On Oct. 21, a federal judge gave preliminary approval to the settlement of a class action suit that charged Helzberg Diamonds misled people who bought princess cuts in its Masterpiece collection.
The suit, filed in January in the U.S. District Court for Missouri, alleges that some Masterpiece stones advertised by Helzberg as being “hearts and arrows” cuts are actually princess cuts that do not show that pattern.
According to court papers, Helzberg “vigorously denies” any wrongdoing or liability, but agreed to settle because “continuation of the litigation would be protracted and expensive.”
The approved settlement applies to all those who purchased a princess cut diamond under the Helzberg Diamond Masterpiece label between January 1, 2007, and April 30, 2010.
Each class member who files a valid claim form is entitled to return the ring for a full refund, or can exchange the ring for Helzberg merchandise equal to 105 percent of the amount they paid.
In addition, they are entitled to either a cash settlement payment of $50, or $100 toward the purchase of merchandise at Helzberg.
Getting far more are the class action attorneys: As part of the settlement, Helzberg agrees not to oppose an application for up to $225,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses, which will be paid by Helzberg.