Couple says they were tricked into spending $37K on a bogus diamond ring
NEW YORK (WPIX) — It was a moment both Louis Rossi and Sophia Feng will remember forever.
"I was just so happy to get down on one knee and ask her to be my wife," Rossi said, recalling his marriage proposal to Feng in Key West this past February.
With a postcard backdrop, the moment was made complete with an engagement ring fit for a princess.
"We felt like this diamond was the one," he told PIX11 News.
The 5.38-carat ring was purchased at Dalia Diamonds, a jewelry shop in the heart of the Diamond District on West 47th Street.
With a price tag of $37,000, it was the biggest purchase Rossi says he's ever made.
"I had to get a certified check – I've never done that in such a large amount before."
Four months after she said yes however, the Long Island couple find themselves in a not-so-happy ending.
Photos of the ring:
"The first thing we noticed on the receipt was that the setting was supposed to be 18- carat," he said. "Meanwhile it was stamped '14' on the inside."
That was just the beginning.
"We found out doing research online they were using a fake GIA standard and of course it turned out to be an enhanced clarity diamond which means [it was] made in a lab.
The massive diamond that cost the couple nearly $40,000 was in fact a man-made rock that had an estimated value of $10,000 – something they discovered after consulting with a friend who was a jeweler.
Enhanced diamonds aren't anything new but it's the dealer's responsibility to notify the client that that's what they're purchasing, something Rossi said the dealer at Dalia Diamonds, identified as Brian Eliazarov, never did.
"He should be able to let the people know that he's not selling the right diamond to the couples," Feng said. "He should be out of business for this."
Rossi, an officer for the Department of Defense and Feng, a schoolteacher, are taking legal action against the jeweler in hopes to get a refund and put what they call a nightmare behind them.
PIX11 made several attempts to get a response from Eliazarov Monday but requests for comment were not answered.
Eliazarov did however speak to the New York Post where he promised a full refund to the couple.
Something the couple insists has yet to happen.