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De Beers Diamond Settlement Explained

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Diamonds Are ForeverDiamonds are a girl’s best friend! And if you bought into the marketing slogan and got your sweetie a diamond (or anything with a diamond in it), you may be able to recoup some of the cost in a settlement. De Beers was charged with cornering the diamond market between Jan 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006 and recently settled for $295 million. Of the $295 million, $135 million was earmarked for consumers with the balance going to wholesalers. Check out their press release statement on the issue.

How Much Do I Get

Unfortunately, because it’s unclear how many people will make a claim and because the lawyer fees haven’t been published, the table (published on MSN Money) is just a maximum value and not what you’ll likely see. $135M spread across all the diamond purchases over the course of eight years is not going to amount to much. In fact, if your prorated share of the settlement is under $10, they won’t even send it to you because of “prohibitive administrative costs.”

The minimum payout is $10 and the maximum is $640 (the Recognized Claim Amount). If you bought a lot of diamonds, the maximum you can receive is the Recognized Claim Amount of $640.

Should I File?

Considering the $10 rule, you may want to reconsider whether to spend the time to file. This is what they recommend: “As a general guideline, if your total purchases consist of Mixed Stones Jewelry with combined purchase prices of $165 or less, or Diamonds Only Jewelry with combined purchase prices of $95 or less, your claim will not reach the payment minimum amount of $10.00.” Now, is that just the lawyers wanting a bigger piece of the pie? Is it just there so people don’t dilute the pool? Who knows, that’s up to you to decide.

How To File

To file a claim, visit the online claim form or fill out the PDF form and mail it back by may 19th.

If you claim less than $10,000, you don’t need to provide proof right now but you might need it later. If you claim more than $10,000, you have to include a copy of a document that shows the specs of the diamond (what’s essentially in an appraisal). Good luck!

(Photo: tambako)

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25 Responses to “De Beers Diamond Settlement Explained”

  1. Katie B. says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us! I will definitely be filing a claim immediately.

  2. Jeremy says:

    They better pay up. My wife’s engagement and wedding ring purchases both fit into this time frame, so I want some cash.

  3. adfecto says:

    There are diamonds in rings I have bought from my wife. This was before I saw Blood Diamond and then read a few books about the diamond trade.

    It is a dirty dirty business cooked up my some very talented marketers who have convinced us that diamonds “are a girls best friend” and are a right of passage for marriage etc etc. It is all marketing hype. I dare you to try and sell your diamonds back to where you originally bought them, they won’t take them back. No one will pay anywhere near retail to buy back a diamond. The value is based entirely on a manufactured scarcity that De Beers created, they know the rocks are worth far less than they are sold for, but the good marketing has convinced us otherwise. There are several great books (including one that is free to read online cover to cover but I don’t have the link) that everyone should read. Scary stuff. People die over these things.

    I’ll stick to well done synthetics and let everyone else marvel at the wonderful rock and never be able to tell the difference.

  4. Dave says:

    Definately worth my time – I spent 2 minutes filling out the forms, and even if I get 10 bucks back, its still better than nothing.

  5. Kirk says:

    Along the lines of adfecto, I have a friend who got an “insider” tour of the Kremlin and other Russian buildings. He was taken to a vault (no, not one of Stalin’s) that contained thousands of diamonds. His Russian guide told him that De Beers was paying Russia to vault the diamonds, rather than sell them on the open market.

    These guys are dirty.

  6. Tim says:

    i should be in for a good pay off over the next year with the foreign transaction fee class action, the debeers class action, and konica/minolta class action.

  7. That’s amazing! We all knew they were cornering the market, but I never would have thought they would actually be held responsible.

  8. Ken says:

    This is interesting. There are two groups in this claim action. The final consumer and the middle man buyers. The middle man buyers pass on their expenses to the final buyer, but they get a piece of the claim and at a higher percentage and greater dollar value than the consumer. The final buyer gets a smaller percentage and is limited in total dollar value. Once again, our justice system looking out for the citizen.

  9. Vickie says:

    Did anyone ever see a check after filing their claim? I haven’t, and my claim was nothing to sneeze at!

  10. diane says:

    Does anyone know how to check on the status of a claim if one was submitted ? If so please let me know. Thanks!

    • Luis says:

      I recently sent an email to the Settlement Administrator, for a status update on the settlement, and was advised that nothing has been resolved. This was three months ago. I don’t have the email address, because my computer died, and I lost everything, as well as the Administrator email address. My filing was for over $70k in purchases. I have just read, that the maximum will be $640.00. Is this correct, did they change pay out amounts! Because I was not aware of this, and I have documentation that says otherwise. According to my documentation, it reads,
      Consumer Diamond Product Table:
      Dimonds only jewlery –
      1) $200-$999 payment claim will be 27.5% of the retail price.
      2) $1k-$5,499. @ 32% of the retail price.
      3) $5,500.-$9,999 @ 38.5% of the retail price.
      4) $10k or more @ 45% of the retail price.
      5) Loose Diamonds any and all will be paid @ 59% of the retail price.

      Please advise. Feel free to email me. I will search for the Administrator’s Email Address through my printed documentation. I saved everything on hard copy.

      • shell says:

        when can we expect to get payment

      • Kim Farrar says:

        From what I read on “diamondsclassaction.com” (number 19 link long form notice) That $640 that the authors of this website mention was actually taken from an example based on a $2,000 purchase. From what I read (admittedly little) you would still get 45% of what you spent +/- due to the pro rata computations.

        I have not seen anything on how many people filed claims.
        I do know that Jewelers Vigilance Committee filed a brief with the courts this summer. It asked the courts to settle all this and make payments as a stimulus to the jewelry industry and especially small jewelers.

        I have no clue as to when they will actually pay up. I’d like to see that money before I retire in 2035.

        Best of luck.

    • Luis says:

      Diane,

      I was able to locate the info. Best method, send email, you will get a reply within 2 days, the most!

      Good Luck!

      Diamonds Settlement Administrator
      P.O. Box 9432
      Minneapolis, MN 55440-9432

      Email: Administrator@diamondsclassaction.com
      Tel: 1-800-760-5431 or if you are calling from overseas (612)-359-2002

  11. Cindy says:

    (Canned) response I received today:

    Appeals have since been filed contesting final approval of the Settlement, and these appeals will postpone resolving claim calculations. A hearing on these appeals was held on January 28, 2010, at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The court gave no indication as to when a decision will be made. No payments will be made on eligible claims until all appeals are resolved. It is uncertain how long these appeals will take to resolve, and the timing of resolving the appeals is not within our control. The appeals may take several additional months or longer to resolve before the settlement becomes final and funds can be distributed to eligible claimants.

    Diamonds Claims Administrator

  12. Thom says:

    The last I heard, until a few minutes ago, was that my payment ($9,980.00) would be valued at a rate of 27.5%. Now I hear that the MAXIMUM payment will be no more than $640.00. What happened?

  13. Cindy B says:

    Its now Dec 1, 2010. Any updates?

  14. Barbara K says:

    has anyone gotten a red cent from all of this. I hope it will be settled before I die

  15. Cindy B says:

    Nope Barbara, not a cent.

  16. gwendoly m says:

    I have yet to see or hear of anyone getting paid. Has anyone gotten paid yet?

  17. Cindy B says:

    As of May 2012, settlements should be in a few months https://diamondsclassaction.com/

  18. Cindy B says:

    My replys won’t show, maybe moderated. It shows on the site, in the next few months.

  19. Cindy B says:

    As of Aug 31th they’ll be taking care of the diamond resellers and serveral more months for the ones of us that bought diamonds for ourselves.

  20. Cliff L says:

    who was the retail outlet that I made the purchase from?


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