Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Diamond Cutters International?

Diamond Cutters International is a diamond and colored stone cutting house and full-scale jewelry manufacturer that is open to the public for private appointments.

What do you do?

After cutting the stones from quality rough, we match clients with their choice of diamonds and colored gemstones, help them create their setting, and then manufacture the jewelry ourselves.

What is a diamond and colored stone cutting house?

A cutting house is a business that buys rough stones and cuts them into faceted gemstones for sale and purchase.

How long have you been in business?

Our CEO Fred Cuellar founded us over 35 years ago! We’ve been in business ever since.

Can private individuals buy from you? (200+ jewelry stores, 3 major insurance co)

Yes! We see private clients in our Houston office. While we provide the diamonds for over 250 jewelry stores and 3 major insurance companies, we are committed to being the only cutting house that is open to the public. We love to help couples find their engagement rings, or assist in making unique custom diamond and colored stone jewelry.

Are you a big or small company? How many employees to do you have?

We’re both a small and large company, depending on what part of the diamond industry you’re looking at. For a cutting house, we’re a rather small company. The average size of diamond and colored stone cutting house is $1 billion in valuation. By that metric, we’re 1⁄4 the size of a typical cutting house, so we can be very select about who we work with. Given that the typical jewelry store is only a quarter of a million dollars, we’re rather large. We’re either 250x larger than a typical jewelry store, or 1⁄4 the size of a typical cutting house. Our staff of just under 100 employees is stacked with accredited gemologists.

Do you manufacture your own jewelry?

Yes we do! We are a full scale jewelry manufacturer. We can custom create any jewelry you would like.

Can you custom make jewelry or do you just sell loose stones?

We do both. We sell loose stones and then custom make a setting for you according to your design preferences. We also sell investment-grade stones not intended for setting. We do not sell pre-fabricated, mass market jewelry.

Do you sell colored diamonds?

Yes, we do. We have access to the most exclusive fancy colored diamonds in the world, including Argyle Tender Stones,and sold the famous Argyle Trifecta.

Do you sell colored stones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds and alexandrite?

Absolutely. We can design jewelry for you with any colored stone you would like.

What is a guild store? What is a chain store? Which are you?

A guild store is a name brand luxury jewelry store that offers the finest quality diamonds and gems, namely: Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Harry Winston, Bulgari, and the like. They offer extremely high quality goods, but at a premium to the consumer who is often paying for the brand name as much as the stones. A chain store offers lower prices, but sacrifices quality: Kay’s, Zales, Costco are examples of lower quality for lower prices.

Diamond Cutters International is neither. We offer the highest quality diamonds and colored stones available in the marketplace, but at lower pricing. Our prices are cost plus 10%, which is lower than chain stores as well, in fact, we supply over 200 jewelry stores with their diamonds! The catch is that we carry no inventory in the store, so you can’t come shopping and walk away with your finished piece same day. Our clients appreciate getting guild store quality for 1/3 of the price and are willing to wait a few weeks to get their jewelry!

What’s a diamond go for?

There’s no way to answer this simply. Depending on the quality and size of a stone, including the 4 C’s and other factors, diamonds have a tremendously wide range of market price. We have quality diamonds to suit many different budgets.

Do you sell lab grown diamonds?

No. We sell only natural, conflict-free diamonds to our customers. Every diamond comes with an appraisal verified by for by no less than three staff gemologists.

Do you sell fakes?

No. We do not misrepresent our stones. We sell only natural diamonds. The one exception is when we create a CZ “replica” of a piece of diamond jewelry that someone buys from us for travel or security purposes, similar to the practice of guild stores like Tiffany’s, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Such replicas are always clearly noted as such. Our appraisals are signed by at least 3 accredited gemologists who have all personally examined your stone.

What’s going on with diamond prices right now?

The diamond market is very strong. Prices for rough stones are going up and the value of diamonds continues to increase.

Which is better for the setting -- white gold or platinum?

White gold and platinum are just different metals. Platinum is stronger. White gold will lose a bit of weight over time through normal wear and tear. Your gemologist can work with you to understand cost comparison of metals for settings and help you choose the best option for your ring design, preferences, budget.

What is fluorescence?

Fluorescence is a diamond’s reaction to ultraviolet light (UV light). Florescence can be blue or even yellow. Strong or very strong fluorescence can make a diamond appear cloudy, possibly diminishing its visual appeal and value. Faint fluorescence that doesn’t fog up a diamond is ok in certain cases.

Which of the 4 C’s is the most important?

Each of the four c’s are a critical component to diamond value. None is the “most” important, as they work synergistically together to make up the quality of a diamond.

I’ve heard there’s a fifth c – is that cost? Composition?

Composition of the diamond, that is, whether it is macle or flat rough or full term rough, is the largest indicator of value of a diamond, so you could call composition a fifth c. Cost is definitely important, but cost alone is not a true value indicator for a stone. It’s the other value indicators that lead to the measurement of cost!

What is full-term rough? What are macles and flats?

Full-term, macle and flat are all types of diamond rough, which are the stones that faceted diamonds are cut from. The hidden key to the best diamond jewelry is the type of diamond rough you use.

Full-term rough is 800 million-1 billion years old and is usually octahedral in shape. Full-term rough is the most valuable diamond rough by far.

Macles and flat rough are irregulars or preemie rough, typically 300-400 million years old. They are typically flat and shaped rather like skipping stones.

98% of diamonds sold today are cut from macle and flat rough. One of the benefits of being our own cutting house is that we can ensure our diamonds are cut from high-quality full term rough.

What is the BLR of a diamond?

BLR stands for Brisance Luminosity Rating. It is the weighted light return of a diamond, calculated by multiplying the Efficiency Rating (the measurement of light refracted from a diamond and returned to your eye) by the Amplified Light Return (the number of visible internal light reflections that a diamond has per ray of light that enters). A high BLR makes for a beautiful, sparkly diamond.

What’s a fully bonded diamond? What’s a partially bonded diamond? What kind of guarantees do you offer?

Diamond Cutters International is the only fully bonded jeweler in the state of Texas. A fully bonded jeweler will buy back your diamond at price paid for the life of the stone, backed by Chubb and Lloyd’s of London, provided you pay for the bonding fee. A fully bonded diamond is one that is guaranteed to be the type of stone that your appraisal states and also guarantees value. A partially bonded diamond is only a guarantee of authenticity of type of stone. Most jewelry stores are neither. DCI certifies that our diamonds and gemstones are what we say they are, and we put our money where our mouth is.

How do I clean my jewelry?

How to clean your jewelry will depend on the type of stones that are used. We give a personalized “How to Clean” presentation with your jewelry, including information about your diamond, colored stone and metal cleaning options. For diamonds, a daily cleaning with a solution of ammonia and water and an ultrasonic toothbrush is recommend. We also offer ultrasonic cleanings as a free service to our customers.

Do we need an appointment to come in?

Yes and no. We do welcome walk-ins, but if you would like to guarantee that the gemologist of your choice (ie, CEO Fred Cuellar, for example) is available to see you, it’s best to make an appointment.

What are our weekday hours/do we close for lunch/are we open on Saturdays?

Our hours are 9-5 M-F and 9-12 on Saturday. During special holiday hours, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are open 9-6 M-F and 9-5 on Saturday. We do not close for lunch.

What is an estimate price of our rings?

We offer custom rings at every price point, but cannot give an estimated cost without more information! There are many factors that affect the value of a ring and price of service offered. For repairs, we give an estimated price when you bring your piece in.

How long will my jewelry take to make?

This depends on what your jewelry is and how much work is required. Your gemologist will go over the timeline for your project during your consultation.

Is in-house financing available?

No. We do not offer in-house financing but we do accept all major credit cards.

Do you sell other jewelry besides rings?

Yes! As a full-scale jewelry manufacturer, we can make any type of jewelry including but not limited to earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cuff links, anklets and more!

Are there any rings/settings to see in your office?

We have settings in our office for you to get a feel for how something can look, but we also use computer renderings and other visual images to show you how your ring/setting/jewelry will look.

How are your prices compared to other stores?

Our prices are exceptional. We can beat anyone’s price by 20%. Because we are the only cutting house in the Southwest, there are several steps of the diamond industry that are removed, as well as the markups at every stage!

Do we do appraisals for non-DCI rings?

Yes. We do offer appraisal services.

Do you buy diamonds or take trade-ins?

On a case by case basis we do sometimes buy diamonds or accept trade-ins.

Do you custom cut diamonds for individuals?

Yes, we can do that.

Do you repair broken diamonds?

Yes, if they can be fixed. Some things are not reparable.

Do you offer consultations in ASL for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

Yes, we do!