DHT Education

Diving in head first into the world of fine jewelry is often daunting. Nine Roses jewelry is designed and crafted to last a lifetime, and we have given great thought to every aspect of our production process—from the big picture to the minutiae. It is our desire to make superior quality jewelry in the most sustainable way possible. We also want to make sure you understand the world of gemstones and precious metals, and feel comfortable with the selection process.

i. Metals

1. Sustainably & Ethically Sourced

We only use recycled metals when creating new jewelry. We work with United Precious Metal Refining, located in Alden, New York. UPMR is as committed as we are to sustainable and ethical jewelry practices, and maintains the following standards and certifications:

Responsible Jewellery Council: Code of Practices Certified
Responsible Minerals Initiative
RAMP Conflict-Free Compliant
SCS: Global Services Certified
COMEX Approved Gold Distinction

2. Sustainability

Each Nine Roses piece is designed with a goldsmith’s approach to metalwork. We only work in 14k gold and above. We make pieces out of solid material—our jewelry is never hollow.

3. Karat Breakdown

Solid gold is way too soft — and way too expensive — to use on its own for wearable pieces. Gold must be combined with other, harder metals in order to make something strong enough to wear.

Wearable gold pieces are measured in karats, which is determined by the amount of gold per 24 parts. For example, 18k gold is 18 parts gold out of a total of 24 parts. The other parts are made of other metals—predominantly nickel, copper, and zinc. Changing the percentages of the base metals is what creates different colors of gold (yellow, white, rose, brown, and green.)

14k — 58.3% purity. This is the American industry standard. It’s wonderful for heirloom jewelry—not as brittle as lower karats, not as delicate as higher. 14k gold also makes for a subtle, honey-colored hue.

18k — 75% purity. Our recommendation for engagement rings and bands, but not right for every client. It makes for a rich, maize-colored hue, but is still plenty strong, which is why we love it so much.

20k — 83.3% purity. The color of a gold nugget, but stronger than 22k gold. If you’re looking for a luxury material, 20k is what we recommend.

22k — 91.7% purity. Only recommended special designs that are not worn on an everyday basis.

4. Gold vs. Platinum

We love gold for all the options it provides, but platinum has its advantages. Platinum is a pure metal (not combined with anything), so it’s great for folks with allergies and sensitive skin.

Platinum is also very hard-wearing, so if you work with your hands, or are generally very hard on your belongings, platinum is likely the way to go. Platinum is also a luxury material, perfect for those who desire a higher carat white gold, but would prefer more strength.

5. Why not sterling silver?

We love sterling silver, but it doesn’t serve as a good home for a gemstone. Silver is not a precious metal, and it is flimsier, more malleable, and more susceptible to cracking than gold and platinum. Sterling silver is also trickier to repair, and certain structural necessities like prongs can be easily bent and broken while you’re living your life.

ii. Stones

1. Repurposed & GIA Certified

We do our best to only source what we call “upcycled” diamonds, which are stones that have been removed from discarded jewelry. Upon removal, these stones are inspected, re-cut, repolished, and certified or recertified by the GIA.
We prefer these stones for a number of reasons. Because they were mined long ago, a second life makes them both a carbon neutral and conflict-free option. We believe repurposed diamonds are the most ethical stones you can get—yes, even more ethical than lab-grown diamonds, which require a ton of energy to create. 
On the occasion we cannot find a recycled option that meets our clients’ needs, we source directly from an importer whose stones strictly adhere to the Kimberley Process.

2. The 4 C’s

Diamonds are graded by the four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat. The following is a concise breakdown, but we suggest visiting the GIA’s website for more nuanced information.

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3. Rustic Diamonds

Black, salt and peppers, greys, icy, and a myriad of other heavily included diamonds fall into the “imperfect” category. Inclusions can be white (creating a frosty, cloud-like look), black (smokey and dramatic), or a range of other colors. The inclusion color is a result of the material that’s become embedded in the carbon during the diamond’s creation. For example, an orange rustic likely had some garnet stuck in it at the time of its formation. Nature is truly magical.
Imperfect diamonds are a great option for those who want something unique and different, but don’t want to sacrifice quality. And because they are technically imperfect, rustic diamonds are less expensive per carat.

4. Diamonds vs sapphires

Sapphires are a great option for those wanting a high quality, affordable ring. Diamonds are a 10/10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, while Sapphires are a 9/10. Sapphires are less sparkly and less rare than diamonds, but they come in all the same cuts as well as a brilliant range of incredible colors.

Sapphires are great for those who want a center stone on a budget; we also love colored sapphires for side and accent stones.

5. Why not other stones?

Going back to the Mohs scale of hardness, we don’t recommend anything under 8/10. Your wedding set is made to be worn every single day for the rest of your life—it needs to be sturdy and strong. Stones like garnets, opals, quartz, and emeralds are beautiful, but delicate, and can chip and crack over time. It is our opinion that soft stones are simply not fit for wedding jewelry.

iii. Ethics & Approach

1. Goldsmith

Nick DeRosa approaches jewelry design from a goldsmith’s perspective. Even our dantiest pieces are substantial enough to be worn every day, over multiple lifetimes. Each setting is designed for function first, and aesthetics second. Wedding jewelry is meant to be worn every day, and to do that it must be strong.

2. Production

Our jewelers are paid a competitive wage and all of our jewelry is made by hand in the US. Our production team consists of twelve bench jewelers, each of whom possesses their own speciality skillset. Each ring is set by hand, with painstaking hand-done detailing like milgrain and engraving.

3. Sourcing

We have long term relationships with diamond importers and sourcers whose ethics and morals we trust. We put human rights and environmental concerns ahead of all else, ensuring every piece of Nine Roses jewelry is conflict-free.

4. Clients

We started Nine Roses because we wanted people to have a fun, pressure-free jewelry shopping experience. We’re here to give you solid advice, honest feedback, and—most of all—to make you the ring of your dreams. We won’t upsell you or rush you into a decision; we’d rather listen and help.

5. Warranty

Each Nine Roses piece comes with a lifetime warranty. When you bring your jewelry for cleanings, we’ll conduct a safety check to make sure your settings are stable and your stone is secure. We will repair all manufacturing defects and general wear and tear issues within the first 6 months of purchase. Please note, after this 6 month period, we will repair your jewelry for a fee!