Engagement Series, Part 2: Diamond Basics

All that glitters...

Alright, so now that you have an idea of what her style might be, let's talk about picking a stone. We know this is probably one of the more intimidating aspects of ring purchasing because the De Beers branding from days of yore has pressured us into thinking we should spend three month's salary on a ring. Granted, if you want to do that, please do it here! But ultimately, we want to help you make the best choice. We believe the best customers are educated customers, so let's break down diamonds today! Let's start with the basics.

Brilliant diamond, left. Diamond in the rough, right. Images courtesy of GIA.

The 4C's



Sizes up the number of inclusions, blemishes, and other whoopsie-daisies.

Image courtesy of GIA. Photo by Gary Roskin GG, FGA

Very few things in life are perfect, and the same goes for diamonds. There is a grading scale for diamonds that ranges from I/Included (most diamonds fall into this category) to F/Flawless (many jewelers will go their whole careers without seeing one of these babies). Diamonds on the upper end of the scale are going to have the signature diamond glitter, but they aren't for everyone. We sell and love heavily included diamonds for engagement rings, because the inclusions really set your diamond apart from everyone else's (and has the potential to save you a ton of cash).



For white diamonds, we take a look at the tint to determine value.

Image courtesy of GIA & Tino Hammid

For white diamonds, they are graded on a scale from D (colorless) to Z (light color). Colored diamonds (think blue, pink, red, etc)  are valued completely differently, so we'll address that in a separate post. Truly colorless diamonds are very rare, so yes, they are hella expensive. Don't fret though, it's almost impossible to tell a D from a G unless you're trained, so if it's a white diamond you seek, we can find one that matches your budget. 



The cut of a diamond can elevate it from "meh" to "DANG, GIRL."

The whole reason we love diamonds so much is because of the way they play with light, i.e. how goddamn sparkly they are. There are three factors at play when it comes to diamonds that thrill you: the white light is called brightness, the color flashes are called fire, and the contrast between light and dark in a stone is called scintillation. 


Carat Weight

'Nuff said.

Something important to note that a carat is a measurement of weight, not of diamond diameter or optical size. Diamonds of the same carat weight can look dramatically different sizes because of the depth or shallowness of the stone. Generally speaking, the larger the stone the larger the cost, but diamond pricing can seem convoluted. Double the size doesn't mean double the cost. A one carat diamond is easier for the gem cutter to find in raw material than a three carat diamond, and the price increases exponentially to reflect that rarity.

We farmed the GIA site like crazy for the great images and info for this post and we highly recommend them as an educational resource. We like this one for an intro and this one if you want to go all in

Nick DeRosa
Fall Freshness

Transitions and change

Fall evokes many different feelings for people who live in places with seasons (giving serious side eye to you, Southern California and Hawaii). We're all fall babies at Nine Roses (two Scorpios and a Libra, look out), so it's birthday season as well as the slow and steady shift into hibernation. Fall is change, crunchy leaves, spooky holidays, and believe it or not, the beginning of engagement season (no really, that's a thing, ask any other jeweler), so we want to show you what we've changed around here.


Great bowls of diamonds!

Lower left and center by us, top right Yasuko Azuma.

We need to talk about color

Coming from Upstate New York, fall was always a brief and anxiety filled affair. "WINTER IS COMING," people would cry on the streets, knowing that soon everything would be grey and cold for six months. I don't think I ever truly appreciated color until I spent a winter up there, so these luminous beauties really speak to me. 

1: Nine Roses. Grey diamonds, sapphires, 18k yellow gold.
2: Nine Roses. Paraiba tourmaline, diamonds, 18k white gold. 
3. Nvit Blanche. Lemon diamond, white diamonds, 18k white gold.

Witchy Vibes

Halloween is without a doubt one of the best holidays and while you won't find us in a sexy bumblebee costume anytime soon, we embrace the freedom it gives us to be someone or something else just for a moment. We love that Halloween gives you the chance to transform yourself before winter comes and honestly, just to let your freak flag fly in general. So in addition to colors and sparkles, we're also thinking about the uncanny, the esoteric, the odd, and the "other."


Momento Mori


Both rings by Nvit Blanche. 18k yellow, diamonds, and enamel. We love how the enamel gives the skull a ghostly cast.

Both pieces Nvit Blanche. Necklace is 18k rose gold and shows the Scorpio constellation (hellooooo birthday present!). Bracelets are 18k yellow and show Perseus galaxy. You can read more about this series here.

Hope you've enjoyed this little peek into our cabinet of curiosities! Next week we're getting a really exciting shipment from a designer we've never represented before, so we will show you that as soon as we have it in our hands. 

xoxo kate

Nick DeRosa