What are salt and pepper diamonds?

4 min read

What are salt and pepper diamonds?

Today and for hundreds of years before this point, the diamonds of the highest value – in every sense of the word – are those that are colourless, symmetrical and lacking defects. If there’s any such thing as ‘perfect’, then diamonds of this calibre are it.

But, as of December 2019, there are 174.2k Instagram posts labelled with the sage hashtag #BeautyIsInTheEyeOfTheBeholder. Perceptions of beauty are shifting, minds broadening, and magnificence is now celebrated in more forms than ever before.

Are you on the hunt for a jewel that’s a little different from the rest? Do you see beauty in the imperfect? If yes, perhaps a unique salt and pepper stone could be your diamond in the rough.



Diamonds are natural occurrences (the non-synthetic kind, anyway), so each little miracle is one of a kind. Inevitably, most diamonds are marked in some way. Granted, some stones are more blemished than others; but very few are deemed FL (flawless).

Inclusions are small ‘birthmarks’ that develop throughout the process of diamond formation. Though inclusions are usually black or white, they can occur in several different colours, as well as infinite shapes and sizes. A salt and pepper diamond is a diamond that boasts a particularly high volume of black and white inclusions in the form of spots, feathers, cracks, clouds or chips.




In 1886, Tiffany & Co. debuted their revolutionary Tiffany® Setting ring. A slim platinum ring set with a single white diamond, this was the first design ever to elevate the stone from the band, enhancing its natural radiance by allowing light to enter and leave at every angle. Celebrated in film, art and literature, the Tiffany® Setting quickly became the most sought-after symbol of love; the face of the engagement ring as we know it. When the DeBeers introduced their legendary slogan ‘A Diamond is Forever’ in 1947, it was finalised; a single high-grade diamond was synonymous with lifelong love and commitment.

Many years have passed since that point, though. Whilst a dainty solitaire ring boasting a flawless stone was once the only option for the classy bride-to-be, conventions have loosened, inspiration is aplenty, and contemporary couples have begun exploring an exciting new world of design possibilities beyond the solitaire standard.

Unlike the ‘perfect’ white diamonds found in Tiffany rings and DeBeer commercials, salt and pepper diamonds are not historically revered. In fact, their inclusions and often dull appearance meant that for a long time, they were deemed undesirable.

What’s more, salt and pepper diamonds aren’t traditionally graded like other diamonds. The 4 Cs (Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat Weight) don’t come into play, because salt and pepper diamonds are raw and often rough-cut. This means they’re available in an exciting multitude of unconventional shapes and sizes!



Unlike high-grade gemstones that are carefully treated and machine-cut, salt and pepper diamonds possess a kooky character that can’t be emulated. No two gems are the same, so a ring set with a salt and pepper diamond is a ring with unique personality.

When compared to the rarity of colourless stones, the abundance of salt and pepper diamonds goes hand in hand with their high volume of ‘imperfections’ to make them a much cheaper option. This affordability kicks open the doors of possibility when it comes to stone size and cut, making a salt and pepper diamond fun for the cost-conscious couple to work with – without sacrificing the diamond guarantee of durability.

What’s more, a salt and pepper diamond is the traditional diamond’s more sustainable sister. Whilst tonnes and tonnes of earth must be shifted to extract a small handful of gem-quality diamonds, salt and pepper diamonds are more readily available. Naturally, their extraction still has an impact on the Earth – like any material that must be mined from the ground – but the journey to a beautiful salt and pepper stone is far shorter, gentler and less consuming than the endeavour to land upon a high-grade one. Unlike other types of diamond, salt and pepper diamonds also remain untreated, thus requiring less energy after the point of extraction.



Following a recent surge in requests for salt and pepper diamonds, we’ve begun our hunt for a certified and trusted supplier with the hope of soon being able to offer ethical salt and pepper diamonds as a permanent collection feature.

There’s no shame in opting for the traditional; the white diamond solitaire is a classic for a reason. We love it, and we’re just as enamoured by a brilliant colourless diamond as the next person. But, if you feel the next chapter of your life would be best commemorated with an unusual salt and pepper diamond that bucks the status quo (like you, perhaps?), get in touch with us today.


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Love, Arabel & Team
Ruby McGonigle
Ruby McGonigle

Ruby McGonigle is a copywriter and digital marketing guru with two years of jewellery industry experience now behind her. After recently having attained a degree in Linguistics, she now hones her passion for writing and adoration of jewellery into creating engaging copy for Lebrusan Studio. Among bi-monthly blog posts exploring a broad range of topics, notable examples of her previous work include a think piece on the ‘natural diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds’ debate, a probe into why traceable and third party certified ASM gold is so important, and an investigation of why platinum is no longer more expensive than gold.