Jeweller ordered to pay £30,000 when customer lost her diamond

A rare diamond lost from a ring has resulted in a £30,000 compensation order.

In 2017 Mark Hare bought his partner Olivia Caffey the 3.1-carat yellow diamond ring which she called, “the most beautiful and significant thing I’d ever been given”. The £29,000 stone was lost in Victoria Station, London, in March 2018 and despite a four-hour search was never found.

58-year-old Mr Hare sued Philip Lloyd Jewellers, the jewellers where he bought the ring and arranged for the stone to be set, claiming that the diamond fell out because one of the claws that held the stone in place broke. The Surrey-based jewellers denied liability for the loss, claiming it was of sound quality and that it must have been damaged by wearing gloves that “yanked” at the metal as Ms Caffey pulled it off.

Judge Nicholas Parfitt ruled at Central London County Court that the gold used to make the claws that held the stone in place was not of “satisfactory quality”.

The judge said that the claw may have broken when Ms Claffey removed some fluff from it, but that the ring should have been of a high enough quality to withstand this, and that if it had been the removal of the fluff that broke the metal, it was not her fault. “Even a significant trauma would not be expected to break a claw rather than bend it back, unless that claw was too brittle to start with,” The Judge said.

He further commented, “I find that it was more likely than not that the claw failed because at the time of sale on Feb 3 2018, the metal was not of satisfactory quality. The broken claw should not have happened.”

The judge awarded Mr Hare damages of £29,000 for the money he “wasted” on the diamond, plus interest, taking his total compensation to over £30,000. Yellow diamonds are among the most prized gemstones in the world.