This gorgeous rose cut, salt & pepper diamond engagement ring is a wonderful example of just how beautiful these diamonds are. Click the link to learn all about this ring!


Defining Salt And Pepper Diamonds

Are you an "Out of the box" thinker, or a rebel when it comes to selecting jewelry?  Or, are you bored and exasperated by the little "red" or little "blue" boxes and their prices? If so, then continue reading as we just might have something that will pique your interest.

Look no further than the increasingly popular Salt and Pepper diamonds. What we are talking about here is not new in the world of diamonds, they have just been finally recognized by talented jewelers and artisans who appreciate their uniqueness.  

And, as they come out of the shadows, interest in them and demand for them is continuing to grow.

These diamonds have been gaining in popularity recently due to their unique coloration and organic aesthetic, but what exactly are they? Let’s take a closer look.

What Makes Salt and Pepper Diamonds So Interesting?

We should take a step back to talk about where these diamonds are coming from, have they always been around? Well in fact, yes.                                                                                                                     To fully understand them, we must go back to familiar territory, our safe zone, if you will, the 4Cs.  

Whenever you shop in a store or online for diamonds you are schooled on Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight, especially if you are purchasing an engagement ring.  

You are told that the highest "quality" diamonds rank at the top of GIA's color and clarity scales. I never liked to use that word, but instead, I prefer the word rarity.  

So when we are talking about clarity, that means diamonds that rank between IF, Internally Flawless, to VS2 (very slightly included) with inclusions that cannot be seen without the help of magnification.  

These are the rarest diamonds and are priced accordingly.

Do Color and Clarity Grading Really Matter?


So where do Salt and Pepper diamonds fall? Depending on the number and location of black and white inclusions, they would most likely rank in the I2-I3 (bottom of the scale, Obvious Inclusions)  and beyond the scale. Most fall between I3 and black diamonds (with so many black inclusions that they are pretty much opaque!)  

GIA Clarity Scale

Think of salt & pepper diamonds as "The Dalmatian" of diamonds, each one with its own individual personality.  

Spot The Dalmatian


When we talk about color, the backdrop for the interesting inclusions can be grayish, whitish, yellowish, brownish, or near-colorless. If you see one with a near-colorless background you will notice a beautiful crisp contrast of the black and white included crystals and the near colorless background!  


For diamonds graded on the colorless and near colorless range cut is very important; the goal is to produce stones with an even balance of brilliance, fire and sparkle. To achieve this, light must travel unobstructed through the diamond.

Because there are so many inclusions within salt and pepper diamonds, the light cannot pass through and bounce back out through the top portion of the diamond.

So cutters cut salt and pepper stones to highlight the beautiful patterns formed by the inclusions: beautiful geometric shapes, such as triangles, hexagons, trapezoids, kites, step cuts and vintage cuts such as the rose, and of course rounds.

Carat Weight

Historically small salt and pepper diamonds have been and still are, used in jewelry in the lowest price point categories.

You find them in diamond line bracelets, earrings and any pieces that require small diamonds, such as pavé settings.

The larger ones were/are for the most part rejected by many mainstream jewelry companies.

But today I'm sure they are all taking a second look and understanding the opportunity to create interesting, beautiful jewelry they are missing out on.

Prices are far lower than are diamonds on the higher end of the clarity scale, no matter what their size. Be sure to visit the sites we've highlighted here to see the great prices for these stones.

The Appeal

First, we must thank the designers that recognized the artistic value and beauty of these stones.

As you will see below, the designers have showcased salt & pepper diamonds in exquisite hand-crafted settings and pleasing shapes that highlight the stones' organic appeal.  

The allure of salt and pepper diamonds lies in their individuality; no two stones are exactly alike. They are perfect for those looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that stands out in the crowd.

Because these stones are indeed diamonds, they still possess the characteristics they are known for, such as their hardness.

In addition to being scratch resistant, the surfaces take such a smooth polish that their luster is the highest of all transparent gem materials.

It's called adamantine luster, the highest amount of light reflected off the facets of a diamond, which adds to its beauty.  

Additionally, since these diamonds would fall at the bottom of the clarity and color scales, they tend to be far more affordable than rarer diamonds higher up on the scale.  

You can also find them in vintage jewelry, in interesting cuts such as the rose cut.  

Caring for Your Salt and Pepper Diamond  Jewelry

Just like any other diamond, you should take care when handling your salt and pepper diamond ring to prevent scratches or damage.

Salt and pepper diamonds can be cleaned using a basic cleaning method: Warm water, mild liquid soap, and a soft brush.  

To keep your stone looking its best, it is important to store it properly when not wearing it; wrap it in a soft cloth or place it in a pouch designed specifically for storing jewelry to prevent dust from accumulating on its surface and to keep it away from other jewelry and gems that could be scratched.

Where Can You Buy Salt and Pepper Diamonds?



ENGAGEMENT RING This engagement ring features an incredible teal green salt & pepper diamond.


Valerie Madison

A great example of Salt & Pepper. Zoom in to see the interesting pattern of inclusions and click below to see additional details on this ring.

Valerie Madison-Eve-Rose cut Oval Salt & Pepper

Valerie Madison-Eve-Rose cut Oval Salt & Pepper Ring

láMore Design also has a beautiful collection of salt & pepper rings, earrings and pendant designs.

1.62 Carat láMore Salt & Pepper Engagement Ring

Click HERE to learn more.

In Conclusion

Salt and pepper diamonds offer an interesting twist on mainstream diamonds. These gorgeous stones tend to be more affordable than traditional diamonds while still offering alluring features that will draw attention wherever you go!  

Whether you want something unique that stands out in a crowd or just want to add some sparkle to your collection without breaking the bank, salt and pepper diamonds might just be perfect piece for you!


Will my salt & pepper diamond break?

Diamonds are known for their supreme hardness, which is the ability to resist scratching, they are not however, the toughest material and can break or chip if hit hard and in a certain direction. What you want to make sure of when you purchase a salt & pepper diamond (or any diamond) is that the stone does not have any large, visible fractures on the inside. This will make them vulnerable to breaking.

What is a galaxy diamond?

A "Galaxy" diamond, is a salt & pepper diamond that has black inclusions that are similar in size, and evenly spread out in the diamonds interior. These inclusions  are suspended within a clear  background that increases their visibility and creates a crisp clear view, like looking at stars in the sky.

Unique Salt and pepper diamond ring set, Pear galaxy diamond ring, open comet

ETSY:                                                                                                       Galaxy salt & pepper ring, Notice the surface luster, the highest luster, only seen on diamonds. Click HERE for pricing.

Can I select my own salt & pepper stone?

One company mossNstone provides a selection of stones on their website that you can select from.

mossNstone Galaxy Salt & Pepper Engagement Rings

Are there any other clear gemstones that have the appearance of salt and pepper?

Yes, the one that comes to mind is crystal quartz. Because it is much more abundant and available, it is quite affordable. Look at this example:

Etsy Silver Quartz Galaxy Salt & Pepper Ring

Where can I see a real salt & pepper diamond?

Well, if you have a Walmart near you, you may be able to find salt & pepper diamonds there. Click HERE for pricing.

Walmart Galaxy Salt and Pepper Silver Ring


Click HERE to learn more about this Galaxy ring

Thank you for reading our article; please leave your comments and questions below.

Happy Shopping!

Francesca de Granville, G.G. (GIA) F.G.A.

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Diamond Notes: The 4Cs Of Diamonds - Clarity

Diamond Notes: The 4Cs Of Diamonds-Carat Weight

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Why You Should Consider Buying Lab-Created Diamond Stud Earrings

Buying Guide: Engagement Rings

Is it a Real Diamond or Something Else?

How To Clean Jewelry

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