What are Salt and Pepper diamonds?
The term “Salt and Pepper Diamonds” describes a type of heavily included diamond characterised by a speckled mixture of white and black inclusions.
Typically, diamond value derives from a lack of inclusions, and buyers generally regard heavily included diamonds as lower value diamonds. Conversely, Salt and Pepper diamonds owe their beauty to a concentration of marks within the stone.
Salt and Pepper diamond colours
In addition to inclusions, Salt and Pepper diamonds have specific colours, graded on the whiteness scale. Many have brown hues within the diamond, while other examples create a grey colouration to the diamond. It is possible to source a wide range of colour tinges for this type of diamond in addition to a variety of diamond cuts.
When it comes to clarity, while most Salt and Pepper diamonds are I3 in clarity, this feature makes the grade less of a concern.
Mineral inclusions speckled throughout the body of the diamond give a characteristic appearance. Graphite, Haematite and Amorphous Carbon.
Hardness and durability
All diamonds are ranked 10 on Mohs Scale, but Salt and Pepper diamonds can be more prone to damage owing to the high concentration of inclusions. Likewise, a shallow cut can make this type of diamond less resistant to knocks and blows. For this reason, choose a ring setting with a secure design for your diamond.
Diamond cuts and shapes
The cut of a diamond usually focuses on increasing brilliance. But, unlike traditional white diamonds, the passage of light is less significant for Salt and Pepper diamonds. As a result, many such diamonds appear in flatter cuts, such as the Rose Cut and Shield Cut. One of the benefits of flatter diamond cuts comes from the overall spread of the diamond. A shallow cut gives the diamond the appearance of greater size compared with traditional brilliant and step cuts. Round shapes, pear shapes and geometric styles including shields, kites and hexagonal cuts make popular choices for this type of diamond.
Near black diamonds with white inclusions give the appearance of a Galaxy of stars within the diamond. As a result, this unique variety of Salt and Pepper diamonds makes an unusual choice for jewellery. Galaxy diamonds are usually brilliant-cut diamonds with a Milky-Way speckling of white inclusions through a dark grey or black diamond.
Galaxy diamond with white starry inclusions
How much do Salt and Pepper diamonds cost?
Salt and Pepper diamonds demand lower prices compared to traditional high-clarity, white diamonds. As a result, they make an affordable alternative to other types of diamonds. A 1-carat diamond typically costs no more than a few hundred pounds compared to several thousand pounds for a natural white diamond of the same carat weight.
Salt and Pepper engagement rings
There are two styles suggestions for Salt and Pepper engagement rings. Firstly, many designs centre on the diamond itself styled into a solitaire setting. Alternatively, we suggest adding high-colour, precision cut white diamonds around the stone for contrast and sparkle. Yellow gold and rose gold make great choices. Furthermore, a brushed or satin finish adds to the handcrafted look of a bespoke ring.
A bespoke Salt and Pepper diamond ring—a crown of white diamonds accent the final design, crafted in 18ct yellow gold with a brushed, satin finish.
Adding your own diamond to a ring
If you have already sourced your own diamond but require the ring itself, we can help. Our bespoke design service offers the perfect solution to anyone with an existing diamond or gemstone. Furthermore, we provide any additional diamonds to complete the ring. We provide a choice of precious metals and diamonds including the option of 100% ethical traceable Canadamark diamonds set into Fairtrade Gold.
About Mark Johnson
Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.