CCTV system returns lost diamond to merchant

What's worse than losing a 7.5-carat diamond? Telling its owner you lost it.

That's exactly what an independent diamond broker had to do in June after the stone--with an estimated wholesale value of $750,000--fell out of his pocket in a crowded Diamond District jewelry exchange. Although he realized moments after leaving the exchange that the diamond wasn't in his pocket, it couldn't be found. The stone was gone.

When the owners reported the stone's loss to its insurer, Lloyd's of London, the company immediately hired renowned adjuster John Enders of McLarens Young International to investigate.

Enders hoped that the surveillance cameras at the exchange--The New York Jewelry Center--had caught something to corroborate the broker's story.

He went to the exchange's surveillance and security company, DGA Security Systems, and property owner Ken Kahn to ask for archived video files showing all activity on the exchange floor.

As Enders and DGA employees reviewed hours of digital footage, they made a discovery: One clip clearly showed the broker accidentally dropping the diamond. This supported the broker's claims that he had indeed lost--not stolen--it, but it still left the owners without their diamond.

However, after additional days of scouring footage, Enders identified a second camera angle that revealed a person in the exchange finding the stone on the floor moments after the broker walked out. The video's image quality allowed Enders. after some on-the-street investigating, to identify, and contact the person who found the stone--a local merchant who quickly returned the missing diamond to its owners.

At the end of the day, the decision to install a DGA digital videosurveillance system had led to the vindication of the diamond brokerand saved a local diamond dealer and its insurer from a huge financial setback. Mr. Kahn, the exchange owner, was delighted. "I've alwaysbelieved that my security system provides the best possible protection for my tenants, but today this technology was responsible for a truly extraordinary event, and everyone involved in the recovery of this diamond is grateful to DGA and to John Enders," he said.

DGA Founder and President Stanley Oppenheim said, "A security system is more than technology. Our digital video surveillance system enabled us to find the missing diamond, but only with the support of a well-designed system, highly trained security personnel, a vigilant client, and an expert investigator. I am heartened that all of these elements worked together not merely to prevent a significant financial loss, but also to restore something incalculable: A reputation."