What's the name of that crisp, sparkly, moody gemstone that's been sweeping the bridal market? None other than a Salt and Pepper Diamond.
S&P diamonds are beautiful alternatives to white diamonds, and it has been amazing to see our industry take up these gorgeous stones in recent years. But for consumers, it can be tough to know what to look for when purchasing an S&P engagement ring. The 4 Cs of diamond buying (cut, clarity, carat, and colour) are far less relevant with these beauties than white diamonds, so knowing what makes a great S&P stone takes a little research and skill.
Here, we've got 5 tips and facts to make sure the S&P diamond you wind up with is the perfect stone for you.
Featuring our Joss Ring.
What are salt and pepper diamonds?
Simple! Salt and pepper diamonds are naturally or lab grown gemstones with the same structure as white diamonds, only S&P stones are defined by their high amounts of inclusions which seem black and white when hit with light. Inclusions are tiny specks or flecks that appear within the structure of the diamond, and are at times visible to the naked eye. The result is a moody looking stone which sparkles in a very different, unique way in comparison with a classic white diamond.
Review your budget
White diamonds which are rated VVS or better are among the most expensive (assuming they are well rated for colourlessness, too) on the market. This rating refers to the amount of inclusions within a diamond. For this reason, if you opt for a VVS2 stone with a budget of $2,500, you will only be able to afford—probably—under a half carat. If you want a bigger stone, this can be really discouraging, as clarity is one of the most important aspects of what makes a diamond "good."
Enter the salt and pepper diamond. Because these stones are naturally included, they often sell for less than a diamond without any inclusions. This means your budget can stretch, in some cases, to purchase a far larger stone for the same price.
The thing that makes salt and pepper diamonds so different are the inclusions that make the stones reflect more black and white specks within its structure. This doesn't mean the stones are limited in their apparent colour. You would still want to opt for a more colourless diamond when purchasing a salt and pepper diamond, unless a warmer, champagne colour is what you're after.
The other thing to consider is the size and nature of inclusions. Many salt and pepper diamonds have very crisp inclusions, so they are very sparkly and clean looking. Other S&P diamonds wind up with finer or more inclusions, which make the stone seem moody and cloudy and grey. Neither is better than the other—it's all about what kind of sparkle you want.
Featuring our Maeve Ring.
Ask about structural integrity
Like any gemstone, too many imperfections and inclusions can mean a stone is fragile. When structurally sound, salt and pepper diamonds are still a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, but if there are too many inclusions, they may lose structural integrity.
We would never offer a fragile or structurally unsound diamond to one of our customers, and neither would most engagement ring or fine jewelry companies. But it's always important to ask about the fidelity and durability of a salt and pepper diamond just to be sure everyone has done their homework!
Salt and pepper diamonds are huge among the millennial generation because they are so unique. Is your partner bright and vivacious, like flashes of lightning? Opt for a crisper salt and pepper diamond which sparkles around its own mischievious shadows. Is your partner moody, romantic, and wistful? Opt for a greyer salt and pepper diamond to reflect back to them their ethereal beauty.
No two diamonds—including white diamonds—are ever the same. All of them have different inclusions and characteristics. But white diamonds are defined by their closeness to "perfection," which for them, refers to a homogenous, brilliantly clear white colour with unparalleled sparkle. If you put two equally sized white diamonds next to one another, you'd likely not be able to tell the difference without a magnifier.
But with salt and pepper diamonds, the specific nature of the inclusions are so visible, that you could spot your own stone among ten others with no issue. We love this aspect of personalization in wedding jewelry. There's no one else in the world like your partner, or like you two as a couple. Isn't it only fitting that your engagement ring is equally unique?
You could say we're pretty big fans.
Questions? Let us know below!