De Beers diamond lawsuit coming to a close

Published Jul. 16, 2012

Diamonds just might be everyone's best friend these days — or at least those who bought them in the mid-1990s to early 2000s.

The federal courts have finally ended the class action lawsuit against trading company De Beers for overcharging for diamonds. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided not to review appeals.

Checks are expected to be in the mail within the next few months, according to the claims website,

To receive a check, diamond buyers had to submit a claim in the case by May 19, 2008.

The total settlement amount is $272.5 million, but it is unclear how much individuals will receive. At the time the class action was announced, the minimum check was expected to be $10 and the maximum $640 for a loose diamond or diamond jewelry costing $2,000 or more.

Class action lawsuits often result in little for plaintiffs because much of the money from the settlement gets eaten up in legal fees.

The settlement was the result of several lawsuits. Plaintiffs complained that De Beers S.A. and its associated companies violated antitrust, unfair competition and consumer-protection laws. The plaintiffs also alleged that De Beers monopolized diamond supplies, conspired to fix, raise and control diamond prices and disseminated false and misleading advertising.

Although De Beers settled the claims, the company did not admit guilt in any of the allegations.