5 On Your Side

Is a Diamond-Purchase Refund Glittering in Your Future?

Posted February 26, 2008 3:35 p.m. EST
Updated February 27, 2008 11:44 a.m. EST

— Perhaps you or someone you know bought diamond jewelry in the last decade or so. If so, there might be a refund waiting.

It's part of a $295 million class-action suit against DeBeers, the company that produces most of the world's diamonds. It is not a popular subject in some quarters, however.

A 5 on Your Side investigation found that the suit is so touchy in the diamond industry that not one of the area jewelers contacted for this story would talk about it on camera. They said they were concerned about possible ramifications from DeBeers.

A series of lawsuits claimed the DeBeers group of companies conspired to fix the price of diamonds, monopolized the market and had misleading advertising.

Because of it, the suits claimed, consumers paid more for diamonds then they should have. A settlement says that consumers who bought diamond jewelry between 1994 and 2006 are eligible to share the $295 million.

One of the people who bought during the covered period is Crystal Burriss, who noticed an online posting.

“It said ‘diamond refunds,’ and that caught my attention,” Burriss said. “That's a lot of money, so I'd like to have my little chunk.

Burriss' original wedding set and a tennis bracelet both fit the time period.

“The ring was, assuming everything goes … as the percentages are outlined, $161. And it would be slightly more than that, I think around $200, for the bracelet,” Burriss said of her potential refunds.

Although refund amounts will vary depending on the number of total claims filed for a piece of the $295 million, the higher the cost of the diamond, the higher the payout percentage. For example, according to the settlement, a $1,000 piece of diamond jewelry could be eligible for a $320 refund.

Burriss said she plans to claim her portion and wants to get the word out so that other women can get theirs.

“I don't think I've met one person that it doesn't affect,” Burriss said.

Best of all, she said, there do not appear to be any strings attached – "the best kind of money."

Are You Eligible?

You are eligible for a claim if:

  • You purchased a diamond or diamond jewelry anytime between Jan. 1, 1994 to March 31, 2006.
  • You maintain a place of residencey in the United States.

To file a claim: