He has been interested in jewelry since high school.
That is when Curtis Cox was living in his hometown of Archer City. He was working at the Archer County Courthouse when he found his calling.
“The county judge owned a jewelry store,” Cox said. “He took me to Paris, Texas, which has the most extensive jewelers school in the U.S. The program takes two years, working 40 hours per week, and I worked at Pagel & Sons Jewelers in Killeen for several years.”
Boozer & Weaver Fine Jewelry moved him to Waco in 1993 and sold him a large shop. He worked out of there doing wholesale repair and custom work for most of the independent jewelry stores in Waco.
In December 2003 Cox moved to his current location at 2812 Bellmead Drive and opened his retail store, Curtis Cox Jewelers.
Along with wife Susan and son Curt, Curtis Cox brought on jeweler Everett Casper in 2009. Casper had been with Robert W. Cox Jewelers until it closed.
“(Casper) does all types of jewelry repair,” Cox said. “He also does custom design and stone setting. He is a dream employee, not having taken a sick day in 11 years and he is always on time. He is also very knowledgeable in the business and a steady worker.”
Curtis Cox Jewelers does everything involving jewelry. Cox said the primary focus is on repair and custom-made pieces.
“We have made many pieces starting from a picture on a phone,” he said. “Most jewelry is made by lost-wax casting. I hand-carved waxes for 30 years, and now it is done more on computers, with the wax being 3D-printed, or ‘grown.’ This method allows the customer to view a rendering of the finished product before it is sent for the wax to be grown.”
The proof is in the reviews Curtis Cox Jewelers receives. One customer wrote at Yelp.com: “I found this jewelry store online. Had rave reviews. When I got there the owner was very knowledgeable. He informed me that if I sized my ring that the back would be a bit dull and he said that I could get the ring replated for an additional 30 dollars or so.”
In a week when her ring was ready, she added: “I went here today to pick up my ring that I left to be resized. You can’t even tell that they changed the size. It is basically flawless.”
The store also offers a wide range of jewelry sales and a full line of Citizen watches.
“We typically feature anywhere from two to five pre-owned, high-end watches, such as Rolex,” Cox said.
Right now at Curtis Cox Jewelers, he said the trend is halo-style rings. A halo ring is a setting that circles a center gem in a set of diamonds or other colored gemstones.
“In 42 years I have seen a lot of trends pass,” Cox said. “Halo-style rings are currently very popular and white gold jewelry is dominant. Customers seem to really love that look.”
Cox said he has rules he lives by when it comes to running his business.
“It is about how we treat customers: being honest, being fair, and being kind,” he said. “Keeping overhead down is also key, as well as educating customers about the jewelry. This has shown to be a good way to gain a customer’s trust.”
The jeweler says he also likes to show customers looking at the bigger diamonds how to use a loupe to identify their diamond before they leave it at the shop or elsewhere. From unfolding the loupe and placing it on the index finger to holding it to the face and ensuring the glass is situated directly over the eye, he is able to show customers what to look for.
“I am proud of my parents for running a business as successful as this store is,” said son Curt of his father’s business. “You can always see how satisfied our customers are, how much they trust us with their items, whether it is a high-dollar diamond or an item where most of the value is sentimental.
“I hear it over and over again from people here in the store as well as other places in town, how fair my parents are and how much people enjoy having their work done here at our store.”
Curtis Cox Jewelers
2812 Bellmead Drive
Tue-Fri, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sat, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.