More frequently than we care to see, as appraisers, from time to time, we are faced with the absolute worst part of our job: Having to utter those words, “I’m sorry, it’s not a real diamond.” or “It’s only worth “X” of what you paid.”
Not only is it personally devastating to break this news to hard working individuals, who are typically buying jewelry for what is often supposed to be a special occasion, it is completely maddening to often learn that the misrepresentation of the product is purposely done so by the retailer, and that they are fully aware they are selling something completely inferior to what they are claiming it to be. Not only is it unethical, it probably goes without saying that it is 100% illegal. Regardless of disclaimers and disclosures on the sales receipt or a lab report provided to the buyer after the sale, not explicitly disclosing treatments, accurate qualities, and the material being sold is just plain fraud. Unfortunately, many consumers do not take the time to get an independent opinion from a professional who does not have a vested interest in the buying/selling aspect of the item in question; they’re just giving their objective, professional opinion.