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What is a Salt & Pepper Diamond?

Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Rings

Everything you need to know about these breathtaking beauties

Timeless and elegant, traditional solitaire diamond engagement rings boast classic appeal. While strikingly beautiful in their own right, more and more people are moving away from archetypal ideals of perfection and embracing the wild beauty of imperfection instead. In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of one such jewellery trend that’s been adopted by those who appreciate individualism and uniqueness, or simply feel the need to break with tradition and stand out from the crowd: Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Rings.

Salt and Pepper diamonds hold remarkable appeal right now, offering the contemporary bride-to-be something that’s truly unique, distinctive and filled with character. If you have an eye for perfection but find that most beautiful things are perfectly imperfect, or find the raw, rustic feel and organic look more aesthetically pleasing, Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Rings are a wonderfully eye-catching alternative to the traditional brilliant cut diamond engagement ring. Admired for their alluring complexity, whimsical inclusions and fanciful character, the true beauty of Salt and Pepper diamonds is that no two stones in the world that are ever alike.

Whatever your personal reason for choosing a Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring is, we’re here to help you find all you need to know about these beguiling gemstones.


What Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Just like traditional diamonds, no two Salt and Pepper diamonds are ever the same but their differences are even more visible and distinctive due to the obvious nature of their natural imperfections. The visible carbon inclusions in these gems give them immense character and are often described as having tiny galaxies of stars trapped inside of them. The key to finding your perfect Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring is to find a stone with an overall color and set of inclusions that you fall in love with.

Generally speaking, with these gems, inclusions are blemishes such as black carbon spots, white spots, clouds, feathers or chips.

So where does the name come from? Salt refers to white inclusions while Pepper refers to black inclusions, hence Salt and Pepper Diamonds. Virtually all diamonds have small inclusions or imperfections (nature’s version of a birthmark) which come in all shapes, colors and sizes and these are what affect the diamond’s clarity. Want to learn more about the 4C’s of Diamond Grading? Check out our quick guide here!

Natural black inclusions (pepper) are essential to a stone being considered a Salt and Pepper diamond. These visible imperfections create a stunning haze of light to dark greys which showcase the beautiful natural state of the stone. It’s this unique characteristic of the stone’s dreamy and romantic variance in color that makes it such a stunner! Some stones can be speckled with a smokey mix of translucency, reminiscent of a tempestuous thunderstorm enveloping the night’s sky.


Dahlia | Milky White Round Rose Cut Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in 14k Rose Gold

While others can be opaque solid colors, silky or may even boast a luxurious creamy appearance. The Dahlia Milky White Round Rose Cut Diamond Halo Engagement Ring set in 14K Rose Goldis an enchanting example of how stunning the silken radiance of this type of diamond can be showcased. The surreal inner glow of the feature diamond is complimented by a dazzling halo of petite melee brilliant white diamonds, creating a captivating resemblance to a backlit crystal ball.

This type of diamond, with their visible inclusions, would have previously been graded as “I3” (Imperfect) specimens according to GIA certification standards. As such, they do not fall under the realm of standard gem-quality diamonds, with many of them not certified.


Fancy Shapes and Antique Cuts

The number and intensity of the inclusions present in the Salt and Pepper diamond will determine the style and shape of the diamond cut. The fancy shapes and unique cuts of some of the Salt and Pepper diamonds lend themselves effortlessly to creatively-different and highly personalized engagement rings. Think hexagon, kite and trapezoid shapes and the ever-romantic rose cut with its alluring old-world charm.

The striking hexagonal shape of the Camellia | Hexagon Rose Cut Ice Diamond Halo Engagement Ring | 14K Palladium White Gold amplifies the ring’s wonderful icy charm. The frosty white inclusions of the feature stone are highlighted by the addition of a glittering aura of brilliant cut petite diamonds.

From striking shapes that create a bold statement and air of drama, to the soft, sophisticated vintage appeal of a beautifully faceted cut, Salt and Pepper diamonds are an eye-catching symbol that embodies both the uniqueness of the bride-to-be’s character and romantic sentiment attached to one of life’s most precious hallmarks.


Rose Cut Salt and Pepper Diamonds

Rose Cut Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Rings bring to the fore the perfect combination of uniqueness, modernity and vintage beauty. If you’re looking for a character-filled, distinctive stone but still appreciate certain aspects of tradition, these beauties offer you the best of both worlds!

Jasmine | Pear Rose Cut Ice Diamond | Halo Engagement Ring | 14k Yellow Gold

Choosing a Salt and Pepper diamond as the feature stone in your engagement ring ensures that you will have a stunning gem unlike any other in the world. Choosing one that is rose cut and designed in a more traditional setting, pays homage to timeless tradition. This gem in particular comes to life with delightful enchantment when skillfully hand cut and polished into antique and rose cuts.

Now, you might be asking, what exactly is a rose cut diamond?The rose cut is one of the oldest diamond shapes in the world. Dating back to the 1500’s, this cut has seen a huge resurgence in popularity over the past few years. The cut gets its name from the manner in which the stones are positioned, resembling a rose petal by the way in which it attempts to mimic the spiral of a blooming rose. A rose cut gem is usually flat at the bottom with a domed top covered in triangular facets that play whimsically with light. Vintage lovers adore this particular cut for its sophisticated sparkle and glowing warmth.


Ethically Sourced and Environmentally Conscious

With rose cut diamonds increasing in popularity, a word to the wise before you head off and search for your very own.

We’ve seen so many rose cut diamonds on the market that have inclusions which show to the surface - a characteristic you don’t particularly want, especially in an engagement ring where your feature stone is meant to be the showstopper. When poorly cut, these inclusions can look like cracks in the stone’s surface.

At Alysha Whitfield Jewelry, we’ve gone to great lengths to find a reliable and trusted source of high quality rose cut diamonds. It took a long time but we finally found a company located in Canada that not only offered the high quality we were after but also exclusively sold conflict-free rose cut diamonds that are sourced through the Kimberly Process Certification approved channels.

The Kimberly Process (KP) is a multilateral trade regime that implements safeguards on shipments of rough diamonds and certify them as “conflict-free”.  So you can rest assured that when you select your one-of-a-kind Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring from us, there's not a single drop of “bad blood” attached to it.

Not only are our Salt and Pepper diamonds ethically sourced, the process in which they are mined is far less likely to take a toll on the environment compared to standard diamonds. Added to this, we only use 100% SCS certified recycled precious metalsto create our stunning hand-crafted jewelry, giving you further peace of mind.


Choosing your perfect Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring

One of our favorite things to do is helping you choose a ring that you absolutely love! At AWJ, we pride ourselves on designing heirloom-worthy pieces that hold special meaning to its wearer. We make sure to take our time with each of our valued clients and point out the individual characteristics of each piece; explaining the background and origin of the diamond. As well as helping you carefully select an assortment of diamonds that resonates with your unique needs, personality and vision so that we can bring your dream ring to life!

Want to create the ring of your dreams? Get in touch and we’ll guide you through each step of the custom design process – from selecting the perfect stone, to helping you decide which type and color of metal is the perfect match for you! Let’s chat!