Salt and Pepper Diamond: All You Should Know

So, salt and pepper diamond, right?

These gorgeous gemstones are a new force to reckon with in the dazzling world of diamonds.

They come with a unique set of characteristics that set them apart from all the popular diamonds.

Salt and pepper diamonds have a noticeable number of inclusions that are immediately visible to the naked eye. They also have a myriad of different color markings that help make each stone unique from the next one.

You’ll notice that most of the salt and pepper diamonds have a shade of milky grey plus a stunning speckled look.

So, what more do these one-of-a-kind beauties have to offer? How are they formed in the first place? What should you consider when going to buy one and how do you maintain a salt and pepper diamond?

Well, let’s find about all that below!

What is a salt and pepper diamond?

The term salt and pepper is commonly used to define diamonds that have a variety of inclusions in them.

These inclusions also come in different levels for each diamond and also have a varying range of colors available.

The best thing about it all is that no two salt and pepper diamonds are the same!

If you come across one, you’ll immediately notice the ash and speckled look that each of them has.

Now, inclusions, as used here, refer to the little impurities found inside a diamond. They usually occur in varying sizes and/or patterns within a specific diamond. They also take up different shapes along with colors that eventually determine the appearance of a salt and pepper diamond.

As a result, more often than not, you’ll find that salt and pepper diamonds are cheaper than the mainstream white diamonds.

However, that does not mean that the impurities compromise the salt and pepper’s hardness. They still manage a diamond hardness of 10 when passed through a Mohs scale.


Right of the bat, a lot of the salt and pepper stones are mostly rose cut. – What does that mean?

Well, rose-cut diamonds tend to give you a lot more surface area than the others. They tend to have simplistic, single yet bold facets on the top side. Thus, a rose-cut salt and pepper diamond will give you a larger diamond face than the traditional cut options.

Traditional cut diamonds have more of the faceting done on the top side while their bottom face gets flatted out. This results in traditional cut diamonds having smaller surface areas on the top as compared to their bottoms.


As I hinted earlier above, salt and pepper diamonds have a more pocket-friendly price tag. And the main reason is that people still do prefer the clear, white diamond’s appeal.

When you come to salt and pepper diamond’s this clarity is now referred to as translucency. It is commonly used to describe the parts through which you can see through the speckled diamond.

When it comes to buying a salt and pepper set, you will find that the more clouded (or opaque) a stone is, the much lesser it’ll cost you. On the other hand, stones that have more translucency in them come with a pricier tag on them.

How do salt and pepper diamonds form?

So, how do you figure salt and pepper diamonds form? Do they have a special setting or do they come from more extreme conditions?

Well, what you need to know is that these stones aren’t entirely that different from the rest. They undergo the same geological process that also creates the other diamonds. (With a slight twist)

Let me give you a brief explainer…

  1. Before diamonds are fully formed in nature, they are first exposed to extreme temperatures deep in the earth. These high temperatures are then accompanied by a lot of pressure that acts on them over time.
  2. As they form under these conditions, the diamonds again get exposed to some rocks and minerals that may leave lasting marks in them.
  3. It is these marks that are now referred to as imperfections found in diamonds that don’t have pure white appeal.

Salt and pepper diamonds fall under this category of diamonds that end up having inclusions in them.

In most cases, the finished crystal comes with different shades of gray that include milky, dark, light, or black-gray. Under special conditions, some develop into an almost colorless crystal.

In some cases, you’ll even find some that have colored hues that may be green, yellow, red, or orange.

In this regard, most jewelers have grown to love them for their distinct look and character.

What should you consider in a salt and pepper diamond?

In as much as salt and pepper diamonds are specifically unique, you want to ensure that you get the best selection when you go shopping for one.

You have to ensure that the ring, necklace, or earring you buy goes along with your taste and preference.

I mean… We are not buying diamonds just because we can. No. We want something that matches our personality and acts as an extension of who we are on the inside.

So, what should you be on the lookout for?

a. Clarity

Unlike the white diamonds, the level of clarity in salt and pepper diamonds gets viewed from a different angle.

The more inclusions there are in a diamond, the more appeal and variety you will get.

These inclusions are mostly black or white and are not distributed the same in each diamond.

Some of the most common minerals found in the inclusions include:

  • Graphite
  • Pyrite, and
  • Hematite

The more of these a stone has, the darker or grayer the diamond will appear. (And vice versa)

b. Color

Body-color is also an important aspect to consider when looking to buy a salt and pepper diamond.

If you get a diamond having a darker shade of any of the colors mentioned before with darker inclusions, then the diamond will look darker overall.

Same way, if you get a lighter body color diamond with fewer or lighter inclusions, then you will get a much lighter/translucent diamond.

c. Cut

Cutting is normally done to bring out a diamond’s brilliance. It is not news that the level of brilliance is significantly altered in a salt and pepper stone.

To make up for this, salt and pepper diamonds are usually cut to bring out the beautiful patterns found in them. In doing so, it also exhibits the exquisiteness of the inclusions.

Now, for salt and pepper diamonds, there are several options that you can pick from. These include:

  • Rose cuts
  • Step cuts
  • Geometric cuts e.g., pears, kites, spheres, triangles, and many more!

d. Carat

Salt and pepper diamonds come in a wide range of carat sizes. This makes them widely available and affordable to many people.

Also, unlike traditional diamonds, larger salt and pepper diamonds won’t cost you as much.

Why should you consider salt and pepper diamonds?

There are a ton of reasons as to why one may consider getting a salt and pepper ring, necklace, or whatever…

From my experience, they make quite the choice when looking for a subtle romantic gesture.

Anyways, here are some things that set the salt and pepper diamonds apart:

1. They represent a symbol of unique love

This is the most forward attribute of the stones.

None looks the same as the other and each shows the beauty that you cannot find in another anywhere in the world. They have many color options and a lot of patterns to pick from.

As a ring, you can use this as an analogy to show the love between you and your partner.

What’s more, there are a lot of ring features to pick from.

These include rose gold, yellow gold, white gold rings, and many more.

2. It gives a true representation of our human nature and relationships

We are all imperfect and each person has a flaw. Yet it is these flaws that help us to become beautiful and distinct in our own way.

3. They are much cheaper than the clearer white diamond option

If you have a fixed budget and still looking to surprise your loved one, salt and pepper diamonds make a great alternative.

They are still diamonds, and better, have a lot more spice to offer inside them.

How to maintain a salt and pepper diamond ring

How do you keep your salt and pepper diamond looking its best?

Worth mentioning is that salt and pepper rings do not wear or tear as fast as other traditional diamonds.

Even so, you can maintain them by:

  1. Cleaning your ring and stone monthly to prevent dirt buildup on the surface.
  2. Keeping your ring off wet environments. Take it off during showers or any kind of washing to reduce the rate at which the band loses its shine and luster.

Conclusion: Is a salt and pepper diamond valuable?

Salt and pepper rings do make an outstanding choice for a show of love.

Be it an engagement, anniversary, or even a wedding, these diamonds are definitely worth it.


Have you come across one yourself? I’d like to hear more from you in the Comments Section below!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles