• Report: #196733
Complaint Review:

Neimans Jewelry

  • Submitted: Fri, June 16, 2006
  • Updated: Wed, April 25, 2007

  • Reported By:Kirkland Washington
Neimans Jewelry
3100 Airway Ave, Ste 104 Costa Mesa, California U.S.A.

Neimans Jewelry, RIP OFF! Scam & USGL Cerification Blatant Fraud! NEIMANS JEWERY GUARANTEES A RIP OFF - USGL is a Scam! - Buyer Beware - Rings, Diamonds, Sapphires, Topaz, Amethist, Gold- ALL JUNK Problems, Contact Attorney General of CA Costa Mesa California

*Author of original report: Cory - Neimans is Blasting You?

*Consumer Comment: Interesting

*Consumer Suggestion: Avoiding Internet Purchase Problems

*Author of original report: *!RESOLUTION ACHIEVED!*

*Author of original report: ***NOTICE - RESOLUTION PENDING***

*Consumer Comment: Treated gemstones

*Author of original report: OK..Neimans Called.. May Work Out After All!

*Author of original report: Affes- Question? Treated Stones

*Author of original report: Appreciated Comments - Aafes Response

*Consumer Comment: All I Can Say

*Consumer Comment: More information

*Author of original report: Neimans Rip-Off Update

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Please Contact the ATTORNEY GENERALS OFFICE of CA to file a complaint ONLINE! They will HAVE to answer to them.

You are GUARANTEED a RIP OFF- I was SCAMMED on 3 PURCHASES made in one day!!!

I won 3 auctioned items off propertyroom.com- All "Ceritified by their USGL Appraisers" value is so high (THOUSANDS) it looks like a front to assist in insurance scams. Beautiful pictures. Certified Stones from USGL. Great Marketing. JUNK ARRIVES- Gumball Machine CRAP!

One of my rings a 4.75 Yellow Sapphire - Certified as Extra Fine in Color and Clarity- arrived with huge WHITE CRACKS, BROWN STRIPES and CLOUDY! Approx 5K USGL Appraisal- worth about $50. JUNK!

The 3 ct Ruby was a light pink cloudy joke (8K USGL Appraisal) probably worth about $20. And the little blue Amethist ring
was like something from a bubblegum machine.

*****I have contacted the Attorney Generals Office of CA. Office of Bill Lockyer and filed a complaint ONLINE. ***

NEIMANS Customer Svc Dept. sent me correspondence detailing my sapphire as possibly including minor cracks, pits, discoloration.. etc. Their ONLINE SALE detailed the USGL Certification Gurarnteeing -"No Inclusions detected by the naked eye - Excellent Color etc.."

NOW THEY WILL NOT REPLACE THE STONE in the Sapphire Ring- They have invited me to contact whatever agency I want. To quit bothering them with ridiculous insults. To educate myself in jewerly. And to just send it back (so they can keep the $18 shipping- a potential restocking fee- and whatever it costs me to send all this stuff back certified.

YOU are GUARANTEED A RIP OFF if you order anything from NEIMANS.

This looks like the beginnings of a Class Action Lawsuit to me! I had 3 ORDERS come to me at once- ALL AS SCAMS. This has to be happening to hundreds of people.

WATCH OUT you are going to LOSE MONEY and be very disappointed if you trust NEIMANS JEWELRY!!!

Kirkland, Washington

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/16/2006 11:16 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/neimans-jewelry/costa-mesa-california-92626/neimans-jewelry-rip-off-scam-usgl-cerification-blatant-fraud-neimans-jewery-guarantee-196733. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Cory - Neimans is Blasting You?

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Let me tell you, my journey to reach a resolution w/ them was VERY difficult. Their "customer svc dept" is more like a firewall set up to frustrate people until they just give up. I eventually spoke at LENGTH w/ a Mgr named Kurt who I think got shook down when they received a notice from the Atty Gen of Cali. (Easy to do online.)

If you are wrestling with them I suggest before sending ANYTHING back to them, take your jewelery to a color copier and magnify it HUGE. The pictures are detailed, cheap, and fast.

Keep all e-mails from "Customer Svc". And INSIST on speaking w/ a mgr- He or she will eventually call you. Ideally they will offer a constructive resolution (& potentially an interesting story about what really happens there!) I certainly got one!

Good Luck-
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

There's a guy here in town, who sell the stuff he's bought from neiman's, on the local craig's list. He actually downloads, I guess the term is (cut and pastes?) the exact pictures and certs from their website and uses their appraisals. The only difference is he either keys or triple keys their stuff. Kind of strange. To the guy who keeps blasting me from neiman's, check it out. I don't know if you copyright.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Avoiding Internet Purchase Problems

AUTHOR: Wright - (U.S.A.)

The internet has certainly mushroomed into a huge industry these days, and you can buy almost anything you want online now. Internet purchases are quite different as you are not actually "seeing" the item you are buying. Jewelry, in particular, is especially difficult. There are so many variations in grading, color, quality, price, etc.

Some food for thought:

1. Number one, buy an item because you like it, you will enjoy it.

2. Do your homework. Gather as much research as possible about what you are interested in buying, before you buy.

3. Find out what information you can about the seller - obviously feedback, how long they have been in business, etc.

4. Read all of the terms and conditions of sale very carefully. This can include shipping/handling fees, return policy, disclaimers, etc. Sure it can be tedious at times, but its to your advantage to read it all.

5. A lot of internet sellers are "middlemen". Many items sold over the internet are "drop-shipped" which means the seller never handles the item itself. In other words, the seller lists the item, you buy it and pay for it, and then the seller orders it and has it shipped directly to you from the factory, manufacturer, wholesaler. I do not mean to say there is anything wrong with this, but just that the seller often doesnt actually know that much about the merchandise. Ask questions.

6. Don't put much faith in terms like "value", "retail value", "comparable value" or even "appraised value". These terms can be very subjective. There is always "intrinsic value" which you can't put a price on at all.

7. In the real estate business there is a term called "puffing". The seller is going to tell you all of the best points, and won't necessarily tell you the negative unless asked. Pay atention to details. Certainly see what the seller is saying that is positive, but also look for what they actually do not say at all.

8. Be realistic in expecations. You simply are not going to get a $2600 piece of jewelry for $95.

Wright - South Carolina
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#4 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Well, here's how it all shook out. According to the Mgr @ Neimans, the USGL Certification did not reflect the ring that was sent to me bcse it had been mistagged @ Neimans. He made it abundantly clear to me that USGL had nothing to do with the misrepresentation of the ring. In essence - USGL is reputable.

The Mgr ordered a new ring and sent me follow up w/ pictures to ensure my satisfaction. I appreciated that a lot. He's been an upstanding and diligent professional guy to work with. He really turned this whole thing around on a dime.

The ring came. It is fine- what I expected. Not perfection- but I never expected that in the 1st place. I have no problem wearing it whatsoever.

So.. the lesson is- if there's a problem with a shipment from Neimans - the Mgr will take care of you. He will take the time to achieve a "win/win" resolution. It's difficult to get to him, but he takes his job seriously and cares about doing the right thing on behalf of his company and USGL.

- Thanks Kurt-

Amanda Kirkland, WA
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#5 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Well... after a multitude of irritating and insulting e-mails from the "firewall" customer service dept at Neimans, the Customer Svc. Mgr, seems to have really come through. THE SAPPHIRE STONE IS BEING REPLACED.

The Mgr is in agreement that the stone is NOT what was advertised or certified. He has a number of theories about how it has happened. However, the most important factor is he has genuinely stepped up to the plate & is replacing the ring.

The new ring is being sent to him w/in a few wks. I said flaws are ok if reasonably hidden (despite the level of perfection the cert. reflects.)

I'll be revoking/updating the Atty Gen report as soon as the ring gets here. I'll be happy to reciprocate the favor in return for resolution.

Looks like Neimans has some pretty reasonable upper level mgmt. It just appears difficult to get to them.

Next post will be the final one. I hope this all works out and that my experience may help someone else in the future.

I think this has been a learning experience for a few people involved. Myself included..
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#6 Consumer Comment

Treated gemstones

AUTHOR: Aafes - (U.S.A.)

Most gemstones used in jewelry have been treated to improve their appearance. Treated gemstones can be a good choice when you know what you are buying and pay a price that reflects a stone's true quality.

Common Gemstone Treatments

1. Heat and radiation can change or enhance a gemstones natural colors.

2. Diffusion is used to deepen the color. It only affects the outer layers of the stone.

3. Oils or waxes can enhance the color of a gemstone by filling in fine surface cracks.

4. Fracture filling, coats stones with an epoxy resin or similar substance. This fills in cracks improving the appearance of the gemstone.

5. Laser drilling removes inclusions (flaws) to improve the clarity of the stone.

Some of the treatments are permanent, others are not. Heat treatment changes the color permanently in some stones but not all.

Treated stones are natural gemstones, they simply have had a "face lift" to make them more attractive. Natural gemstones, without flaws and with clear, bright color can be quite expensive depending on the size and the type of stone.

Man made or "simulated" stones are also widely available. They are no more than glass or plastic made to resemble a gemstone. They do not contain the natural qualities of the gemstone such as the hardness factor on the mohs scale. They are readily detected by a jeweler and often are mounted with a foil backing to enhance their appearance.

As a previous poster stated, in viewing this company's website it is obvious they have appraised the value of the items much higher than they are worth. The clarity scale they indicate for their stones covers almost the entire scale. In essence it is like telling you, we are selling you a beef dinner. You must pay in advance and you could receive anything from hooves to filet mingon. They are betting on the customer having little to no knowledge of the product.

Good luck, I hope you are able to get your refund.
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#7 Author of original report

OK..Neimans Called.. May Work Out After All!

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Ok.. I need to post this immediately- (as I was also quick to post about the outrageous shipment, misinformation, and lack of resolution.)

A nice guy from Neimans customer service dept called me a few minutes ago. He strongly suspected I had a ring that had been mistagged due to a return. AND it IS POSSIBLE for him to contact their distributor to get the stone replaced! He will look into it for me when he gets the ring back. This is GREAT!

That is what I had been asking all along. Even if it was smaller, but still fit the setting. I'm not looking for perfection- just not visably cracked, miscolored and striped.

He offered to give me a refund of all costs or a partial refund to compensate for a difference in grade if I kept the ring. I explained the money never has been the issue. I've never asked for a dime in our correspondence. All I wanted was the ring without the visable problems. That's all.

NOTE: His definitions of USGL Grading Scales were DIFFERENT than the material sent with my ring! His read- minor cracks, inclusions, etc. SLIGHTLY VISABLE to the naked eye. MINE read, NO cracks or inclusions etc. to the naked eye. WOW~ He said USGL recently modified/expanded their grading scales and obviously there was a mistake.

I've decided not to send my ring to propertyroom for mediation. I'm sending it directly back to Neimans. I feel like I can trust this guy to do the right thing- even after all the craziness when dealing with the other people.

I promise will make sure to notify everyone of the outcome when this gets resolved. I really believe he's going to personally handle this issue and get the stone replaced with one that has no visable problems.

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#8 Author of original report

Affes- Question? Treated Stones

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Affes- You mentioned "Treated Stones" although they may be worth less, would that be an option of having a more clear looking stone in this setting? I assume if it is treated, it may appear less flawed. Are they man made?

I wouldn't care if Neimans put a treated stone in this as long as it looked better. I wish they would have offered that option. But again, these people are distributors- so I highly doubt they would even have replacement stones.

Cory- "OP"? Is that me? Naaa, I don't sell things online- or resell items. I think I would have been a little more saavy if I were a resaler. I was just getting acclimated to the online auction environment going thru my 1st buying spree.

Got a lot of things from different sellers- including 3 crappy rings totalling a few hundred bucks from Neimans. I got a nice bracelet from another seller. My experience has taught me that if bidders consistently do not bid high with a certain company... there's a fair indication that they are scammers and to do my research! Not just assume that the website isn't heavily traveled.

Haven't purchased one item since then. Probably never will again. My vindication for this disappointment was finding a way of alerting others of the possibility of this happening to them. I hope at least one person in this world reads this before being stupid enough to step into the same trap that I did.

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#9 Author of original report

Appreciated Comments - Aafes Response

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

Dear Affes-
I appreciate you taking the time to pass on constructive information. This situation has become unbelievably frustrating, disappointing and sadly informative regarding business practices some companies. I learned the hard way that some companies make money through shipping costs and restocking fees sending junk to people.

I did not pay to have this ring appraised to process a refund that was already costing me money. (Neimans request.)It's so blatantly poor that it was embarrassing to wear. It looks cheap. Neimans certified USGL claim states NO visable inclusions or discoloration. Although USGL's disclaimer states it's their opinion, it may have been that of a blind man.

I've asked them to replace the stone WITH ANYTHING REASONABLE THAT FIT (not perfect, just no major problems). They would not agree to it on any condition. Then I realized Neimans isn't a manufacturer. They are a distributor. Therefore, there are no replacement stones! Hence, their repeated requests to have me pay for an appraisal was simply to deter me from sending it back by wasting my time and money. (They don't need an appraisal to make a return.)

As far as value goes, I appreciate you offering your information. I didn't expect a 5K ring. I just wanted to see the stone they detailed/certified online. I thought I got a great deal in an auction. Just as anyone hopes. What a disappointing lesson.

Honestly, the value has never been my primary concern. I was prepared to pay MUCH MORE than I did for this ring, based upon the certification of its color and grade. Thank god I didn't. It could have been an expensive lesson!

Today, this ring is being sent to the website holding the auctions- now they can see what their sellers are doing under their name. They need to ascertain the potential legal ramifications of backing these kinds of merchants. They're sending it to Neimans with a response. I am not authorizing Neimans to give me a refund. They'll simply have to send it back if they won't replace the stone. And I will decide what to do from there. I'm honestly considering a court case against them. At this point, it may be worth it to me based upon principal alone.

Affes, you have made important points to me that I have (and will continue to) learn from. I know it took some time to say all that you did, and I appreciate it.

Take Care-
Kirkland, WA
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#10 Consumer Comment

All I Can Say

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

Been in the jewelry business 20+ years. Went to their site. Some of their items that are appraised at 30 to 40 THOUSAND dollars are selling for 4 or 5 HUNDRED dollars. What does that tell you? I love it. They give you a range of VS to I1, which is about 6 grades difference. That means the stones CAN BE VS to I1. What will you bet all the stones will be I1, if that. More like I2 or I3. They're overappraised by 1000 to 10,000 percent. It's like telling you your buying a mercedes and you get a yugo. I see those "rubies" that go for $2.00 per carat. People walk into my shop with that crap that they've purchased off the internet. I honestly don't know what to tell them. Their "$5,000" purchase is worth a couple of hundred dollars at best. Not once does the OP state what she paid for these wonders. Notice the "lose money" part. I suspect she expected to buy the items and resale them for a profit. IMHO.
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#11 Consumer Comment

More information

AUTHOR: Aafes - (U.S.A.)

Your post did not contain many details. What other information did the appraisal include in regard to clarity, inclusions etc.

You must also consider if this gem is mounted that the cost of the setting is part of its value. At the moment gold is running around $30.00 a pennyweight (1/20th of an ounce).

Is the stone a "treated" sapphire? Treated sapphires are not as valuable. I think that you were certainly ripped off, most people don't realize just how cheaply loose colored gemstones can be obtained.

Markup for diamond jewelry is in the neighborhood of 3 times the value, colored gemstone markup is generally higher.

All of the "independent appraisal" organizations perform these appraisals for a fee from the jeweler - basically they work for the jeweler. While many will be honest, others don't bite the hand that feeds them. The appraisals, despite the organization, generally contain the "retail replacement value" - this is only for insurance purposes, and generally is what the average retailer would sell the merchandise for.

This appraisal value is nowhere near the true value of the jewelry wholesale. You can witness this anytime by taking jewelry to a jeweler or pawn shop and ask them how much they would pay you for the jewelry.
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#12 Author of original report

Neimans Rip-Off Update

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

WEll- After reading the other posting of the individual who was approached for comitting slander against Neimans for revealing their scam - I will follow suit in stating on this site that I'm not an official gem expert who is certified officially grade jewelry. My opinion is that the jewlery they sent me was STRIPED WITH TERRIBLE BROWN COLOR, BADLY CRACKED, and CLOUDY.

It is fact however, that their USGL certification in ths fine print states that, "the carat weight, clarity grade, color are ESTIMATED and MAY NOT be accurate." Isn't that nice?

In lieu of sending this to a gem lab- I am sending my ring to propertyroom who hosted the auction! They are going to look at the ring with the certification and resend it to Neimans as an intermediary. Therefore, they can see 1st hand the issue that I am dealing with.

*DISCLAIMER- All statements made by me on this website regarding Neimans scams, fraud, poor quality jewlery, poor business conduct, etc - (just like the USGL certification Neimans jewelry) are my expressed OPINIONS and my best personal evaluation. My evaluations are estimations of their business as a whole and may not be accurate or fact.
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