Customers rush to get appraisals after SC jeweler accused of swapping diamonds for fakes

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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — News 2 is continuing the investigation into customer complaints against Dorchester Jewelers in Summerville. As you saw only on 2, customers are claiming they either bought fake diamonds, or their authentic stones were switched out when they brought jewelry in for repair. Since the story aired, multiple people have reached out to News 2 concerned about their own jewelry and today we went with one woman, Janette Hankins, to get her ring checked out.

She says, “I am nervous”.

Hankins decided to get her ring inspected after seeing the News 2 investigation.

She says, “If I found out it was fake at this point I would be… I think my husband would be more upset because he purposely picked out these stones, he knew exactly the stones that I wanted and took the time to find the stones and then put it together, I think that would be more hurtful.”

She has a ring with a two karat canary diamond at the center, and smaller diamonds on either side. She says Dorchester Jewelers worked on the ring multiple times.

Hankins says, “They put it in the setting, and since then they’ve had my ring twice, once for sizing and to put in some little bumper things, and then another time one of my diamonds fell out, luckily I found my diamond and they put the diamond back in.”

The large diamond checked out, but bad news when it came to the smaller one.

Gemologist Frances Hanebrink says, “So my tester is saying that this one right here is actually a moissanite”.

Moissanite is a man-made stone, but looking at the original appraisal, it says all three stones are diamonds. Hanebrink says to rule out any issues with technology, Hankins needs to get a second opinion.

She says, “I think it’s the only wise thing to do.”

Hanebrink recommends getting microscopic inscription on the diamond is a good way to protect it.

She says, “I think that is a big deterrent. No one is going to try to take one that has that because obviously they’re easy to trace.”

The gemologist also recommends asking to see your ring under the microscope before and after it’s serviced. Then to be sure, take it to another jeweler afterward to confirm it’s authentic.

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