An American business site reports that two Maryland residents are suing a firm called Mervis Diamond Importers for allegedly selling them diamonds that were overgraded. CEO Ronnie Mervis said he hasn't read the suits yet and could not comment on them specifically. But in a statement posted on the Mervis website before the lawsuits were filed, Mervis offers a video with a personal message addressing the accusations and dismissing the questions as a “smear campaign.” “Recently, we’ve been challenged and harassed by a group from out of state making wild allegations,” he said in the video. “Their reasons are unclear. It does appear, however, that their purpose is to harm our reputation,” bizjournals.com reported.
The plaintiffs, Robert Ramsey, Javier García and Jennifer McMullen, say they purchased diamond engagement rings from Mervis in Rockville. Ramsey purchased a 2.5-carat diamond engagement ring for $24,493; Garcia and McMullen purchased a 2.2-carat diamond ring for $22,949. They said they received grading certificates for the diamonds conducted by European Gemological Laboratories International (EGL-I). Formerly based in Israel, the lab has since closed down as part of an agreement with the wider EGL global group due to claims of over-grading.
The plaintiffs later received grading analyses certificates from the GIA. The Mervis appraisal of Ramsey’s ring based on the EGL-I grading was $30,000, while the GIA appraisal was $12,000, according to the suit, the website reported. In Garcia and McMullen’s case, the Mervis appraisal based on an EGL-I certificate was $28,000; the appraisal from GIA came back with a value for the same diamond of $3,400, according to their suit. Both suits seek damages of $75,000 for three counts each.