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30.09.21

Is Anyone Buying a 9 Carat Diamond?

If no one was buying 9 carat diamonds, then a quick internet search wouldn’t have landed you here, darling. So let’s talk about what’s really on your mind: Which celebs are buying big diamonds, how you can get the look, and just how many dollars it’ll take to do so. First off, a 9 carat diamond is big, sure, but if we’re talking about Beyonce, 9 carats is pocket change. So lower your celeb listing just a tad, to someone more realistic. Say, Amal Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum…you know, everyday folk. For real though, 9 carats is big but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Here’s how.

Impractically Practical

While naysayers might call a 9 carat diamond impractical — after all, big diamonds certainly aren’t a necessity — we say anything is practical if it works for you. So does it? If you can afford a 9 carat diamond, and are comfortable wearing it out of the house, and willing to insure it against loss and theft, then by all means, do your thing. Do, however, think of how you have your 9 carat diamond set, to avoid snagging it on all your equally impractical designer sweaters.

Custom Frank Darling 9 carat diamond total weight three stone emerald cut engagement ring
One way to achieve 9 carat perfection? Pair a daring center stone with bold side stones for total carat weight dreams.
Frank darling custom split shank 5 carat round diamond engagement ring
With a large center stone, framing your diamond with a split shank band like this is a great way to make the ring look proportional to your finger!

Smooth Sailing

So just how big is a 9 carat diamond that you have to worry about it snagging? Well, it’s less about how big it is and more about the shape and design of your setting. For instance, a classic 4-prong setting that raises the diamond high off your finger is much more likely to catch on things (sweaters, countertops, hair, etc.) than a low-profile bezel with a smooth edge. A diamond with points like a marquise is more likely to snag than a smooth oval. And the more side stone diamond accents you have, like diamond prongs, pave halo settings, or an eternity band, the more risk you have for wear and tear. If you have a super active lifestyle or simply don’t want to worry about it, then look for styles with fewer accents, smoother settings, and low profiles that hug the finger.

Large and In Charge

Okay fine, we can talk about size — since it’s quite clear that it matters when we’re talking about 9 carat diamonds. Is a 9 carat diamond 9 times bigger than a 1 carat diamond? Sorry my darling, but that’s not how carat size works. First, remember that carat is a measure of weight, not size. Then remember that diamonds are cut to exacting proportions to bring out their brilliance. So the weight of a diamond will be distributed equally throughout the stone, as opposed to simply adding on to its diameter. A 1 carat round brilliant cut diamond, for instance, will measure approximately 6.4mm diameter. A 3 carat will be about 9.3mm diameter and a 9 carat round brilliant cut diamond will be in the range of 13.5mm.

A Cut Above

While knowing a bit about average sizes is a good guideline, when it comes to choosing a diamond, we suggest you put more weight into its cut grade than its carat. Why is that? Well, cut grade is going to have more visual effect on a diamond’s sparkle. And sparkle can actually make a diamond look bigger than its weight. Take two 1 carat diamonds, one ideal cut, one good cut, and the ideal cut will win in terms of visual size and beauty any day of the week. What you won’t get, however, is a cut grade for fancy shapes. Yep, they (the jewelry grading folks) only assign cut grades to round diamonds. So you’ll have to know a bit more about fancy diamond proportions if you’re looking for a different shape. 

Proportions are wayy more important than carat weight, even if you’re on the hunt for a 9 carat diamond!
Frank Darling custom oval 7 carat diamond vs. 4 carat diamond bezel engagement rings
Ovals are tricky because their shape can vary so much. If you are super specific about how you want your oval to look, pay attention to length to width ratios!

Speaking of Shape

If you want a diamond that looks big for its weight and will save you a few dollars, then certain fancy shapes can for sure help out with that. The oval, for instance, due to its table spread and shallower depth, can look 25% larger than a similar carat weight round and be way more affordable! Other diamonds that spread? Marquises, pears, elongated emeralds and cushions. Look for elongated stones with slightly shallower depths. Just make sure you also look at real life photos or videos to see how those stones shine and make sure they’re not so shallow that they’re losing light.

Mad Science

Today, 9 carats can be much more attainable with advancements in lab created diamonds. Yep, diamonds made out of thin air! Kidding. But really, lab created diamonds are chemically, optically, and physically identical to natural diamonds. Think about it like making ice. It forms by itself in nature, yet we’ve figured out a contraption (hello, freezers) that lets us reproduce the same conditions from the comfort of home. Much like diamonds that we make in a lab. Besides being on the more sustainable end of the diamond spectrum, lab created diamonds are basically half the price of a comparable natural, mined diamond. So if you want some size, we suggest looking to science.

Mo Money

Another fave option for those lovebirds not looking to lose their shirts but wanting something seriously stunning? Moissanite. This is another lab created gemstone that has often been used as a diamond stand-in, but is quickly gaining popularity in its own right for its major sparkle and mini price tag. In fact, it’s more sparkly than a diamond. In a different way. It has a ton of bright rainbow flash, where diamond has more white light. Some people love this about it. It’s definitely worth a look if you wanna go big without breaking the bank.

Moissanite gives you A LOT more stone for your dollar, but keep in mind that moissanite and diamond are not the same!
Frank Darling custom rose cut diamond engagement ring
Rose cuts are a subtle way to get lots of finger coverage, design your own version!

Faking It

Not faking it so much as getting more look for less — but there are definitely other ways to get big style without actually shelling out for a 9 carat stone. A hefty eternity band, for instance, will give you eye-catching sparkle all the way around. Or a 5-stone ring that shines bright on top, with a slender band for comfort, can give you a lot of look at a little less cost. Also, think about sidestones. An elongated center stone with some larger side stones set in a three-stone style engagement ring can actually give you a startling amount of finger spread for a serious savings over a 9 carat diamond itself. Even a rose cut diamond, with its flat back and super wide spread, can give you big visual impact for less. Plus, their vintagey feel is very now (and forever)!

Choices, Choices

If you’ve explored our collection of more than 20,000 certified, ethically sourced natural and lab grown diamonds and moissanite, and just can’t find the diamond (or other stone) of your dreams, our diamond concierge is here to help. Just drop us a line at hello@frankdarling.com with a bit about what you’re looking for (and your budget) and our team of experts will get right to it!

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