"It was flat-out theft." That's how one woman describes her experience with Kay Jewelers, which is facing a barrage of complaints from customers who say their jewelry was lost or damaged—or even that the diamonds in their engagement rings were replaced with fake ones. Chrissy Clarius tells BuzzFeed she took her one-carat diamond ring for an inspection at Kay every six months for five years—a condition of Kay's lifetime guarantee on its jewelry, reports the Consumerist. Her ring was sent for repairs three times before an employee noticed the engraved serial number on her diamond was missing. While Kay maintained the stone was a diamond, two other jewelers determined it had been swapped with moissanite—a less expensive stone.
BuzzFeed tracked down seven other women—including some who've gone to police—who said Kay had replaced their stone with poor-quality or fake diamonds. One woman says she asked for a new setting but had her diamond replaced with one with a visible flaw. Now, she doesn't even wear it. "It's not the diamond my husband got for me—it has no sentimental value for me anymore." A rep for parent company Signet says "every year we've got millions of transactions and millions of repairs we are processing in our stores," and such cases are "minimal." A Kay manager adds store policies—including that employees check for certification numbers—are meant to ensure stones aren't swapped out. (This newly found diamond would be much, much tougher to replace.)