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Call Kurtis: What You Should Expect Before Buying A Diamond Ring

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A Vacaville couple says they’ve been waiting too long for a certificate tied to her engagement ring. It was time to call Kurtis.

Whenever you buy a diamond, it should come with a certificate, showing the exact specs.

So why won’t Sam’s Club give them their paperwork?

“We’re thinking Dec. 21st, the end of the world. Dec. 21, 2012,” said Amy Fergen and Ryan Tonkel.

Tying the knot this year, Ryan wanted to buy his fiancee, Amy, a bigger diamond than the one he proposed with seven years ago.

“It was time to get her a bigger and better,” said Ryan.

So they bought this $1,500 princess cut diamond in September from Sam’s Club.

It’s supposedly 3 carats total weight but they don’t know for sure.

“It didn’t come with the certification card, we were supposed to get that within three days,” said Amy.

Three days has turned into eight months and dozens of calls to Sam’s Club.

She says she can’t get the ring insured without that certificate.

“Without that card, you don’t have any proof you own that diamond,” said Amy.

Richard Luna’s been in the diamond industry for more than half a century.

He says it’s legal to sell diamonds without an appraisal or certificate, but customers should expect one as proof in case you lose your diamond.

“You really shouldn’t have to ask, it should just come automatically,” said Luna, Owner of deLuna Jewelers.

We contacted Sam’s Club. In an email, they tell us, “The ring was originally part of a 2-piece set, with 1-part transferred into the club from another club without the band that completed the set and without the original certification.”
— Carrie Foster, Senior Manager, Public Relations

Unable to find the original paperwork, after we got involved, Sam’s Club agreed to pay for an appraisal.

Amy and Ryan wish they never left the store, without the paperwork.

“Don’t do what we did, lesson has been learned,” said Amy.

“No matter what the price is,” said Ryan.

Sam’s Club tells us all of their diamonds normally come with a certificate or appraisal but in this case, the paperwork was simply lost.

Amy and Ryan have since gotten their ring appraised. Sam’s Club gave them an additional $75 for their inconvenience.

Sam’s Club Response to CBS13 Questions:

Why didn’t Amy’s diamond ring come with the proper certificate or appraisal?

The ring was originally part of a 2-piece set, with 1-part transferred into the club from another club without the band that completed the set and without the original certification. The club ended up selling the ring at a discounted price since it was the engagement ring only. The certification from European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) that was originally included with this set was for both pieces of the set: the engagement ring and the matching band. The appraisal value that would have been listed on this certification from EGL would have been for both pieces.

Do diamonds sold at Sam’s Club normally come with a certificate or an appraisal? If so, which one? A certificate shows the cut, clarity, color and weight of the diamond. An appraisal tells customers what the diamond is worth.

Yes, Sam’s Club uses an independent gemologist (IGI) to professionally grade and certify each diamond piece from Sam’s Club. There are three types of certification that we use through IGI. A certificate of authenticity is used on silver and diamond and includes the total diamond weight, authentication of precious metal(s), the Sam’s Club Item # and a photo of the piece. An evaluation report is used on karat gold items containing diamonds where no single diamond is larger than 1/2ct. The evaluation report includes minimum color, clarity, and total diamond weight, authentication of precious metal(s), the Sam’s Item # and a photo of the item. Neither of these two types of certifications will give an appraisal or estimated retail replacement value.

The third type of certification is the appraisal summary which is used for any item containing a 1/2ct diamond or larger. The appraisal summary includes everything listed for the evaluation report and also includes the shape/cut, measurement, polish/symmetry and an estimated retail replacement value. Each item with an appraisal summary has an individual report number assigned to each piece that corresponds with the report number on the certification card. This individual report number is usually engraved on the shank of the ring or the post of an earring and is sometimes Laser-inscribed on the girdle of the diamond.

Which local appraiser will be appraising Amy’s ring?

The Club Manager is still working on that with Amy – he awaits her visit to the Club. Since hearing of this opportunity, I must commend Club Manager Brian Stanfield on his daily diligence in researching the situation, reaching out to Amy and walking her through options for retrieving her certification in the most convenient way for her.

Amy says she’s been trying to get this certificate since Sept. 2011. Amy says she even asked the manager if Sam’s Club would pay for an appraisal but he told her no. Do we know why it took almost 9 months for Sam’s Club to resolve this?

At Sam’s Club, our commitment to member service excellence is paramount. While I cannot speak to the specifics on the events of the past 9 months, we are grateful that Amy reached out to your team and that her issue was brought to our attention. Our buyers, suppliers and local club manager, who was not previously aware of Amy’s situation, swiftly collaborated to provide resolve for Amy’s situation, keeping her needs at the forefront.

What should customers know before buying any jewelry/diamonds at Sam’s Club? Should they expect a certificate or appraisal before walking out the door?

(The different types of certifications that we offer and when they are used are included in my answer above.)

Members seeking fine jewelry from traditional pearl and diamond studs to engagement rings can trust Sam’s Club for quality diamonds and jewels at an unbeatable value. Our members can be assured that an independent expert (IGI) has graded and certified the quality of all* diamonds at Sam’s Club. Sam’s Club offers services like ring sizing and wedding band engraving, free of charge to Members. Also, if Members see an item at SamsClub.com that they’d like to view before purchasing, Sam’s Club will ship the item to the club nearest the member upon request (may require 3-5 weeks).

*All of our current 2011-2012 diamond items will include an IGI certification; however, there may still be some items (older inventory) in clubs that do not include certifications.

Carrie L. Foster
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Sam’s Club

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