NORFOLK, Va. - A local jeweler is paying up for switching out diamonds on high-end engagement rings. Two men believed they were buying GIA certified diamonds, but received something else instead.
"You often use engagement rings as a symbol of your love so I wanted it to be quite perfect in every way," said Bosun Hau, who thought he was buying a 3.02 carat GIA certified diamond with a Tacori setting to propose to his girlfriend with. He bought the ring from Intercarats, LLC in downtown Norfolk for more than $30,000 and that's not the ring he got.
"It involved him switching out the original diamond that he was going to send to me without me knowing, he purposefully tried to deceive me by sending packages to wrong addresses," said Hau.
Hau's friend, Ming Fang was scammed too. Fang actually purchased his ring first and referred Hau to Intercarats.
"It was a horrible sinking feeling. I promised something to my fiance, it was to be a symbol of my love to her, a symbol of trust, and all of that just evaporated," said Fang.
Last week a Circuit Court Jury ruled Intercarats committed fraud by selling Hau and Fang different rings from what they thought they were getting. Intercarats has to pay the two men more than $200,000 in damages.
News 3 went to Intercarats Monday afternoon. Their posted hours say they're open until 6:00pm, but a little after 5:00pm and the store was already closed.
"We were diligent enough to examine our diamonds and take them to a jeweler after the fact to verify what we bought, we received," said Hau.
To make sure this doesn't happen to you, no matter what ring you're getting, Phil Ralph from Madison Jewelers said to demand paperwork.
"You do want to make sure you get that certificate and it should match the stone itself," said Ralph. GIA Certified Diamonds also come with laser inscriptions, which offers extra protection.
"You move out of the area, you get your ring cleaned and it comes back you want to know it's your stone. grab a magnification, look at it, your number is there, that's nothing something that can be reproduced," said Ralph.
Fortunately, there are happy endings for both Fang and Hau. Fang has married his fiance and they have a new ring. Hau has also purchased a new Tacori ring he said is even more beautiful than the one Intercarats promised him and they are hoping to have a destination wedding somewhere tropical.