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Ward's Case


#1

Although I am pleased to have a chance to discuss the emerald
case with members of the gem trade, I am distressed that your
announcement to several thousand people has several crutial
errors.

The emerald did NOT contain a fracture when sold. That is the
fundamental reality of this case. Only Cap Beesley, working for
the State Farm Insurance Co. (which was also being sued by the
ring buyers), came up with the idea that the emerald was
fractured and filled in Colombia before we bought and sold it.
His claim is false, both gemologically and scientifically.

We sold a sound and beautiful emerald. Your announcement about
this site asks how could everyone have missed a huge fracture
and says that Fred Ward does not have the answer.

I do have the answer.

The entire statement and assumptions are wrong. There was no
fracture when the emerald was sold. Every one of the gem trade
professionals who saw, held, and examined the emerald saw
everything there was to see. There was no fracture, and thus
there was no filler then.

Having the facts right puts an entirely different cast on the
case. I hope all the people who visit this site and read about
the case will see what actually happened and will realize the
enormous harm that this case is causing the industry.

Fred Ward


#2

After reading the Fred Ward reports and having been at the NY
presentation, I suggest strongly that any comments be directed
personally to Fred Ward, and not commented to on the open Orchid
Forum.


#3

Name: Jo Garrett
Email: @jgarrett
Address: 155 Northam Ave.
Newbury Park, CA 91320

Just another instance where the law allows discretion to a judge
with no discretion. Dangerous! But not surprising. Read a few
court cases.

And people wonder why we have such a litigious society. Who said
you can’t get something for nothing? Too many times in our court
system somebody tells a few lies and collects big.

If anyone can figure out anything to do about cases like this,
count me as a supporter, to say nothing about being an admirer,
too.


#4

Thanks for your response. I agree with you totally that this
case should never have been brought to court. The buyer filed a
claim with State Farm and the claim was denied. Instead of suing
just State Farm and seeking our help with pictures and
the customer lumped us into the suit. No one ever
thought we should have been there. But when State Farm and the
Lynns (through their attorneys) both turned on Blue Planet Gems,
Inc and us personally and tried to make it our fault, the case
turned sour. We were attacked on two fronts for something we
never did.

As you note, it is unfair. It is also a dangerous precedent for
the trade.

Fred Ward


#5

Name: Surbhi D. Pandya
Email: @pandya
Address: 4532 Commons Dr. #301
Annandale, VA 22003

Dear Fred Ward,

I am very sorry you are going through this unfair accusations. I
am hoping that Mr. Beesly or as is it Mr. Beastly, does have the
professional courtesy to answer your challenge. If he doesn’t
then the jewelry industry will have to understand that he is a
liar. I hope that the National jeweler and Mr. Beesly’s beastly
behavior of promoting themselves at your expense will not be
successfull. Their success will only hurt the jewelry industry
in the long run. I would like to know if you can take Mr.
Beesly and the National Jeweler to court and sue them for
$25,000,000 dollars. From

Surbhi


#6

Fred, unfortunately, this is the luck of the draw. A case like
this was bound to come up sooner or later and unfortunately fate
picked(on), you! I’m not a gemologist but I have a question. Is
it not possible to pull-out some of the fracture filler and do a
chemical analysis on it? It would seem that through pinpointing
certain anomolies in it’s composition you could find out the
manufacturer, when that batch was made, if it was sold to a
second party for treatment and if it was even possible for the
stone to have been treated before you acquired it. Again, my
knowlege of stone treatment is very limited, but perhaps this is
an avenue for you to persue if you haven’t already. Good luck!
Roland


#7

Dear Fred.

I have read the article and believe that the writer was making
the point that there was no fracture, and that the person that
has brought this case broke the stone when it was hit with
something or something hit it. The damage was done by the owner
and the jeweler should not be held responsible for the action.

If you sold the gem in reasonable order than the owner should not
be even allowed to bring this case to court. But with the times
people will try . If you fail in this case, Appeal it if you
can. No one in there right mind would expect a good stone broken
by the owner to be the fault of the jeweler. The insurance co on
the other hand might have to pay if they insured against
accidental damage.

Best of luck Al


#8

Hi Fred!

I read the on the Ganoksin site (before it was
broadly announced) and must reassure you that I understood the
gem was remarkably flawless (for an emerald) when it was
received by the customer. One of my first questions after
reading the was, “How can the insurance company hold
the jeweler responsible when, by the customer’s own admission,
they damaged the stone?”

I feel badly that the introduction of this topic might be
interpreted to read that you sold a flawed product. The
on the Web itself is clear that was not the case,
and that the customer admitted to fracturing the stone. The
nicks on the gold work also seem to confirm a rough life in this
ring’s short existence.

How does the customer explain the filler and the sizing beads in
the ring? Do they state that you performed that work and nobody
else has worked on it? From your statements, it seems clear
that you performed no work on the piece after it was sold? What
is the customer’s (as opposed to State Farm’s) position?

My comment was “it seems the only crime here was to let an
irresponsible customer own a remarkable gem like that!”

Best of luck, please know you have all our support here!

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#9

Hi Fred, Everyone, Your emerald case is fascinating. What a
shock (grin) that the originator of the concept that the emerald
contained an enormous fracture when purchased turns out to be the
2nd biggest insurance malefactor in my research.

I have a page devoted to insurance co.s defrauding their
customers. There’s a lot of legal links on it as well as general
info. It sounds like this is an out and out bad faith
accusation, where they know it isn’t true, just to get out of
paying a just claim. This is not unusual. State Farm has been
known to move the time of an earthquake backwards a year in order
to deny a covered claim by saying it came from an earthquake
(uncovered).

I’d like permission to add your story to my page. I am
constantly doing research on insurance law, cases, etc., and if
you tell me the sorts of info you need to help you out, I can be
looking for it as I research.

To everyone, read your policys carefully, video everything you
own to prove you owned it, save ALL receipts, and do NOT have a
robbery or covered loss over $5000 or, in spite of all due care,
you may find your homeowners is worthless unless you are prepared
to sue, and then fight their appeal when they lose.

Good luck and best wishes,
Paula
If you think you’re too small to fight back
Come to CYBER VIGILANTE at


#10

Fred,

The impression that I got from reading the announcement was that
the question about how you could have missed the fracture was
rhetorical, and was meant to imply that you could not have
missed it, therefore it didn’t exist when you received the
stone. That’s one person’s interpretation, for what it’s worth.
At least this one (me) read it the way that you believe to be
the truth.

Regards,

Sam Brunstein
Designs by Marie
admin@designs-by-marie.com
http://www.designs-by-marie.comOn Sun, 12 Oct 1997, Fred Ward fward@erols.com wrote:

Although I am pleased to have a chance to discuss the
emerald case with members of the gem trade, I am distressed
that your announcement to several thousand people has
several crucial errors.

The emerald did NOT contain a fracture when sold. That is
the fundamental reality of this case. Only Cap Beesley,
working for the State Farm Insurance Co. (which was also
being sued by the ring buyers), came up with the idea that
the emerald was fractured and filled in Colombia before we
bought and sold it. His claim is false, both gemologically
and scientifically.

We sold a sound and beautiful emerald. Your announcement
about this site asks how could everyone have missed a huge
fracture and says that Fred Ward does not have the answer.

I do have the answer.

The entire statement and assumptions are wrong. There was no
fracture when the emerald was sold. Every one of the gem
trade professionals who saw, held, and examined the emerald
saw everything there was to see. There was no fracture, and
thus there was no filler then.

Having the facts right puts an entirely different cast on
the case. I hope all the people who visit this site and read
about the case will see what actually happened and will
realize the enormous harm that this case is causing the
industry.

Fred Ward


#11
 Just another instance where the law allows discretion to a judge
 with no discretion. Dangerous! But not surprising. Read a few
 court cases.

Jo, this was a jury verdict. People just like you and me.
However, I do remember thinking when I first read about the case
in National Jeweler that this guy got screwed. (Despite NJ’s
apparent erroneous reporting.)

Good luck Fred.
Dick Caverly


#12

Name: Robert Ayotte
Email: @rayotte

You should see if there are any medical records on or near the
date that the ring was damaged to help prove the forced that the
stone was hit by when it was fractured.

Also, if there is anyway to contact all jewelers who do repairs
in your area, and inquire if they worked on such a ring. My bet
is they will not want it known, but you may be surprised. Let’s
face it, she wanted to wear it, so she had it “FIXED” by
someone.

Oh, and Appeal appeal appeal


#13

Fred,

As a retailer, I am curious if you had any written guarantee
policy. I have seen chain jewelers in this area (New England)
with written policies of lifetime warrantees which specifically
exclude emeralds and opals. Perhaps if this gets dragged into
court, that fact may help your case. Sort of an “industry
practice” based on the fact that you cannot reasonably assure
that any emerald will not break during normal wear, a statement
which I am sure that you can find many an expert witness willing
to make.

At any rate, good luck. My prayers will be with you and this
greedy world we live in.

Sharon Ziemek
GoldStones, Inc.


#14

Hi!

I read the case and the article about the case and I have a
couple of questions. Premise, this is an extremely expensive
stone and the mount is high quality also. As a setter myself
I’ve had experience with filled emeralds and found it unnerving to
have the filler fall out in the sonic. But it was self evident
that it had been filled because of no surface abrasion or impact
sight. You state that there was an impact sight after the
customer brought it back. She admitted damaging the stone.

Question 1. Who received the ring back after a week, if it was
you,why didn’t you resolve the problem then. It’s good you took
a picture of the item when it came back. I’m not quite getting
why this mount would have gone any further than this point
without closure on the subject.

Question 2. Why did send the ring to the goldsmith-setter for
work? I don’t blame him for not working on it, I would not have.
Unless you wanted him as an outside whiteness.

Question 3. Why would you release the ring back to customer the
unresolved? Without some sort of release signed. Your paper
trail on the gemological side sounds good and quite obvious. Why
is the jury having a hard time following it or believing it?
Are they stunned or baffled? I do hope you win your case
though. Jim alpine@hay.net


#15
Although I am pleased to have a chance to discuss the emerald
case with members of the gem trade, I am distressed that your
announcement to several thousand people has several crutial
errors.

Greeting Fred,

I assume that you are concerned about the first couple of
paragraphs of the general announcement which I drafted
personally. The first section is repeated below:

   He is being sued by his customer for having sold her a 3.65
carat emerald that contained a massive 10.8 mm fracture that
only became visible once she managed to hit it hard enough to
"reverse the filler process."

I hope that there was no misunderstanding as to what was
intended here. First of all, I state that the cause of action
brought against you asserts that the stone was fractured prior
to the sale - an assertion I find most unlikely. First of all,
everyone in the trade knows that neither Opticon, glass, nor any
number of natural oils (e.g., palm, balsam, cederwood, or clove
oil) will “reverse” or "fail’ due to trauma. It just doesn’t
work that way. I assumed that no one in the trade would believe
something like that - I was being sarcastic.

The stone as seen in the photographic evidence shows such
serious damage that I doubt anyone could have overlooked it.
Not a nieve customer; not a professional who deals with stones
for a living. I just don’t see this as being possible. Simply
nobody pays $38,000 for a ring and doesn’t look at it - and had
they looked at it (with an unaided eye) they most certainly
would have noticed the fracture. I just don’t see how anyone
could believe that the plaintiff overlooked a 10.8 mm fracture
in the stone’s crown.

The following is from the consequent paragraph in the general
announcement.

   How is it possible to have hidden a massive 10.8 mm
surface-reaching fracture so completely that it could get
passed microscopic, UV light, and fiber optic light exams; and
a pin test for surface breaks?  Fred Ward still doesn=92t have
the answer to this question, but apparently his opponents do -
and it=92s about to cost him $380,500!

The answer is obvious - it’s simply not possible to hide a flaw
of that size. The implication is clear - the stone could not
have been in that condition prior to the sale. It is totally
inconceivable that a stone so seriously damaged could have
slipped by anybody.

Again, I trust that my sarcasm here was understood albeit
perhaps not appreciated. You have been convicted of the
impossible in the company of people who were too easily swayed
by a slick presentation engineered by your opponents. Only
people outside of the trade would buy that nonsense. Fred,
you’ve been seriously wronged. You certainly have my sympathy.

All the best,

Michael Terence Carney Jr.
Customer Accounts Manager
Ganoksin Jewelry Co., Ltd.
@Michael_Carney


#16

Iam so glad to see this message. My name is Robby and I own and
operate Renaissance Jewelers in Gainesville Florida. This whole
scenario from the jury not at all interested in the sizing beads
in the interior of the ring . Who put them their and what
happened.I know I would be very apprehensive if my customer
asked me to do this. If this occuried after the ring was dropped
the heat from the soldering could have affected the the over
stability of the gem. It seems to me the jeweler who put the
beads in the ring caused the fracture to become evident and tried
to cover up the problem with opticon. I know if such a job came
to our shop we would have examined the gem and warned the
customer of the potential danger. Out here in the trenches it is
very scary the unlimited possibilty for potential lawsuits. We
suppot your case and hope the truth will right a terrible wrong.
Good Luck Robby

Robby & Stephanie Packer
Renaisance Jewelers
@jewelry
TOLL FREE (888) 303-0091 or (352) 332-9551


#17

Howdy, The Wards have my sympathie, I think what is happing is a
disgrace and speaks poorly of the insurance industry(espically
State Farm). I suggest that if you are doing business with State
Farm that you stop immeditally. Also I think all who care should
boycott State Farm and let them know why. This may or may not
help Mr. Ward, but it will let State Farm know that we, as an
industry, will not tolerate insurance companies who do not stand
by their word. Who wants to do business with a Ins. co. who, when
given a claim tries to weasle out of paying by blaming an
innocent person? I don’t and would hope you wouldn’t either. If we
stick together, we may be able to make a change in the way ins.
co. handle claims, don’t underestimate the power of the dollar.
Hit them where it hurts the most, the pocket book. I have written
a letter to State Farm telling them I would never do business
with them, because of the poor treatment Mr. Ward has recieved.
I hope everyone esle will do the same. thanks for allowing me to
put in my 2 cents worth jerry


#18

I am not a professional jeweler. I do however think that this
case has been handled poorly by the court system. It strikes me,
however, that when you are selling a 3+ carat emerald, that you
would have it catalogued and inspected by GIA or some other third
party. Get pictures, and inclusion maps, and all that stuff.
That way, when this idiot psychiatrist person whacks the very
fragile, fracture-prone natural (or even unnatural) emerald, you
have your ass covered. I know that hindsight is 20-20, and that
what I say or think is mostly irrelevant, and that none of this
helps Mr. Ward, but I think when you are dealing with such a
costly and fragile stone, it is best to cover your butt!

M. Jones

@Marshall_Jones


#19

Dear Fred: I must agree that your case sets a bad precedent for
the jewelry industry. State Farm is the shadiest of all the
Insurance companies, and you should be ever cognizant that they
will use any means necessary to win in court once they have
denied a claim. It seems like a classic case of jury
manipulation, doesn’t it? Subversion of the jury process by legal
expertise. I’m afraid that you’re only hope is a sympathetic
judge or two on the Appeals Court or Supreme Court, as you well
know. I personally am of the opinion that what State Farm has
done in your case and so many others in natural disasters,
accidents, etc. is illegal under the RICO Act as it applies to
corporations and that the Justice Dept. of this United States
Government should be investigating the company’s dealings. A lot
of people think that RICO is a law on the books for organized
crime figures like John Gotti or somebody. They should read on.
Think about it like this- State Farm agreed to insure the ring
for your customer against damage, no? They are liable, simple as
that. They are doing everything they can do to place the blame
somewhere else by whatever means necessary. They are obviously
enticing witnesses to perjure themselves on the stand.It seems to
me like maybe someone at State Farm made a deal with your
customer to come in on her side in order to get out of paying off
or being sued by her- an all around win for S.F. I would bet that
S.F. is also paying all the legal fees for her.(Which they
re-coop in the event of your paying a judgment) I can’t believe
that the judge let them do it, but, well, after all it is an
oligarchy we live in and strings are pulled in courts and
legislatures, and even our Congress and Executive branch. RICO
describes exactly this sort of behavior as illegal under Federal
law. It is no less than Al Capone and Chicago all over again
except that these guys hide behind their ‘respectability’ and
their business front. In the end result they are all the same
thing. They should start a defense fund for you because as it
stands no jeweler can be safe from similar behavior in the future
if this stands the Appellate test.Good luck! Ricky Low


#20

hi fred, i’ve been following your case with pretty intense
interest. let me say first that i admire you immensley for
giving this apparently mendacious case a standup fight.

unfortunately, one can’t be truly be judged by their peers. if
you had twelve gemoligists on the jury, well, maybe just one or
two that could grasp the concept of gem treatment, you (and the
gem industry) wouldn’t have had mud slung all over your life.
obviously, the plaintiff whacked her stone and that is her
fault. what are the chances of one impacting a stone
directly on a filling if it was filled? (not likely). after the
plaintiff whacks her stone, a jeweler installs sizing beads,
causing her fracture to walk (become longer) from the thermal
shock. the jeweler then uses the filler material. first,she
caused the damage and second, the jeweler made the situation
worse.

it is most certain that filler material would exist between the
bezel and stone if the gem was filled while mounted. why hasn’t
this been made an issue? it is much easier to believe that cap
beasley missed this filler location than the three principle
defendants (you, the one you purchased it from, and the
appraiser). not even including the three others that inspected
the stone, it is overwhelming testimony in your favor. it
appears to be collusion between the plaintiff and the insurance
co. rather than collusion between two past presidents of agta
and the appraiser.

is cap beasley’s credential that of the director of the ags gem
lab? if so, how can ags members have confidence in this
relatively new lab of theirs? what is the criteria for
establishing that the crack was an inclusion that existed at the
time of cutting? did he mistakenly see drag lines?

yes, i believe in full disclosure as you, agta and others
profess. i also believe that undisclosed gem treatment is
hurting the industry. but you are a victim (so far anyway, and i
pray for your vindication) of a witch hunt.

the plaintiff and you will ‘never agree to facts’ (as a lawyer
put to me that he didn’t care what was true) as to who put the
sizing beads in the ring. your own knowledge and conviction of
what you know to be true is your exoneration and will cause you
to prevail in this case. best regards,

geo fox