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Lost stone


#1

Had a customer come in after two months and had snaped off the
platinum head on a ring. The post still was there along with the
solder impression of the six prong head. Customer wants me to
replace diamond .83 ct. What do you do in a case like that after
that time span? I offered her to replace at cost and free labor to
set. Am I way off base ? What do any of you have for a policy such
as that? Ron


#2

I think that is more than “Generous”. I would have a tendency to
offer the same thing, and if the customer wasn’t satisfied with
that, I would point him/her to the door. Of course, as we have
discussed on the group before, how you treat this customer all
depends on how much money they have spent with you, and if you want
to keep them as a customer. For what it’s worth.

Tim Goodwin


#3

Ron,

Yikes, I believe that your customer should have had insurance.
Your offer is a good way to go, other than telling her she is out
of luck period. Its a rough world out there and any fool would know
better than to drive a new car without insurance, why would you
spend so much on a diamond and not insure it? Its an uncomfortable
situation because of the way the head came off. And thats the
reason that you may have to do something for her. I think that
most of my customers (retail jewelers) would, if not give her a new
stone, they would eat part of the cost. I think you have to do what
you would want done for you if you were the customer and it was
your diamond that was lost. A wise old jeweler once told me that if
you are too undercapitalized to replace a customers diamond out of
your pocket, you should not be selling diamonds.

I have always thought that this is the reason you need to get full
retail. To protect yourself from things like this.

Mark
Wisconsin


#4

Hello Keith,

You think that’s bad… I have a wholesale shop in a Silverman’s
store and I do all stonesetting and I am GIA trained diamonds and
colored stones and I am not ignorant about setting a MW3 $999.00 1
carat round to disguise it’s inevidable hairy durability effecting
inclusion under one tiny little prong. I set this carat over six
months ago in a new semi mount from silverman’s and last week she
walks in saying I broke the stone when I set it because she has
just noticed the inclusion when she looked at it from the side. The
store manager looks at it and sees it for the inclusion that it is
and not the break she thinks it is, tries to talk to her about it
and buckles under pressure when she brings her husband back in to
pitch a loud fit in the store. The manager doesn’t want it on his
p&l at the end of the month so he expects ME, the measley low end
of the food chain in the jewelry business to replace it so they
will leave happy. Did I mention they bought the diamond from
Montgomery Wards and brought it to us to remount? I think your
policy sounds fair. I assume you own a retail operation. Do you
have any warranty posted or in writing? If not you could loose in
court as the judge will expect you to prove you didn’t do something
wrong instead of the customer proving that you did. If you don’t
have Jeweler’s Mutual you should probably consider it for your
future. Best of luck and I woould like to know the outcome of your
situation.Patty in MO. PS. I think with the impresion of the base
of the head in the solder it should tell you that there was a
faulty bond.


#5

Ron, I think that your offer to replace at cost is adequate.
Normally a guarantee is based on normal wear. I would think that
the force required to snap off a platinum head goes beyond what
could be considered normal wear.

JoelNyack, NY
http://www.schwalbstudio.com


#6
     Had a customer come in after two months and had snaped off
the platinum head on a ring.  The post still was there along with
the solder impression of the six prong head.

My first impression is that your offer is fair. The customer may
not see it that way. You will have to show that he (she) abused
the ring in a manner that a reasonable person during normal wear
would not do. If this fails, you may, in the end, offer to split
the cost of the diamond. (I am not a lawyer. this is just my
opinion)

good luck
allan


#7

Oh man I am so sorry, will you set a diamond for me, on the side
which will not breach your GIA code of ethics. it will be as
close to IF and WHITE/WHITE (D) as possible. my platinum and my
palladium; with my diamond. RS


#8

My policy has always been a lifetime guarantee on materials and
workmanship. Put yourself in the customers place. Lets say you
have a clutch relaced in your car and the transmission falls out
2 months later because the mounting bolts shear off due to
over-tightening. Would it be alright with you if the mechanic
wanted you to pay for a new transmission?

Brett


#9

Ron,

From the description you gave of how the piece looked with the
post still there and a solder impression at the base, it seems
to me that the head was not soldered in adequately. If the head
was soldered in properly then when it took the fatal blow , it
would of bent a prong instead of break off. After soldering in a
head , one of the critical inspections is to look with a 10X loop
to see if the solder flowed properly to the base of the head. In
this case it apparently did not. If I had soldered the head in I
would expect it to stay in longer than the prongs last. It is a
bitter pill but you need to be honest and replace the stone.
Look at it from the customers point of view, they paid a
professional to put their diamond in a platinum head that should
last a lifetime. Two months later the whole head is gone. If
it was you on the other side of the counter, what you would
expect?

I don’t have a written or posted policy on warranty of repair
or custom work. The guide lines I use are what seems fair and
reasonable and how would I want to be treated. I do quite a bit
of warranty work that most people wouldn’t do, but thats the kind
of service I am known for and thats why people keep coming back.
Occasionally I get taken advantage of, but in most cases people
are honest and fair.

Ray


#10
    "the force required to snap off a platinum head goes beyond
what could be considered normal wear." 	

I am sorry, I did not read the original post.
I have to ask, Did you use plat. solder or white gold solder? With
gold solder it is possible to get what I call "Superficial welds"
where the solder flows completely around the area but only on the
surface. This would make it easy to knock off. This lady’s not a
hair stylist, is she?

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA


#11

Ron,

From the description you gave of how the piece looked with the
post still there and a solder impression at the base, it seems
to me that the head was not soldered in adequately. If the head
was soldered in properly then when it took the fatal blow , it
would of bent a prong instead of break off. After soldering in a
head , one of the critical inspections is to look with a 10X loop
to see if the solder flowed properly to the base of the head. In
this case it apparently did not. If I had soldered the head in I
would expect it to stay in longer than the prongs last. It is a
bitter pill but you need to be honest and replace the stone.
Look at it from the customers point of view, they paid a
professional to put their diamond in a platinum head that should
last a lifetime. Two months later the whole head is gone. If
it was you on the other side of the counter, what you would
expect?

I don’t have a written or posted policy on warranty of repair
or custom work. The guide lines I use are what seems fair and
reasonable and how would I want to be treated. I do quite a bit
of warranty work that most people wouldn’t do, but thats the kind
of service I am known for and thats why people keep coming back.
Occasionally I get taken advantage of, but in most cases people
are honest and fair.

Ray


#12

Roy, I’ve watched the reasopnces to your delema and I’d like to
add this: Although we as craftsmen do our very best job we can we
could never guarentee how our customers will wear thier jewelry!
There for, we can only appraise each situation individually with
full conscience of the situation. It’s quite obvious that a
serios blow occured which was a form of accidentral abuse (a
nasty word to a customer). After all we’er only dealing with soft
metals here.I don’t think there’s a jeweler out there that can
say they’ve never seen a head ripped away from the setting. But,
if we do our job right how could anyone guarentee against an act
of GOD? I have seen this before and from the customers point of
view it’s allways the jewelers fault, but isn’t that what
household insurance is for? Not to pass the buck, but who can say
what actually happened at the time, I know I was miles away from
the occurance. Your solution seems most fair under the
circumstances. Good Luck, Diamond Jim


#13

I guess I’ll add my two cents also — your story reminded me that
if I solder on heads for expensive stones I ought to grab 'em with
a pliers and try to break the joint before setting — then explain
to the customer and put in writing your guarantee disclaimers and
get them to sign — use as a selling point that they shouldn’t be
able to pop the stone off the mounting without first class abuse.

People evidently will tend to think you are Walmart and can absorb
the cost of any mistake they make. They think it is built into the
purchase price, so you’ll have to make it clear that it isn’t if it
isn’t.

I set mostly much cheaper stones in cast mountings, but your
experience certainly made me think.

Roy (Jess)


#14

I have been following the lost stone controversy…This is always a
difficult call. As jewelers we are frequently asked to set stones
which far exceed the value of the work that we are paid for. We
are responsible for defects in our workmanship but, we are not
responsible to provide insurance for the client.

A missing prong head is a thorny issue. Did the client knock it
out, did it fall out. In the past we have had problems soldering
palladium heads to gold shanks. Oxidization will sometimes cause
the head to break out leaving behind the shank with solder intact.
I noticed the head was platinum does that mean palladium?

Clients should insure their valuables. I had one who broke a head
five years after I made the ring. He expected me to take
responsibility. Obviously this was inappropriate and I told him so.
To expect a jeweler to do $700 worth of work and insure a 5,000
diamond for five years is a bit much. A lost stone is the first
month in another thing entirely. If the intact prong is still
there then obviously the jeweler is at fault. If it is sheared,
then it is the clients problem.

In all cases it is a question of business. Is this a good
customer, will he be spending a lot with you? Somtimes its worth
eating the job regardless of fault.

Richard W. Wise