Oregon Jeweler Accused of Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds as Natural
Police say Douglas Wayne Gamble also swapped natural diamonds for synthetic stones and failed to return customers’ repairs.
According to a news release from the Salem Police Department, 57-year-old Douglas Wayne Gamble, owner of now-closed Timeless Jewelers, faces five counts of aggravated theft and six counts of theft in the first degree.
In Oregon, aggravated theft is a Class B felony involving stolen property worth $10,000 or more, while theft in the first degree is a Class C felony in which the property stolen is valued at more than $1,000.
Police said they first became aware there was a potential problem with the jeweler in late 2022 when 10 people who worked with Gamble to consign, design, or repair their jewelry reported they had lost money or property.
Some customers said lab-grown diamonds were sold to them as natural diamonds, or that the diamonds in their jewelry were swapped with synthetic stones.
Other customers said they never received jewelry they purchased or never got back pieces they left at Timeless Jewelers for repair, police said.
The store closed suddenly in October 2022 without notifying customers or returning jewelry that had been dropped off on consignment or for repair.
The Salem Police Department said $250,000 is its “conservative” estimate of losses in the case.
Gamble surrendered to Salem Police Department detectives on Sept. 15. He remained in custody as of Sept. 22, the Polk County Jail confirmed.
His attorney, Kyle Dundas of Miller Bradley Law LLC, could not be reached for comment.
Gamble’s bail is set at $100,000.
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