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What are salt and pepper diamonds?

3 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 any discernible defects. If there's any such thing as 'perfection', diamonds of this calibre are it. Salt and pepper diamonds exist at the opposite end of the grading spectrum, and that's why we love them.

Do you find beauty in the unexpected, and envisage an engagement ring that's a little different from the diamond standard? Perhaps a one-of-a-kind salt and pepper stone could be your diamond in the rough.



The 0.43ct pear-cut salt and pepper diamond secured in our ready-to-wear Fancy Athena engagement ring

Diamonds are natural occurrences, so each little miracle is truly 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 diamond formation process. 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. Though historically dismissed as undesirable imperfections, we're in awe of these peculiarities and the stories they tell of billions of years in the earth's crust, immense heat and pressure colluding to create a one-of-a-kind gem.




In 1886, Tiffany & Co. debuted their revolutionary Tiffany® Setting ring. A slim platinum band set with a single white diamond, this was the first design ever to elevate the stone in a raised claw setting, 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 epochs have passed since then. Whilst a dainty solitaire ring boasting a brilliant diamond was once the only option for the classy bride-to-be - and understandably remains a firm favourite for many - conventions have loosened and inspiration is abundant.




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.

Unlike the white diamonds found in Tiffany rings and DeBeer commercials, salt and pepper diamonds are not historically revered. In fact, their inclusions and sometimes cloudy demeanour have seen them deemed as undesirable for a long time. This, along with their relative abundance, make them less costly than their 'perfect' brothers and sisters. In turn, this affordability kicks open the doors of possibility when it comes to 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, 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, partly 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!



Our ready-to-wear Fancy Athenaengagement ring with 0.43ct pear-cut salt and pepper diamond

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 professional with over five years of jewellery industry experience. After graduating with a BA in Linguistics, she combined her passions for written word and all things sparkly by joining the Lebrusan Studio team as in-house wordsmith and content creator. Among bi-monthly blog posts, notable examples of Ruby's 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.