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Real Deal

The Case of the Gold (and Diamond) Digger — We Want Your Thoughts

Here’s what readers are saying so far.




The Case of the Gold (and Diamond) Digger — We Want Your Thoughts

In our latest Real Deal scenario, Tina Keller of TK Creations has created an engagement ring for a young couple, Derrick and Nicole. It’s beautiful, albeit well beyond Derrick’s original price range of $20,000. Nicole kicked in $5,000 on a credit card.

About a month after the engagement dinner, Nicole came to Tina’s studio alone and asked Tina if she could remove the center diamond and replace it with a CZ. Tina agreed to do the job, but she then took it upon herself to call Derrick.

Derrick was shocked. He asked that Tina not do anything with the ring till he could find out what was going on. Derrick called back the next day to tell Tina that Nicole came clean — she was planning to break off the engagement, give him back the ring, keep the diamond and move back east. He asked for a refund.

Tiny issued the refund and assumed that was the end of the story. But three weeks later, she got notice that she was being sued by Nicole for damages related to breach of client confidentiality.

The situation raises some important questions:

  • Does Nicole have a case? Who owns the engagement ring when both parties have some stake in paying for it?
  • Did Tina do the right thing by contacting Derrick?
  • Is it ever OK to follow your gut and not make a sale when you know it’s just not right?

We’d love to hear what you think. Check out the full scenario and send us your own response here.


Below is a selection of the responses we’ve received so far.

Sandra R.
West chester, PA

I would have done the same thing! In some states the ring belongs to the person who gave it and must be returned if the engagement is broken. If it went to court, I would want to believe a judge would see that this women had intentionally tried to deceive everyone.

But who wants to have to defend themselves for doing the morally correct thing? The guy is lucky he didn’t marry her. A divorce would have cost him even more.

Gabi M.
Tewksbury, MA

Tina had no right to call Derrick, even if it was the “right” thing to do. Although he had more stake in the initial purchase, Nicole is now Tina’s sole customer in this new job take-in. That being said, there was probably no “customer confidentiality,” so Nicole probably doesn’t have a case. She should have gone to another jeweler!

Marcus M.

Nicole does not have a case. In fact the police should have a case against her for conspiracy to commit fraud. Nicole is shady and her actions are down right criminal. She got her $5,000 back and needs to walk away from this situation before she finds herself in hot water. Tina definitely did the right thing by contacting Derrick. Can you imagine what would happen if Nicole got away with this and Derrick found out that Tina knew what was happening? That’s a whole new can of worms! Tina did everything right here. Even though she was uneasy about the situation to begin with, she still couldn’t reject the sale. At the end of the day she really didn’t know the dynamics of the relationship until Nicole revealed her true conniving self.

Amy C.
Grove, OK

Tina shouldn’t worry about this. Get a lawyer to fight first, then relax. The confidentiality seems to cover all three people in the situation together. I can’t picture a judge allowing her a privacy cover for what is essentially a deception. She did the right thing for all, especially that poor man who nearly married the wrong woman. He should be a customer forever!

Steve F.
New York, NY

When doing the right thing becomes the wrong thing to do, the problems of our industry and our nation are far worse than I ever imagined.

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