Loss of diamond may cause man to lose his business

13 08 2010

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) — Most people who ship packages trust they will reach their destination without a problem. But when that doesn’t happen, it can be a big headache — and a big financial problem.  It’s a lesson one Louisville businessman learned the hard way. WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Charla Young has his story.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend but for John Richardson, they’re a way of life. John owns Diamond Mine Jewelers, where he repairs and refines diamonds for vendors.

He has been using UPS to ship finished diamonds back to their owners and never had a problem — that is until this past August.

“One of the diamonds didn’t make it back to the vendor,” John said. The 3-carat gem was valued at nearly $18,000.

About three days after shipping the package, John says “the gentleman that’s actually a diamond vendor called me and said, ‘hey, did you ship that diamond back because I have someone who wants to look at it?'”

John used his UPS tracking number to trace the package. But the trail stopped in Whites Creek, Tennessee. What happened after that is a mystery.

Still, John didn’t panic. “I have a jewelers block insurance policy which covers all the items in my store, stuff like picking up and delivering jobs.”

There was just one problem with the policy: “It also covers mailing, but it just said ‘mailing’ on my policy — which I figured covered all of my mailings. But it doesn’t. It only covers the U.S. Post Office.”

So, thinking he had insurance, John did not insure the shipment with UPS — which is only offering $100 for his loss.

And the owner of the diamond wanted it back — or the $18,000 it was worth.

“It’s taken every bit of liquid cash that I have in the store, plus about $8,000 out of my personal savings account to pay for it,” John said.

Now John says he simply wants UPS to find out who stole the diamond so he can prosecute him or her to the fullest extent of the law.

If not, John says he will be forced to close his doors. “I probably won’t be in business next year because of this.”

We spoke with UPS representatives, who explained that they offer insurance coverage up to $50,000. It costs 55 cents for each $1,000 increment of insurance. So it’s well worth it to spend the extra bucks to insure your valuables, because packages can and will come up missing.

The investigation into the missing diamond is continuing and UPS officials say they’re still trying to find it.

John may have more options once UPS completes its investigation.


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