Sterling Jewellers is at the centre of a legal case over “missing” jewellery.
Sterling Jewellers is at the centre of a legal case over “missing” jewellery.

Couple want $1M worth of jewellery back

A FORMER Gold Coast rug importer and his wife are taking a Glitter Strip family business to court over rare jewellery and collectibles they claim are worth more than a million dollars.

Shahid and Sumeena Chaudhary claim they left jewellery and antiques with former friends James and Mireille Pizzo's Sterling Jewellers at Broadbeach, to sell on consignment years ago.

James and Mireille Pizzo of Sterling Jewellers. Picture: Jerad Williams
James and Mireille Pizzo of Sterling Jewellers. Picture: Jerad Williams

In April, the Chaudharys' lawyer wrote to Sterling Jewellers, asking for the return of 31 items allegedly left with them in 2010-11.

The couple's Supreme Court documents say they want the return of "exclusive and rare pieces of jewellery'', estimated to be worth more than a million dollars, or damages.

They allegedly include a 2.32 carat diamond ring with a market value of $285,000, a Chopard pearl necklace worth $105,000 and an 18 carat gold President Rolex watch worth $50,850.

The Chaudharys claim they either did not receive their share of money they were owed from jewellery sales or did not get the jewellery back.

But Mr and Mrs Pizzo, whose family-owned Sterling Jewellers has been at Broadbeach for 40 years, strongly dispute the Chaudharys' claims.

They have filed a counterclaim for $14,000, which they say the Chaudharys owe their business, Talia Jewellers.

The Pizzos say they bought some of the Chaudharys' jewellery, they paid them their share of proceeds from any jewellery they sold for them and returned all unsold items, apart from some crockery.

The Pizzos also strongly dispute the terms of their agreement with the Chaudharys and the estimated market valuations the other couple have given for their jewellery.

The Chaudharys, originally from Singapore, moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne in the late 1980s.

One of the rings the Chaudhary’ claim is missing.
One of the rings the Chaudhary’ claim is missing.

They were associated with rug outlets in Brisbane and Bundall as well as a company which imported and distributed diamonds and quality Persian and oriental rugs.

The couple once owned a five-bedroom waterfront home on exclusive Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach, which was reportedly sold by Mrs Chaudhary for $7.2 million in 2013.

Mrs Chaudhary previously had a luxury shoe and handbag boutique, Princess Yasmin, in Marina Mirage, with fashion designer Alex Perry attending the opening in 2010.

In 2013, Mrs Chaudhary took Marina Mirage's receivers to court for recovery of a 2.32 carat diamond and a solid pink gold Rolex President men's watch. The case was dismissed in 2015.

In their defence to the Chaudharys' claim, the Pizzos allege those same two pieces of jewellery were among items the couple listed in their latest claim. The Chaudharys deny it.

The Chaudharys claim they also left an $85,000 tennis bracelet, a $28,500 Chopard ruby diamond ring and $21,500 three-tone diamond ring with Sterling Jewellers.

The 31 items also included a Grisogono watch worth $82,500, a $15,000 lobster brooch, Milan porcelain vases and Limoges bowl and platter, they claim.

The Chaudharys have asked for return of the jewellery and antiques or damages for unlawful detention, at current market value, or payment of sale proceeds, less what they owe. The court case is yet to go to a hearing.



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