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Jewellers have ruined my eternity ring! (sorry long)

(5 Posts)
Tuttutitlookslikerain Sat 29-Sep-12 19:08:49

Back in July, DH bought me a new wedding ring because my fingers swell and when we were at the jewellers we asked them to send my eternity ring off to be sized up a size. It was examined by 3 members of staff, they ticked the box on the form that it was not damaged and we left it with them.

Within a week we had a phone call to say 2 of the amethysts had had their tops smashed off, and they just wanted to let me know before they carried out the resize. I was really shocked because I knew it was perfect when I left it, so I asked them to get it back and I would come back in and have a look at it.

When we went to the shop the manager said they accepted no responsibility for it, and it was probably damaged when we left it with them. It wasn't. I know it wasn't, she also said, that she couldn't see the damage. DH and I could with our naked eye and the surface of the ring was really, really rough.

After being in the shop for about an hour and me being in tears, she said they would replace the stones. The amethysts were quite pale, almost pink and I said I didn't want them any paler, but they could go slightly darker. But if they did go darker I wanted to see the stones before they were put in. She agreed to this and also, gave us a £100 refund against the wedding ring we had just purchased.

A month ago they rang and said they were having to 'bash and smash' the stones to get them out! I was really shocked and said I hoped the diamonds weren't going to be affected, she said they wouldn't be, I reminded her that I wanted to see the stones before they were put in, she assured me I would be able to!

On Thursday evening I had a phonecall from the assistant manager telling me my ring was back, and they were going to post it! I said no I would come in and get it.

We went today and they have replaced the amethysts with the darkest purple stones I have ever seen. It now looks like something out of Claire's accessories! I told the manager I hate it, she said she would replace the stones again, but it would weaken the setting. I said I want them to give me the market value for the ring as well as compensation for the sentimental value of it. I can't replace it because they don't make it anymore, and DH bought it for me at a very difficult time in my life so it means a lot to me. She said she couldn't do that.

We have left the ring with them and are going to take some advice, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience in these matters and could point me in the right direction.

TIA.

BerylStreep Sat 29-Sep-12 19:38:32

What a mess. Resizing should have been such a straightforward job.

I have had diamonds replaced in my eternity ring, and initially when I collected the ring, the replacement stone was a different colour from the others - I pointed it out and they replaced it with no problem.

You need to get the ring repaired, by a competent jeweller, (these lot sound like clowns) so first of all, I would bring the ring elsewhere to get a quote to have it rectified. I wouldn't bother with any of the high street ones - you need a proper jewellers to look at it, not a jewellery shop, IYSWIM.

Once you have the quote, you might be able to sue for the cost of repair at the small claims court, but I'm not sure if you would be able to claim for the sentimental value. Although you would probably have to pay, a strongly worded solicitor's letter might have more impact. I'm sure someone on here will be able to advise better.

Rockchick1984 Sun 30-Sep-12 11:05:16

Having managed a high street jewellers, in this situation I would have been willing to refund you the retail price of the ring, however nothing as compensation for sentimental value.

We had to annotate the condition of any pieces of jewellery very carefully as we frequently had people trying it on saying their item was perfect when it left them, so our only proof was what the member of staff had written in front of the customer. If they didn't notice the damage to the stones, then it makes no difference if it was there or not - they should be responsible for it.

If the jeweller has tried to repair it and is unable to do it to your satisfaction, they should reimburse you for it. The only other option would be for them to replace the settings for the amethyst as well as the stones (perfectly possible, but an expensive repair). As I said earlier, we would never compensate for sentimental value of something, they have already given you £100 compensation, I would say you are lucky to have received this much.

I am not an expert legally, all I can tell you is the policies that were in place at my company. If it was a high street jeweller though, I would assume they all have very similar policies, maybe different if an independent jeweller.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sun 30-Sep-12 16:14:51

Thank you for your replies ladies.

It is a high street chain who are dealing with it. I am going to phone my house insurance tomorrow as we have legal cover. I can't replace the ring becuase it isn't made anymore. It has sort of a knot design and the wedding ring we bought fits perfectly with it, so that seems a waste now too.

Rockchick, do you know if the stones will fade or dull down a bit over time? It is so 'in your face' now it is horrible. sad

Rockchick1984 Sun 30-Sep-12 17:48:31

They will appear more cloudy as they get worn, as the stones will get light scratches and (without sounding crude) you will sweat and have dead skin cells stuck under and around the stones. They are likely to appear darker rather than lighter though sad but personally I think they look nicer once worn in a bit rather than new.

If you have no joy with the store, contact their customer services.

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