Man says he was duped into buying fake diamonds

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A man contacted Channel 2 Action News after he said he bought what he was assured were real diamond earrings only to later learn they were not the real thing.

"I told them specifically, I said 'I don't want no cubic zirconia,'" Felex Knox told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri. "I want the real stuff, I want real diamonds."

Knox said he made it clear he wanted genuine stones when he visited Lucky Diamonds & Company inside the South DeKalb Mall in March.

He was surprised when a sales person offered a one and a half carat pair of diamond earrings at just under $800. At that price he decided to buy two pairs. But when a friend suggested the stones didn't look genuine he had them appraised and learned they weren't diamonds after all.

"I was outraged. I really, really wanted my money back," Knox said.

But he said the store refused to refund him his money. Viteri took the earrings to two jewelers including Icebox Diamonds in Buckhead where a graduate gemologist immediately said the earrings were Moissanite, a synthetic gem, of slightly higher quality than cubic zirconia.

"Just from face up, way too much fire," graduate gemologist Skylar Langfeldt explained. "That's the first red flag."

Viteri went to Lucky Diamonds and at first an employee named Ali claimed Moissanite was a diamond.

Moissanite is diamonds," Ali said. "If I put it under a diamond tester, it's a diamond. It can appear like it's a diamond."

Viteri told him gemologists disagreed with that assessment. Ali then told her the confusion stemmed from the fact that a new employee made the sale, one who wasn't familiar with the difference.

"But they're not diamonds?" Viteri asked.

"It's like a Moissanite, it's a man-made diamond,"Ali responded.

"But diamonds are not man-made by definition," Viteri responded.

"It's not like a real, real official," Ali added.

"I feel violated. I feel like they need to do something about it,"Knox said.

After the exchange Ali told Viteri a manager agreed to refund Knox's nearly $1,500.