It is 4:10 a.m., Feb. 15th. Yesterday was Valentines Day. My Valentine is lying
next to me (probably wondering what I’m doing). My wife is very patient when it
comes to me waking up in the middle of the night to jot down something that
I just dreamed up or answer to a puzzle I’ve been working on.
Last night John Stossell (of 20/20, on ABC News Magazine) did a piece about
diamonds. He said, ‘That all diamonds are not rare and women have been
brainwashed into wanting them through slick marketing campaigns.’ While it
may be true that diamonds, like all other commodities, are marketed to the
public, I think he went a little over the line to say they have no value. The
following letter to Mr. Stossell was mailed to ABC News.
Have a great day,
P.S. Last month’s piece ‘Trade Up Syndrome’ was featured in the Wall Street
Journal and next month’s piece ‘The Final Frontier (Synthetic Diamonds)’ will be
featured in March’s Newsletter.
Feb 15, 2003 ‘” 3:10a.m.
Dear John Stossel,
Last night as I lay in bed with my beautiful wife, that I thank the Lord for every
day, I thought about your piece, ‘Give Me a Break’, on diamonds. You don’t
get it. While it may be true that a diamond is nothing more than a 100 million
year old rock, it could also be said that a marriage is nothing more than a
legal agreement between two people and love is nothing more than hormones gone amok.
The part I hope you end up embracing is that we live in a world of perceptions;
our perceptions of what’s important. From the cars we drive, the clothes we wear,
to the television shows we see (like 20/20), we create our own reality. Each of us
gets to decide our priorities in our own lives. The who, what and why each of us
gets out of bed each morning. What saddens me (when you take a purely analytical
view point on diamonds) is you distill your lovely wife’s emotions down to
merely dollars and cents. You know why women love diamonds? Because they don’t
make sense (or cents, take your pick). They know deep down inside they are rocks;
they are not stupid. They love them not for what they are, but what they represent;
love, honor, commitment. It may have been advertisers who delivered the message
but we decided if we’re buying it.
Diamonds do tell stories. Just like your grandmother’s wedding dress or the
pocket watch your great-grandfather might have left you. It is the stories we cherish, not
the possessions. Please realize a diamond is a symbol no different than the piece of
cloth with stars and stripes we call our flag. Humans are the only species on this
earth that will die for the things they believe in. I pray when young men give their
lives to fight for world peace in Iraq, you won’t do a ‘Give Me a Break’ piece
on young men that died in vain.
In the meantime, if your wife would still like that diamond, I would be more than
happy to let her have one, on me. Call me at your convenience with her ring size,
so this will no longer be a sore spot in your relationship. Life is too short.
God bless you and yours.
P.S. While it may be true not all diamonds are rare, a select few are. I have
attached an article that will hopefully enlighten you. I have also enclosed a
story that might help you understand how one diamond, like one life, can make
a difference in this world.
In every organization there are always the elite few that standout in the crowd. In
the Army, you’ve got the ‘Rangers’. In the Navy, you’ve got the ‘Seals’. In the
Air Force, you’ve got the ‘P.J.’s’ and in a world filled with ordinary jewelry
stores you have super jewelry stores called ‘Bonded Jewelers!’ Why Fred,
are ‘Bonded Jewelers’ better than the rest? What are they bonded for? Well, hold
on to your hats and I’ll tell you.
For starters, only approximately 5% of the jewelers in the world are
bonded. Only 1 out of every 20!! By ‘bonded’, I’m referring to the fact that
they sell bonded diamonds, and bonded diamonds my friend, are the way to go
if you can afford them. They typically run 10-15% above non-bonded diamonds.
A bonded diamond is just a fancy way of describing a fully warranted diamond.
This is what you get when you buy a bonded diamond:
1. All bonded diamonds come with a lifetime breakage policy. You bust the
stone; the jeweler gives you a new one. (One bust per customer) This is a
wonderful policy. Since treated stones tend to be brittle, no jeweler would
give you this guarantee unless your diamond is 100% natural.
2. And you’re going to love this; all bonded stones come with a lifetime buy
back policy. Translation, for the life of the diamond, you can take it back to
the jeweler and get 100% of your money back on the diamond!! (Mountings and sales
tax not included.) How wonderful is this! If you’re not 100% satisfied for the
life of your purchase, you get your money back. Now you might ask, ‘How can a jeweler
afford to do this?’ How can he not? Great diamonds are in demand, very liquid
and easy to resell. Any jeweler worth his salt will be glad to buy back a good
diamond. If a jeweler doesn’t want to buy your diamond back, then there was probably
something wrong with it in the first place.
3. All bonded diamonds come with an unconditional lifetime exchange
policy. This is great! If your fiancÃ©e ever gets bored with her shape, your
jeweler will allow even exchanges. (You have to pay for resetting fees.)
4. Bonded diamonds come with a lifetime trade-in policy with a fixed appreciation
rate to keep up with inflation.
5. Bonded diamonds come with a market crash protection policy. If the diamond
market ever crashes and your diamond depreciates, the jeweler will refund
the difference between what you paid from the new market value.
6. All bonded stones are guaranteed to be natural and untreated.
If you can find a bonded jeweler, they are the way to go. Disingenuous jewelers
thrive knowing that it’s possible to take the reality of a bad diamond and have
the customer perceive it as a good diamond. With a bonded diamond, if the reality
of its quality doesn’t always equal your perception of it, you get your money
The Gift ‘” A Sweet Story of Success by Fred Cuellar, The Diamond GuyÂ®
One day a few years ago, I boarded a jetliner in Houston, bound for New York. When
I had stowed my carry-on bag and buckled myself in, I looked over to see who I had
for a seat mate. I saw a small, elderly lady, sitting straight and prim in her
seat, clutching her handbag and trying very hard not to appear concerned. I guessed
this lady had not flown often in her life. I leaned over and reminded her gently
that she would have to stow her handbag before taking off. ‘Oh, thank you,’ she said.
‘I’m a little nervous, to be quite frank. I’ve never flown before.’ I asked her why
she was traveling to New York. ‘Well,’ she said with a sigh, ‘I’m going to live with
my daughter. She’s meeting me at the airport. You see, my husband of fifty-five
years passed away recently and my daughter doesn’t want me living alone.’ I
offered condolences and, trying to brighten her up, I said she was lucky to have
enjoyed such a long marriage. ‘Thank you. Yes, I was fortunate. We had a good marriage,
and now it seems like the time went by so fast…seems like just yesterday we
were saying our vows.’ She was quiet for a long moment, replaying some of the
cherished moments of her married life, before she returned to our conversation.
‘And what about you?’ she asked. ‘Why are you going to New York?’I told her I was
in the diamond business and was going there to close a deal on some diamonds.
‘Oooh, diamonds!’ Her lined face brightened. Charlie ‘” that was my husband ‘” always
said I’d have a diamond one day. When we got married, all we could afford were
the wedding bands. Then came the children, and with one thing or another we never
have enough money for luxuries. Every anniversary Charlie would say,
‘˜My dear, next year we’ll get you that diamond!’ But now there is no next year. ‘ She
bowed her head and tried not to let me see the tears, but eventually she had to
dab them away with a handkerchief tugged from the pocket of her old coat. In that
moment, this sweet woman’s tears revealed to me why I was on that plane, sitting
beside her. I asked her name. ‘Evelyn,’ she told me. ‘Evelyn Benson.’ ‘Well Evelyn,’
I said, ‘my name is Fred Cuellar, and I just realized that fate brought us together.
What is your ring size?’ ‘I–I don’t know, really,’ she stammered. ‘Why?’
‘Because I am here to give you your diamond ring. Charlie had something to do
with seating us together, I’m sure of it.’ I guess her ring size at about a six,
and I had a grin sized extra large at this point.
‘But I can’t afford it,’
she protested. ‘We never could.’ ‘Evelyn,’ I told her, ‘I am not selling you
a diamond ring. I am giving it to you, at Charlie’s request.’ Well that made
her cry even more, but the tears were happier now, and she gave me a big hug when
we parted company at JFK airport. When I got back to Houston I put together a
modest, but very nice, diamond engagement ring and mailed it to Evelyn at the
address in upstate New York she’d given me. Putting that package in the mail
made me feel like a million dollars. No, better than that. Six months later I
received a small package at my Houston office. When I opened it, I found the diamond
ring I’d sent to Evelyn Benson. With the ring was a note from her daughter: ‘Dear
Mr. Cuellar, I’m returning the ring which you so generously allowed my mother to wear
for the last six months. Not a day went by when she didn’t show it to someone, proud
as can be. She told people it was a gift from her late husband Charlie (my dad).
I’d never seen her as happy with anything in my life. My mother passed away last
week, so I am returning your ring with many thanks for the joy you brought my mother.
Sincerely, Jane Adams.’