Salt and Pepper Diamond
Salt and pepper diamonds are naturally occurring diamonds that are full of inclusions such as carbon and minerals. They're an excellent stone for jewellery due to their hardness and offer a considerably less expensive alternative to a white diamond. Growing in popularity amongst contemporary jewellers, these diamonds are favoured for their speckled appearance, creating character and individuality that draws the wearer in.
- Colour/Colourless, milky or icy white, dark grey, black
- Moh's Hardness/10
- Anniversary/60th & 75th
Salt and pepper diamonds are as hard as white diamonds, but the 4Cs aren’t applied as strictly as that of white and coloured diamonds.
Clarity - While the traditional diamond industry has favoured diamonds with inclusions that aren’t visible to the naked eye, it is the inclusions of a salt and pepper diamond which make this stone so appealing. These inclusions may look like feathers, cracks, wisps or peppery speckles, and reflect the history of each stone’s gemmological formation deep within the Earth, and prove it as a naturally occurring gemstone. Colour - This will vary according to the amount and placement of inclusions in a stone and can range from colourless, to milky or icy white, to dark grey or black. They also range from translucent to opaque, with no two gems ever the same. Cut - The high number of inclusions mean salt and pepper diamonds lack the traditional brilliance of a white diamond, so many cutters will select fancy cuts such as rose cuts and unusual shapes including hexagons, kites, ovals, pears or triangles. These highlight the individual characteristics of this gemstone. Carat - Because salt and pepper diamonds are more widely available than the traditional white diamond, they’re easier to find in larger carat sizes.
As with all diamonds, salt and pepper diamonds were formed deep within the Earth around 3 billion years ago, however they have traditionally been viewed as an inferior gemstone due to their heavily included appearance. It is only in recent years that these gems have started to be appreciated for their unique qualities, and have been re-branded in a positive light using terms such as Celestial, Stormy, Galaxy, Hazy, Smoky or Earth diamonds. They are now favoured by many as celebrating the idea of being ‘perfectly imperfect’, much like humans and relationships themselves.
They are also viewed as a more eco-friendly diamond alternative. Traditional mining of white diamonds sees only a very small percentage of diamond material actually used for cut gemstones, with the rest either repurposed for industrial use or discarded as waste. With salt and pepper diamonds, all mined material is used, resulting in less waste.
We highly recommend diamonds for all types of jewellery but especially for rings as they are the most resistant to wear over time. A diamond is an excellent choice for longevity but be aware that the numerous inclusions in a salt and pepper diamond can make the stone more brittle and susceptible to fractures or chips, if they are hit hard enough. Wear all jewellery with care and avoid exposure to abrasive materials, harsh chemicals and extreme changes in heat.
To clean, soak your diamond piece in a dish of warm soapy water and use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away any built up residue. You can also use a jewellery cleaning cloth or professional jewellery cleaning products developed to be safe on diamonds. Professional jewellers like Pieces of Eight use an ultrasonic machine to clean your diamonds; bring them in for an annual clean and check.