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[Digest] Ward's case [Replys]

   Please forgive my ignorance, but could someone please
explain to me what sizing beads are?  I haven't a clue!

Fred Ward replies:

Sizing beads are small balls of metal (gold in a gold ring,
platinum in a platinum ring, etc) that are soldered in the shank
of a ring to keep a topo-heavy ring from rolling on the finger.
Look at the picture of the cut-apart ring and note the two beads
on the inside bottom of the mount.

A small story… I was once photographing Elizabeth Taylor
wearing her diamonds at home and she had on the 40 ct Krupp
Diamond ring. I commented that on her small finger the huge ring
rocked and rolled and would not stay upright. So I said, “Doesn’t
it bother you to have that ring always flopping about?”

And she said, “When a girl has a 40-carat diamond, nothing
bothers her.”

   Does anyone have a URL or snail mail address for a central
State Farm office?  
   I think Jerry has the right idea of letting State Farm know
that the people on this list, who probably constitute a large
cross section of the world's jewelers and gemologists,
disapprove of their methods of doing business.
   This case establishes a dangerous precedent and perhaps
protesting, at this point, would help to avert an onslaught of
such lawsuits.  
   What may result from Mr. Ward's case could be evocative of
the dilemma of doctors, chemists, and care-givers who are fast
reaching the point of refusing certain cases because of
malpractise suits.
   A case in point is that a couple of years ago I was pulling
my loaded dolly into a mall show when the steel corner hit my
heel and carved out a huge triangle.  I was pouring blood all
over the mall and was helped into a pharmacy in the mall.  The
people there refused to do more than point me at a sink and
offer a bandaid. They made it clear that offering any
assistance could expose them to a suit.  Finished up having to
be taken to the outpatients dept. of a local hospital.  I can
remember when this would never have happened -  someone would
have rushed to help me and the hospital visit wouldn't have
been necessary.
   Feedback, people? I get militant when I see injustice.  In
my opinion, law and justice don't correlate in today's world.

Fred Ward replies:

Try this URL for starters:

The point man for the department that handles gem replacements,
which is where most of these claims seem to end, is John Yeager.
He used to sell gems on the road. So he should know the problems
that this case is causing.

In my opinion, if State Farm had handled this like any other
case and either bought the emerald and/or ring from the customer,
or replaced it, then there would be no suit, no half a million
dollars in expenses by the parties in the case, and no miserable
precedent. But by taking the customer’s premium payment and then
denying her claim after she broke the emerald, State Farm took a
position that everyone in the trade will now have to suffer
through until it is resolved.

I would like you to know that I support you in this case, it
appears to me that you have been screwed over by various
people in the trade. Hopefully, you can find grounds to sue
these self-serving individuals.  It is amazing how some people
in the trade tramp over others to get their egos stroked
especially someone who has earned their reputation by geniune
talent.  It makes me sick.  I never heard of such garbage
about opticon.  I believe the guy from Sarasota Instruments
used to have a lab in Clearwater, Fl where they repaired
emeralds.  Off the record, I down loaded your sheet on what
happened and will let my students read it at break. 

Fred Ward replies:

Thanks, Eva. Every day a new group of folks brings me a new list
of the people I should be suing. I could spend the rest of my
life in lawsuit purgatory.

I think you may have confused two people. John Allaman, a fine
inventor and manufacturer of gem instruments, owns Sarasota
Instruments. Ted Themelis operated a treatment facility in

And you are welcome to share my story with your students. I want
everyone in the world to know what happened. That is the only
way this complete travesty can ever be resolved. I want people to
be furious that such a thing can happen in our court system.

If you ever have doubts, remember O.J.

Fred Ward