De Beers Class-Action Checks Are in the Mail

By on

Diamonds are forever. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that’s how long it has taken De Beers to pay up for a class-action settlement.

The world’s largest diamond seller — controlling 65 percent of the market, according to plaintiffs — still denies wrongdoing in the seven lawsuits filed between 2001 and 2005, StarTribune.com says.

The lawsuits alleged De Beers and companies working with it violated antitrust, unfair competition and consumer protection laws. They said it monopolized diamond supplies, then conspired to fix, raise and control diamond prices.

Nearly 552,000 claims were filed against the company by the May 2008 deadline, StarTribune.com says. De Beers is paying out $295 million on them, with nearly half of it going to jewelry stores and middlemen who purchased from the company.

After the lawyers take their cut, the average payout to consumers will be $180.75, according to StarTribune.com. The minimum payout is $10, although claims deemed worth less than that will not get a check at all. Here’s how the amounts are figured, according to the official settlement site, DiamondClassAction.com:

Payments were calculated based on several factors, including how much you paid, the quantity and quality of the diamonds you purchased, the amount of money that is available for your class or sub-class, and how many class members filed claims.

A Consumerist reader told the site his $3,000 claim ended up being worth $48, so don’t get your hopes up.

If you moved since filing or can’t remember whether you were part of the settlement — nobody can blame you since the case was tied up in appeals for so long — the claims administrator can be reached at (800) 760-5431.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,264 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.