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Diamond deal gone wrong leaves $72K owed for significant stone, woman claims

A woman is suing a West Vancouver jeweller, claiming she’s owed money for a vanished gem
A woman claims she was never paid by a West Van jeweller for a $72,000 diamond sold on consignment. The jewelry shop disputes the claim. | Ivan-balvan / Getty Images Plus

A West Vancouver jewelry dealer is being sued by a woman who claims the jeweller took her family’s three-carat diamond to sell on consignment and never paid out for the significant stone.

Fariba Pourbaba filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court Sept. 12, alleging she and her father Marefat Pourbaba owned a round brilliant-cut sparkler weighing more than three carats.

In the fall of 2019, her family struck a deal with diamond dealer Mousoud Javaherian of Javaherian Jewelry and Exchange to sell the jewel on consignment for a minimum price of US$50,000, according to the statement of claim. The diamond was to be returned if it didn’t sell in a few days.

According to the lawsuit, Marefat Pourbaba delivered the rock to the dealer.

After that, Marefat tried to contact the dealer multiple times, according to the lawsuit, but didn’t get any updates. The diamond was also not returned.

In July 2022, Marefat’s daughter Fariba spoke to the jeweller in person at his store on Marine Drive in West Vancouver and demanded payment or return of the diamond.

The dealer told her he didn’t have the diamond but would make partial payments on the amount owing, according to the statement of claim. But that never happened, Pourbaba alleges.

Earlier this summer, in June of 2023, Pourbaba had the stone assessed by Madon Jewelers, who put the value at more than $72,000, according to the claim. (The claim does not give any details about how the appraisal was done.)

Now, Pourbaba says she’s suing to get back the value of the stone.

The West Vancouver jewelry shop disputes Pourbaba’s claim.

No response to the claim has been filed in court yet. But Sam Javaherian said the diamond deal was done on a handshake between his father and Pourbaba’s father, who had known each other for years as jewellers in Iran. “There was no [written] agreement, no paper,” he said.

Javaherian said his father sold several loose diamonds for Marefat (who has since died) and delivered almost US$300,000 in cash for those.

The jeweller said his family owes about $10,000 on the sale of the three-carat diamond referred to in the lawsuit – which fetched about $44,000 – and have told the daughter they intend to pay.

Javaherian added the diamond deal didn’t even happen in Canada – it all took place in Iran, where buying and selling of jewels is a more common part of the culture.

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