LEBANON, TN (WSMV) – A middle Tennessee woman is suing a local jeweler she claims lost her massive topaz. Julie Burgess dreamed of one day owning her mother’s 20-plus carat deep sherry topaz. “I thought it was amazing as a 10-year-old,” Burgess said. “And I just remember it being very beautiful and sparkly.”
Burgess said she took the stone to Shawn Smith, the owner of The Jewelers on Main Street in Lebanon, for an appraisal and a new setting. Instead, Burgess said she got a phone call from Smith saying he had lost the topaz. “Devastated,” Burgess said. “To have waited that long to acquire a piece of family history and then I guess I had it a month.”
Burgess said she asked Smith to file for insurance, but he refused and instead offered her the best diamond at the jewelers. Smith said the diamond was worth $41,000. In addition to the lost topaz, she would also have to give him her wedding ring.
When she left with the diamond, Burgess said she had a bad feeling. She had it appraised, and according to diamond grading experts GIA, it was worth less than $5,000.
Burgess had enough and called lawyers at Cummings Manookian.
“I don’t think it’s too dramatic to say it’s horrific,” attorney Brian Cummings said. “I think the loss certainly made our client feel like she was stolen from once. And then this scam of a transaction about the best in the store diamond that’s worth one-eighth of what the store says is like being stolen from again.
“In a unique sense, it’s being victimized twice by the same people,” Cummings added.
The lawyers representing Smith and the jewelers did not return Channel 4’s call on Tuesday. The jewelers are being sued for fraud and negligence.
Source Story & Video: WSMV, http://www.wsmv.com/story/28986281/woman-sues-jeweler-over-lost-topaz-overvalued-diamond