(KMOV.com) - A local couple got the surprise of a lifetime after a News 4 investigation.
A gift that sparkled, they said, had turned out to be something very different than what they thought.
Their story is now a warning to anyone who might be thinking about a big purchase for Valentine’s Day this year.
In December, News 4 spoke with Sauget couple Molly and Scott.
Recently engaged, they had purchased a ring from Samuel's Jewelers at South County Mall.
Only later did they learn that the diamonds had been made in a lab; the value of the ring is a fraction of what they thought.
“When I found out, I was in tears, devastated,” Molly told News 4.
A week after our initial story, Samuels Jewelers finally responded, providing a receipt showing Scott had signed a disclaimer about the lab-created diamonds.
“When we first saw the story, we were like, ‘we really want to help them out because this has happened to other consumers,” said Grant Mobley with the Diamond Producer’s Association (DPA).
It is a retail federation that represents the industry of diamonds dug from the ground.
“It’s one of the oldest things you can hang on to, a synthetic diamond is produced in a matter of days, so it doesn't have that romance that a natural diamond does,” Mobley said.
Mobley says Molly and Scott are far from alone.
“The studies show when they see the ads put out by the synthetic diamond companies, frankly they're confused,” he said.
After seeing News 4’s story, the DPA contacted News 4 with incredible news.
At Shane Company in Olivette, Mobley used a special machine to test Molly’s old ring and then, they completely replaced it with a ring made of natural diamonds.
Shane Company is providing a warranty on the gift.
Their experience offers a lesson Molly and Scott said they want to share with others.
“Be aware, don't just jump into a purchase,” Scott said.
The biggest takeaway is to ask tons of questions when making any big purchase. Many people don't even know lab-created diamonds exist.
The Diamond Producer’s Associations says there are mined-diamonds in many price points.
Samuels has filed for bankruptcy. They say they value their customers and their reputation deeply.