Fifth Street Jewelers: Miller Moran

3 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Sherwood C. Frey

Sherwood C. Frey

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


Miller Moran, an attorney serving pro bono as executor for the estate of a friend's mother, was attempting to sell a 3.5-carat diamond ring whose lineage could be traced back to the Eastern European branch of the family and the Romanovs. An estate liquidator had offered $18,000 for the ring, but Moran believed this was a low-ball offer because Internet searches had suggested numbers in the range of $30,000 to $35,000. The ring had been couriered to Fifth Street Jewelers for Dana Frasier, the owner, to examine prior to their meeting the next morning. See also "Fifth Street Jewelers: Dana Frasier" (UVA-QA-0705).




Serving as a volunteer executor for the estate of a friend's mother had begun to wear thin for Miller Moran. When asked almost a year ago, it seemed like the right thing to do. Not only had the matriarch of the family died rather suddenly, but also several of her children, especially Moran's friend, had fallen on hard times. Whatever could be done to make the net value of the estate as large as possible would be most appreciated by the heirs. One step in that direction was Moran's commitment to provide the services pro bono. Now, after nine months of inventorying the estate, arranging for appraisals, proposing means for the equitable division of the countless family mementos, settling debts, and satisfying the demands of the probate court, Moran was beginning to regret the magnanimous gesture. Thankfully, the process was nearly complete.

The major outstanding estate asset was a diamond ring, whose lineage could be traced back through the Eastern European branch of the family and into the mid-nineteenth century. In fact, an old family story connected the ring to that portion of the family that had been socially and financially linked to the Romanovs. When the dynasty began to fall, the family fled Russia, taking with them whatever easily transportable wealth they could. Among the family treasures was this ring of three stones—a large center diamond flanked by two tapered baguette-cut diamonds—in an ornate and intricate platinum setting.

. . .

Keywords: negotiation, distributive bargaining, deception

Suggested Citation

Frey, Sherwood C., Fifth Street Jewelers: Miller Moran. Darden Case No. UVA-QA-0706, Available at SSRN:

Sherwood C. Frey (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States


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