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Oregon jeweller accused of selling lab-grown diamonds as natural

Salem, Ore. – A Salem, Oregon jeweller remains behind bars for allegedly bilking customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by misrepresenting lab-grown stones as natural diamonds and failing to return jewellery left for repair, among other charges.

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According to a press release from the Salem Police Department, 57-year-old Douglas Wayne Gamble, owner of the now-closed Timeless Jewelers, faces five counts of grand theft and six counts of first-degree theft.

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In Oregon, aggravated theft is a class B felony involving stolen property valued at $10,000 or more, while first-degree theft is a class C felony where the stolen property is valued at more than $1,000.

Police said they first became aware of a potential problem with the jeweller in late 2022, when 10 people who worked with Gamble to consign, design or repair their jewellery reported losing money or property.

Some customers said lab-grown diamonds were sold to them as natural diamonds, or that the diamonds in their jewellery were replaced with synthetic stones.

Other customers said they never received the jewellery they purchased or never got back pieces they left at Timeless Jewelers for repair, police said.
The store closed abruptly in October 2022, without notifying customers or returning jewellery that had been left on consignment or for repair.

Salem police said $250,000 was their “conservative” estimate of losses in the case.

Gamble surrendered to Salem police detectives on 15 September. He remained in custody as of 22 September, the Polk County Jail confirmed.

His attorney, Kyle Dundas of Miller Bradley Law LLC, could not be reached for comment.

Gamble’s bond is set at $100,000.

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Alice
Alice
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