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Tiffany Sends Costco an Expensive Valentine

by John Sealander

Tiffany Accuses Costco of Engaging in Selling
Counterfeit Tiffany Engagement Rings
On February 14, 2013 luxury retailer Tiffany and Company filed suit against Costco Wholesale Corporation for engaging in selling counterfeit diamond Tiffany engagement rings at their Huntington Beach, California store. A customer alerted Tiffany that the discount giant had been selling diamond engagement rings clearly marked by in-store signage as “Tiffany.” A subsequent investigation revealed that the rings in question, one marked platinum Tiffany .70 cts. VS2 round and the other marked Tiffany VS2 1 ct. round were not Tiffany rings at all.
Tiffany Ring

It is believed that hundreds, if not thousands, of Costco customers may still think they purchased a genuine Tiffany ring from Costco, since the retailer has apparently been selling different styles of rings for many years that it falsely identified on in-store signage as ‘Tiffany. “This is not the kind of behavior people expect from a company like Costco,” said Tiffany lawyer Jeffrey Mitchell. “Everyone knows that buying something on a street corner or over the Internet from an unknown source is risky. Until now, no one would have thought it could be risky to buy brand name merchandise from Costco as well.”

The Tiffany lawsuit seeks at least $2 million in damages, an injunction against Costco from using the Tiffany name, and asks Costco to “publicly admit its misconduct” to all customers who bought any rings labeled as “Tiffany.”

None of the rings identified at the Huntington Beach store as “Tiffany” were, in fact, genuine Tiffany rings. They were not manufactured by Tiffany. They were not approved by, licensed by, or in any way associated with Tiffany, according to the legal papers filed on Valentine’s Day in New York federal court.

Counterfeit Goods in the Luxury Industry

The luxury goods industry has always had problems with counterfeiting. Usually these counterfeit items are sold on street corners or over the Internet. Never before has a reputable retailer been accused of selling counterfeit goods in their own stores. The lesson for anyone thinking about purchasing luxury items like jewelry or watches is that it is still important to know where the merchandise comes from. It is always safest to buy directly from the manufacturer or one of their authorized representatives. If you don’t buy from an authorized source, you can never be sure of what you are getting.

Every year, luxury “fakes” get harder and harder to detect. That’s why it is more important than ever to buy rings, jewelry, watches, and other luxury items from a reputable source. To view Gevril Group’s list of authorized jewelers and fine watch dealers, visit the company’s Where to Buy web page. This page is not a fake! It’s simply the best way to find an authorized jeweler or watch dealer in your area.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers.

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