Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Refund

Class-action suit forces gem giant De Beers to cut consumers a check
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 10:13 AM CST
De Beers opens first store in Texas. (PRNewsFoto/De Beers)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – If you bought a diamond—any diamond—between 1994 and 2006, De Beers owes you money. The jewelry behemoth recently settled a class-action lawsuit that accused it of driving up diamond prices with monopolistic practices. To compensate, it will pay consumers up to 59% of their bling’s original price. But there are catches aplenty, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Of the $295 million settlement, only about $135 million is going to rebates, compared with the $294 billion in diamond sales from 1994-2006. That means if everyone eligible files, the payouts fall substantially, to the tune of $2 back on a $2,000 ring. But remember, De Beers says, just because it’s ponying up doesn’t mean it did anything wrong. (Read more diamond stories.)