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28 April, 1998

Mr. Chris McCarthy
Editor
Retail Jeweller
3rd Floor
338 - 346 Goswell Road
London
EC1V 7QP

Dear Chris

.....
.....
In the second case, we were consulted by the Trading Standards Office to give an opinion on a diamond ring over the description of which the purchaser had just cause for suspicion and complaint. I have noticed that many jewellers have recently started to give customers oral indications of diamond quality, and that in many cases the price of the claimed quality has led me to be suspicious about the claims being exaggerated and therefore fraudulent. It is also frustrating trying to explain about diamond qualities, and at the same time urging sensible caution to a customer who has been offered a deal which is difficult to match, and sounds too good to be true. I can guess that most customers expect that we will attempt to rubbish alternative offers to try to win a customer and make a sale ourselves. It came as no surprise therefore to be able to confirm that the ring did not match its description, and disappointing that consumers who are generally pretty well informed these days, do not think to have the description, including diamond grades specified on the receipt or valuation. From what I have seen, there may well be thousands of customers each week buying diamond jewellery which has been negligently or fraudulently mis-described by the salesperson. This will ultimately blow back in the face of the jewellery trade in the form of lost consumer confidence, or possibly in large scale adverse media publicity. Ostriches wake up! Unite! Your business will be harmed badly by this sort of thing, if you allow it to continue. It will be easy to blame the negligent and the fraudulent, but you must also blame yourself for not doing more now to help suppress this sort of abuse.

Yours sincerely
Lawrence Chard


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