A judge in Miami has sided with a cruise ship operator which mistakenly sold a 20.64-carat emerald-cut diamond for $235,000 to passenger Thomas DePrince who bought it knowing it was worth several millions of dollars. When the retail operator, Starboard Cruise Services, realized the price tag was the per carat price not the overall cost, it called DePrince and explained the mistake. The retailer canceled the sale and refunded the purchase price to DePrince’s credit card.
A determined DePrince then filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in 2013, alleging a breach of contract, but a Miami-Dade judge sided with Starboard and threw out the case. However, an appeals panel disagreed, sending the case back to trial court. Last week, the court agreed with the original verdict, ruling in favor of Starboard. The court said that DePrince had “significant experience in buying and selling fine jewlery.” In fact, he had consulted his life partner and his sister, both certified gemologists, before the purchase. The diamond was never delivered to DePrince’s home in New York.