New Technology Could Cut Down on Diamond Swapping

RANCHO CORDOVA -- A Rancho Cordova couple's six year long battle over a flawed diamond engagement ring with Zales ended one week after a FOX40 investigation, when she says the company contacted her and gave her a new diamond.

"I know it will never be the diamond, that was proposed to me with, but at least it's bright and shiny again, I don't see this big ugly white line going through it anymore," Deana Davies said.

In July, Davies told FOX40 that she took her diamond engagement ring into the Zales in Citrus Heights years ago for a white gold plating treatment called rhodium flashing.

She said she had to leave the ring with the company for several weeks while they shipped it to a different location for the service. When she went to pick it up, she said her ring had a different, obviously flawed center stone with a cloudy white line called an inclusion that stretched from the bottom of the ring, past the prongs to the center of the stone.

She said she called Zales over the course of several years to work on a solution but they refused to help her.

"I think they should have stepped up a long time ago and not waited until they had bad PR," Davies said.

Davies said one week after her story aired on FOX40, a representative from Signet Jewelers, the company that owns Zales called her and told her they would like to send three diamond to her local store for her to choose from.

Davies said they gave her a new center stone free of charge. In addition they inscribed the diamond with a serial number and gave her a certificate of authentication.

Signet Jewelers owns many jewelry stores you'll find in your local mall: Kay, Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, H. Samuel and others. Several of its chains have made headlines for months, with customers from across the country claiming the stores either lost of swapped their engagement rings.

FOX40 is now learning that Signet is offering customers in some of its stores some more proof of their purchase. The company said it is rolling out a new technology that will give its customers a high quality photo of their jewelry identifying any unique characteristics.

In a written statement, Signet Jewelers VP of Public Relations Kim Kanary told FOX40:

"We take customer concerns very seriously and view even one issue as unacceptable. We review every customer concern brought to our attention and work diligently to resolve them in a manner that meets the expectations of the guest.

"The new technology is being piloted this fall in select stores with plans for further expansion over time."

"You shouldn't have to worry about that. But I definitely know more about diamonds and how the whole process of checking them works now after after this ordeal," Davies said.

Mik Carapetian of Razmik's Jewelry in Fair Oaks showed FOX40 how Signet owned stores might be implementing that new technology.

The independent jewelry designer of 24 years uses a light box and high magnification lenses to take quality photos of his jewelry for his customers.

He said no matter where you buy your jewelry, whether or not they offer photos, they should always be able to do diamond mapping on a piece of paper in their store.

Diamond mapping details where identifiable characteristics like flaws are on a piece of jewelry. He said customers should also always ask a jewelry store to educate them about exactly what they are buying. He said the most important thing you can do to protect your purchase is to always keep your own copy of any receipts, warranties, certifications, diamond mapping, photos or inscription serial numbers.

"We wanna document something so you have piece of mind anywhere you go, Carapetian said.