Two diamonds said to be stolen from a Dallas retailer have turned up at the Gemological Institute of America’s Hong Kong lab—and now the retailer has launched a court case to determine their true ownership.
According to court papers filed Sept. 4 in Dallas district court, the plaintiff’s store, Henryk Kostman Fine Jewelry, was burglarized pn Sept. 6, 2010. The papers say that the thieves made off with, among other items, two diamonds: a 6.02-ct. emerald cut, and a 4.51 ct. square modified brilliant cut. The theft was reported to the Dallas police department and the GIA, which had previously issued reports for the diamonds.
The papers further allege that in June, two Hong Kong companies delivered the diamonds to GIA for grading. The GIA subsequently determined the diamonds were identical “in every aspect” to the stones it originally graded. It notified the retail store.
The case requests that GIA be enjoined from returning the diamonds to the Hong Kong companies until a determination of their origin can be made. The papers stipulate that “GIA is an innocent stakeholder” in this case.
GIA has faced similar cases before, when it received two stones said to be stolen from a Graff store.
GIA spokesman Stephen Morrisseau said that “while GIA cannot comment on any pending litigation, GIA can confirm that a lawsuit has been filed relating to the ownership of a stone that was submitted to GIA for grading. The court has directed that GIA hold the stone pending a decision from the court as to its rightful owner.”
“If a GIA-graded stone is reported lost or stolen and we are notified, GIA may be able to identify the stone if it is later submitted to GIA for grading,” Morrisseau continues. “In such an instance GIA notifies both the client who reported the loss and the client who submitted the possibly-similar stone, asking the parties to resolve the disputed claims of ownership. In such cases GIA follows the instructions of the relevant court or legal authorities.”
For more on the GIA’s anti-theft policies, read “School of Rocks” in JCK‘s June 2012 issue.
The store did not respond to a request for comment. The Asian dealers could not be reached for comment.