A family of three is suing a Canadian jewelry chain after their black owned jewelry was removed by its owners.
The family has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on custom black owned items and had to replace some of their items, including a mirror and an antique bracelet, the Star has learned.
The lawsuit alleges the owners, a jeweller and his wife, illegally removed the items without permission from the family.
The suit also alleges that the jewelry chain has a policy that requires its owners to purchase a certain amount of black owned products before they can sell them to the public.
Black owned items are expensive to make.
Most of them can’t be made in a traditional way and often require costly tools and equipment, said Mark Stott, a Toronto-based jeweller.
In the lawsuit, the three complainants say they bought black owned jewelery, like a bracelet or mirror, on eBay for a fraction of the retail price they were paying when the item was first purchased.
The complaint says the jewellers removed the jewelry by placing the item in the trash or selling it on a website and charging buyers the full retail price for the item.
The three complainents also allege the jeweller’s wife used the money to buy luxury goods such as a Mercedes SUV.
The court document said the jewelers are entitled to a “fair and reasonable” amount of money for the items.
They also say the jewells policy does not allow them to remove the jewellery themselves.
But in a statement, the company said the policy was never intended to allow the jewelled items to be sold.
“While the policy does allow for the removal of jewelled jewellery items for sale to the general public, the policy has never allowed for the jewelling to be removed by itself or sold for the purposes for which it was originally purchased,” the statement said.
“The policy requires that the jewels purchased by the jewellees in accordance with the policy are purchased at a cost to the customer, which is generally between $500 and $1,000.”
It said the company has “repeatedly contacted and contacted the jeweling chain to inquire about the removal and sale of these items and has never received a response.”
The jeweller in question has not yet responded to CBC News’ request for comment.