I brought my genuine Akoya High Luster 9mm and 10mm white pearl necklace to Old Northeast Jewelers, AKA Hess Fine Art, to be restrung. This was an heirloom strand measuring 48 inches which I have owned for over 45 years. In fact I have numerous photos of myself wearing said pearls at special and sentimental moments in my life. Thus, this loss is not only about monetary value it's about sentimental value. It's about trust rewarded with deception, denial, and disrespect.
When I delivered the necklace to the store it was measured to be exactly 48 inches in length and a total count of 129 pearls. I was quoted a price for the restringing service of $5 USD per inch. And the service was to take 2 weeks.
The morning that I went to retrieve my necklace an employee and Ms Katrina Hess surrounded me exclaiming they had very much enjoyed working with my pearls, as they were uniquely lustrous and beautiful. I thought this behavior was a little odd.
Further, I was told that there was one less pearl because the stringer broke a tool inside of one and the count is now 128 in the necklace and one loose pearl.
I took the necklace home, measured it, and found that the strand had now been shortened to a total of 42.75 inches long, and counted in at 127 pearls. I immediately returned to the store to claim the differences. One of the first questions I was asked was whether I had any historical pictures to validate my claims; I confirmed that I have multiple photo records of the necklace. After that I was told that Ms. Katrina Hess would call me.
Ms. Hess called and arranged a meeting with her stringer, Laura. I was then asked to show the pearls that I was given? Laura had a few pearls in her hand and matched the string with smaller yellowish low luster pearls. Her explanation for the different color was that the pearls had been cleaned [pearls do not change color] and the 5.75 inch reduction in length was because they were restrung. The micrometer was now measuring the pearls at 7mm and 8mm. I left frustrated and humiliated. My string of pearls has now become a chain of lies.
The following Monday morning I called Ms. Hess to appeal for the loss. "These are not my pearls and I want my pearls returned to me." I was informed that Ms. Hess had left for Switzerland and would return in 10 days.
Now Ms. Hess refuses to return my calls and hides behind a receptionist. My loss is not easily measurable. Memories, self-esteem, honor, respect, and value are diminished and gone!