(CN) – A class action accuses Macy’s of selling bogus rubies, amethysts and sapphires. “Gems that were represented to be natural ‘rubies’ were in fact heavily glass filled and often heavily lead glass treated,” said the complaint.
Other rubies arriving from wholesalers were a mixture of ruby and composite ruby which in turn created a treatment and care issue in that a composite ruby could not be re-polished or re-cut for restoration purposes, and is damaged by a variety of cleaning solvents,” according to the complaint in San Francisco County Court.
According to the complaint, the origin of some rubies was mislabeled, and they came “from a banned source;”
“Stones were being passed as untreated ‘green amethyst’ when in fact this stone is in reality Praseolite (a heated form of quartz) while only purple amethyst is in fact real amethyst, natural and therefore of a much higher value;
“Sapphires were fracture filled with glass;
“Black sapphires were being passed off as ‘black diamonds’;
“Many diamonds were enhanced by laser drilling or filling of surface cavities and
fractures with a hardened substance;
“Diamonds were irradiated or heated to induce color and then represented to be natural black diamonds;
“Various stones and gems were filled with so much lead that they violated California laws.”
Named plaintiff Mimi Lowe claims that Macy’s employees and consultants warned it that “it had a duty to disclose the value of the stones compared to the traditionally enhanced or natural stones to the consumer and that failure to make such disclosures was a fraud.”
She adds that some of the treatment to which the gems were subjected loses its effects over time.
She seeks punitive damages for intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty and other charges. She is represented by Thomas Brandi.
A gem appraiser filed a similar complaint against Macy’s in December 2009.