so sad to hear this. The original is absolutely beautiful, it bewilders me that some people still don't respect/understand the value of vintage. And that not everything needs to be brand spankin new!

    This definitely needs an update after you've fixed it!
    I have my fingers crossed for you!
    x

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  6. can you please name and shame this awful jeweler? I am from Brisbane too and have an antique ring that needs resizing and am now scared about taking it anywhere!

    so sorry to hear this has happened to you, I wish you all the best xxoo

    Jane

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  7. Hi Jane,

    I would love to, however I need to keep this quiet until we have taken them through the process of QCAT. They have the option to file a counter claim and I do not want to hurt our chances of retrieving any compensation, sorry! Although I can recommended to you that you are very very diligent when consulting with the jeweller. Make sure that you have everything written down that they are going to do. If you feel like they haven't adequately listened to your concerns take your ring and leave the store pronto!

    I can recommend that you speak with the lovely ladies at Kellie's Antiques in Brisbane Arcade, as we have discussed our ring with them and they seemed quite helpful.

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  8. Do you reckon they maybe broke the actual setting/stone part off the ring when resizing the band? I don't know how band resizes are performed, but I'm sure they can usually only resize so much smaller because if they go over a certain amount it compromises the setting of the stones. Maybe the setting fell/broke off and then when they tried to fix it they went nuts with the filler?

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  9. Hi Kim,

    It's possible that they just didn't know what they were doing throughout the entire process, panicked when they should not have done it at all and are now trying to pass the blame onto us :(

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  10. Oh huni :( I'm so sorry to read this post. How heart breaking. Good luck with trying to get it rectified.
    Congratulations by the way, I'm a bit behind on mh blog reading xx

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  11. I really feel for you too. It's such a special piece and if the jeweller wasn't confidant about re-sizing it, then they shouldn't have tried. I'm a jeweller and used to do repair work for several City jewellery stores and I have to say that antique rings are the scariest things to work on. You just don't know what has been done to them over the years. I have worked on rings before where the slightest amount of heat has melted the claws holding in a stone, because someone has done a dodgy repair at some point in time and used lead solder.

    I don't know if any of the following will help or not. It is hard not to get a ring wet when re-sizing it, whether up or down. To keep the heat away from the stones you can put the setting in moist sand or wrap it in wet tissues. Perhaps the heat turned the foil black? What did they soak it in? Did they put it in a 'pickle' or an ultrasonic? To get the solder to flow you need to use a flux, which usually needs a chemical to remove it afterwards, which is also a liquid. Your ring originally looks like it has been tarnished - with time or with a chemical, to give it that blackened look - and the second photo looks like the ring might have been rhodium plated to make it that white colour? If so, more liquids. Rings are usually cleaned in an ultrasounic, which contains a warm soapy solution in a machine which vibrates. Sometimes stones fall out in the ultrasonic and need to be reset. If there was not enough metal there to set the stone again, they would have had to solder new pieces of wire on to make the claws. The solder may have run and filled in the other holes that were there before too.

    Most jewellers have an 'all care, no responsibility' policy when it comes to repairs, unless it is something they have made themselves. Wishing you all the best to find a satisfactory resolution. You have the photos as proof, so that's a great start.

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  12. Hi just reading your blog and was wondering if you were able to find a jeweller who could repair your ring? I'm in Sydney and have had a similar problem with a foil backed rose cut diamond ring. My ring was given to a well known jeweller in Sydney for cleaning - unfortunately I didn't know before then that these rose cut diamonds with foil backing should not be put into an ultrasonic cleaner and clearly either did the jeweller. My diamond turned black and to "repair" it the jeweller removed the closed back of the ring and replaced it with white gold. It looks better but not the same as the original, so I need to find a jeweller that can repair the foil backing. Hope you've been able to repair yours. The original looked stunning.

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  13. Hi just reading your blog and was wondering if you were able to find a jeweller who could repair your ring? I'm in Sydney and have had a similar problem with a foil backed rose cut diamond ring. My ring was given to a well known jeweller in Sydney for cleaning - unfortunately I didn't know before then that these rose cut diamonds with foil backing should not be put into an ultrasonic cleaner and clearly either did the jeweller. My diamond turned black and to "repair" it the jeweller removed the closed back of the ring and replaced it with white gold. It looks better but not the same as the original, so I need to find a jeweller that can repair the foil backing. Hope you've been able to repair yours. The original looked stunning.

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  14. The poor diamond ring! How could they do that to such a precious thing? The ring looked so clear and pure in the first picture, but in the second picture, it looks awfully clouded and dim. I just hope you found a good jeweler who could restore your ring. It would be such a loss if it never regains its old beauty.

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  15. The Diamond Rings come in many styles and looks. Selecting the right ring type plays a pivotal role in purchasing a diamond ring. Diamond is the precious and all can't afford it.

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. i want to modify my wife diamond ring but the ring design is some different that's why i want to repair it.
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  19. if i want to purchase a new diamond ring but how can tack guaranty.
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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. I am so sorry to see what the jeweler did to your ring. How did it turn out? I sold an antique foil back rosecut diamond ring on EBAY for $10,000.00 , and the buyer questioned the specifics of the ring. I explained in my listing the only way to get an accurate estimate on the diamond was to remove the stone from the mount BUT IT CAN NOT BE REMOVED FROM THE MOUNT because experts say it ruins the antiquity value and the ring can not get wet. It was a final sale. EBAY and the buyer took it upon themselves to take it to a gemologist to have the stone removed! It was returned to me with several of the original characteristics completely erased!!!!! . They got it wet and removed the mill grain around the bezel when they put the diamond back. The ring has a smooth finish and the graduated "steps" on the original ring were now one mound of silver. To make matters worse, there are bad sodder marks and tool scratches!!! It was Rhodium plated to cover the blemishes. I am beyond wild!!! A 10,000.00 ring!!! The 150 year old patina was polished like a brand new ring! I never authorized this, in fact I specifically stated in the auction NOT TO REMOVE the diamond. The antiquity value of my ring was wiped out in 1 day! EBAY never had any problem forcing a return before, so what made them think they and the buyer had a right to alter my ring!!! If I were given the opportunity to have the stone removed or a forced return, I for sure would have picked the return. No one asked me. I am seeking legal advice. The psychological reason for buying the antique ring was the connection to the past. How can EBAY authorize this! Someone will be held responsible . I no longer have a genuine antique.

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  22. Ugh, thank god they screwed it up. That ring is ugly. Sorry not sorry.

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