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US woman falls for Jaipur gems, shells out Rs 6 crore for Rs 300 jewellery

The police said upon investigation, it was found the diamonds were actually moonstones and the gold was only 2 carat, which ideally should have been 14 carat.
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 11:54 IST
Last Updated : 11 June 2024, 11:54 IST

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Jaipur: A US woman has complained about being duped by a Jaipur jeweller, saying she was made to pay Rs 6 crore for an artificial jewellery worth only Rs 300.

According to Jaipur police DCP Bajrang Singh Shekhawat, a woman named Cherish visited a shop called Rama Rhodium, situated in the Walled City’s Gopalji Ka Rasta, and was shown hallmark jewellery and hallmark certificate, which made her believe the authenticity of the piece. She purchased the silver jewellery with gold polish. Hallmark is a mark on jewellery affixed by an entity and recognised by the Bureau of Indian Standards assuring its fineness and purity.

Shekhawat added that when Cherish displayed her jewellery piece at an exhibition in the US, it was found to be fake. She then came back to Jaipur, confronted the owners - Rajendra Soni and his son Gaurav Soni. She got the piece tested by other jewellers and later complained to the US Embassy. She filed an FIR against Rajendra Soni and Gaurav Soni in May this year.

The police said upon investigation, it was found the diamonds were actually moonstones and the gold was only 2 carat, which ideally should have been 14 carat. Moonstones usually cost somewhere in the range of Rs 300 - Rs 400 per carat. While 22 carat gold is worth around Rs 6,689 per gram, 14 carat gold costs Rs 4,253 per gram approximately.

Meanwhile, the accused jewellers have filed a counter complaint saying the said woman fled with the jewellery, which the police said was found to be false as the CCTV footage showed. Meanwhile, the accused jewellers are on the run. Eyewitnesses in the area say the shop, which has been there for over 25 years, has been shut for the past 15 days.

Jaipur jeweller Naveen Agarwal, who is in this trade for years with his shop in the area of Johri Bazaar told DH that duping people, especially foreigners, is nothing new. "It has been happening for years, not just in Jaipur but elsewhere as well. It is just she must be having a hard copy of the bill or maybe they exported the jewellery and she had proof of their fraud. Otherwise many people who get duped are not able to complain and let it go. The hallmark certificate is fraudulently earned and fake stones replace the actual ones."

He says there is another way of duping tourists, as jewellers here often urge the foreigners to take a 'dabba' and hand it over to their associate in the same country from which the tourists have come. For doing this, they offer a discount to the customers, for which they fall. Actually the 'dabbas' or boxes contain nothing and there is no associate in that foreign country. The gullible tourist takes the box and when he rings up the concerned person, there is no one on the other side but he has already lost his money here on fake jewellery.

These rackets are common here. At least 70 to 80 per cent of people who get duped do not bother to come back and complain, but this lady had the courage to come back and register a complaint. Such dubious dealers spoil the reputation of Jaipur jewellers and jewellery which is known for intricate craftsmanship. They bring a bad name to our city and traders".

Jaipur is one of the most important hubs of gemstones and jewellery in India, and Jaipur’s gems have a reputation for having the perfect cut and polish. Jaipur, a key player in coloured gemstones in the western region, accounts for a considerable share of the market size. As per Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Jaipur’s gem and jewellery export grew by 35.29 per cent after the pandemic phase and stood at $273.79 million between April 2021 and March 2022. Jaipur’s gemstone industry employs around 1.5 lakh workers and is thus one of the major centres of employment related to gemstones and jewellery in India.

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Published 11 June 2024, 11:54 IST

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