Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jeweler Steals from the Rich

Jack Hasson, a jeweler from posh Palm Beach, Florida, was found guilty on six counts of fraud. On February 25, 2000, a jury decreed that this society jeweler, with clients as well known as Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, is responsible for cheating wealthy clients of $80 million. Hasson is now facing a prison term of up to 65 years and fines of $162 million.

Hasson is charged with selling fake, flawed, filled, irradiated and even painted stones which he passed off as "the real thing." Not only did he claim these stones to be of high quality, he even attached stories of fame and celebrity to many pieces. For instance, in one case Hasson told a customer he was buying Loni Anderson’s engagement ring as well as other jewels from collection of Dior and Carol Lombard. Of course, the stories, along with the stones, were false. A special ruse of Hasson’s was to sell cubic zironiums and claim they were diamonds. In one case, he sold a piece worth $141 for $1.5 million.

Besides selling fake stones, he is also charged with replacing stones on pieces he was asked to repair. (This is every one’s nightmare when leaving expensive pieces for repair). Jack Nicklaus charged that not only did this jeweler replace a $35,000 diamond and ruby ring with fake stones, but that he did it again in the same ring when he complained.

Though many of us make our own jewelry, when it comes to find jewelry, such as diamonds, we often feel more comfortable dealing with a "professional." However, when you read horror stories like this, it makes one stop and think twice.

To find out how to find a jewelry you can trust, take a look at my article "How-to Pick a Jeweler." Also, you’ll find a helpful article from the Jewelers of America Association "What You Should Know about Choosing a Professional Jeweler."