Boston, MA. Following unsuccessful efforts to resolve a dispute over a 7.5-carat diamond, Nixon Peabody has filed a complaint alleging that jeweler Shreve, Crump & Low misrepresented the quality of a diamond ring that it sold for over $350,000.
Nixon Peabody is representing Dayton and Laura Ogden, who bought the ring having been told the diamond was a specific clarity (VS1), a designation that makes the stone rare and increases its value. The plaintiffs received a sales slip and appraisal from Shreve, Crump & Low confirming the VS1 designation. The Ogdens subsequently received the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certificate for the ring and learned the diamond was, in fact, of a lower clarity (VS2), decreasing the value of the ring.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in Suffolk County (MA) Superior Court, includes a claim for violation of Chapter 93A (unfair and deceptive trade practices) as well as a claim for fraud and misrepresentation.
Shreve, Crump & Low states on its website that it “strive[s] to find the rarest pieces,” and advertises “hassle-free warranties” and “guaranteed quality” that “make sure you are confident in your purchase.” However, the company refused to refund the Ogdens for their purchase after they discovered they had been sold a VS2 diamond. The jeweler instead claimed the difference was a “typo” and a “mistake,” and offered to polish the diamond to make it a VS1.
“This is a classic bait-and-switch scheme,” said Jason Kravitz, co-leader of Nixon Peabody’s Intellectual Property practice and lead attorney on the case. “The Ogdens were sold one thing and given another of lesser value,” Kravitz added. “Calling this a ‘typo’ and essentially saying ‘no harm, no foul’ is an insult to my clients’ intelligence.”