What are our options if a local jeweler ruined my wife’s wedding/engagement ring while preparing an estimate/ for us for a new ring?

We left the original ring with the jeweler so he could “measure” the stones that we were going to reuse. His design ideas were awful so we decided to go elsewhere.When we picked up the original ring we discovered that he had destroyed the ring to get the diamonds out. He said he had to take them out to measure them. The original ring is now a twisted, cut up pile of gold in 3 separate pieces. Not repairable. Further, 2 other jewelers have told us destroying the ring was not necessary. No contract was signed; no money exchanged. This was an estimate only. He refuses to reimburse us.

Asked on June 20, 2014 under Business Law, California


Shawn Jackson / The Jackson Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Interesting question, I was a custom jewelry manufacturer for many years before I decided to become a business development attorney. Yes, absent any written agreement or enforceable verbal agreement, what the jeweler did was in violation of his bailee/bailor relationship...he has an affirmative duty to keep the merchandise the same or better condition as when you first brought it into him. So the question now is what is the value of the ring when you did not want that design...so part of the initial analysis is "how much" by some level of objective standards have you been "damaged"...furhter discussion is required.

Shawn Jackson California Business Development Attorney

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