NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mark Hammervold, a Nashville-based lawyer, has begun filing lawsuits in Montgomery County, Maryland, on behalf of local residents who unwittingly purchased fraudulently overgraded diamond engagement rings from Mervis Diamond Importers.
Diamonds are graded and evaluated on four scales, routinely referred to as "the Four Cs": color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. These criteria set the value of the diamond. Given the importance of the Four Cs, most reputable diamond retailers provide buyers with a certification report from the Gemological Institute of America ("GIA"), which assigns an objective grade for each scale of the diamond.
EGL-International (EGL-I) is a for-profit lab, formerly based in Ramat, Israel, which sold certifications ostensibly similar to GIA reports, but which dramatically overstated the qualities, and consequently, the value of the diamonds sent to EGL-I for grading. For years, unscrupulous retailers have made a fortune selling EGL-I certified diamonds known to be overgraded.
The lawsuits allege that Mervis Diamond Importers made a systemic business practice of selling inferior diamonds to unsuspecting buyers, which were known to be overgraded by EGL-I. Mervis Diamonds claims to be able to offer diamonds at "wholesale" or "direct importer" pricing, but in reality, it simply sells overgraded stones that it acquired at a steep discount while claiming to consumers that they are equivalent to GIA diamonds. The lawsuit claims that "this practice allows Mervis Diamonds to simultaneously reap a profit margin that would not be possible selling legitimately-graded GIA diamonds, while falsely claiming they have saved the customer money."
Leaders in the diamond industry have shunned the sale of diamonds with EGL-I certifications. On November 1, 2014, the Diamond Industry's leading trade publication, Rapaport Magazine, labeled the practice Mervis has made its business model, the "outright cheating of consumers."
According to attorney Mark Hammervold, "This is an outright scam. The hope is that these lawsuits will right this wrong and stamp out this practice before others are victimized."
The lawsuits are McMullin v. Mervis Diamonds Co. d/b/a Mervis Diamond Importers (No. 414009V) and Ramsey v. Mervis Diamonds Co. d/b/a Mervis Diamond Importers (No. 414008V).
Mark Hammervold - Hammervold PLC
315 Deaderick St., Ste. 1550
Nashville, TN 37238
P: 615.928.2466 - Hammervoldlaw.com
SOURCE Hammervold PLC