A couple that spent more than $10,000 on jewelry during a recent cruise returned home to learn it may be worth a fraction of that, according to an appraiser.
When the Royal Caribbean cruise Clyde Baker and Ellen Jones took stopped in Belize City, the cruise line recommended they shop at Diamonds International.
A tanzanite ring of more than two-and-a-half carats caught Jones’ eye.
“When I saw it, of the stones that were there in front of me, it was just like it popped out at me, and that's the one I wanted,” she said.
Baker agreed to pay $2,800 for the ring.
“It means a lot to us, yeah,” he said.
Both lost spouses of more than 40 years. They met through hospice and have been a couple ever since.
“It's a commitment ring,” Baker said. “It's an engagement.”
The salesperson showed them a matching bracelet and necklace.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my God!’ And I was definitely caught up in the moment,” Baker said.
They were offered two years of no interest if they opened a credit card with Diamonds International.
“So I did it; I bought the whole spiel,” Baker said. “I thought, ‘Can't go wrong.’”
He spent a total of $12,000. The company guaranteed the jewelry's value would only appreciate, he said.
When the couple returned home, they had the jewelry appraised.
The three pieces appraised for $3,000 total, they said.
“We thought we had an investment but we really felt like we got ripped off,” Baker said.
Baker said he went back and forth with Diamonds International, hoping to get his money back.
“I wanted them to take their necklace and their bracelet back,” Jones said.
The couple wanted to keep the ring since it had sentimental value. Baker said Diamonds International would not give him the refund he wanted in exchange for the necklace and bracelet.
NBC4 Responds reached out to Diamonds International, and after a couple of phone calls, they agreed to let Baker return the bracelet and necklace. They said their "goal is to ensure 100 percent customer satisfaction, which in this case was to provide Mr. Baker with a refund."
Royal Caribbean said it works with a third party vendor who remained in "constant contact with the guest and Diamonds International, and we worked with both to reach an optimal resolution swiftly."
Baker received a refund of $10,070.
Diamonds International said tanzanite is hard to appraise and they stand by the value of the jewelry.