This week, I received a nice surprise in the mail: a check from a class action lawsuit settlement. Many of my friends have told me in the past that they had never seen any money from any class action settlement and thought that some of them were just pipe dreams that would never get resolved. I have to admit, I've never had one come to fruit any rewards either. So, I thought that I would explain how this worked, and maybe in the future you can able to reap the rewards of any settlement.

About five years ago, De Beers had settled on a $135 million settlement on diamonds that were purchased between January of 1994 and March 31, 2006. The lawsuit claimed that DeBeers used their monopoly in the diamond market at that time to inflate the price of diamonds. In this case, consumers that fell under that category had until May 19, 2008 to file their claim.  I had kept all of my receipts from the wedding and engagement rings that we had purchased, as well as other jewelry that had diamonds in it, so I placed the claim.

A few weeks later after the deadline, it was claimed that it was going to be fought in court.  I thought nothing would come of it at that point. For five years, I was correct, and I even had forgotten about it.

Then, this week I came home to see that I had received a check for about $40. While that may not seem like much in the spectrum of things, it is still $40 in my pocket and almost like another wedding gift about 10 years later. If you filed under this particular class action settlement, your check could be coming soon.

I can understand that a lot of class action lawsuits can go unresolved, but if you get a mailing about one or find out that you're effected by it, just follow the directions given to you. It may take a long time, but who knows? You too could get a little cash sometime from them.

Have you ever filed as part of a class action settlement? How much money did you receive?