Salt and pepper diamonds can be an option if you are looking for something different from the more commonly-used gems or ring styles in the market.
Just like the conventional diamonds, these gems were formed below the earth billions of years ago. They have been deemed as undesirable for ages but they can be a good choice for more than one reason.
So, What are Salt and Pepper Diamonds?
To get a better understanding of salt and pepper diamonds, you should first learn about clarity. Loose diamonds do not come without flaws or imperfections. They have inclusions, as the formation of stone renders exposure to different minerals, carbon, and other diamonds. What happens is that in the mining process, soil and rock are extracted from underground to find the diamond debris. Resources containing this debris are then sent to a processing unit where raw diamonds are extracted. These diamonds contain a lot of elements like carbon, etc.
These elements amass and leave lasting marks, known as inclusion. These inclusions come in different colors, which are black and white in the case of salt and pepper diamonds. Salt is for white inclusions while pepper is the term for the black ones. These diamonds are not identical. The diversity in salt and pepper diamonds can add a unique character to your diamond jewelry. The inclusions generally resemble black carbon spots, white spots, cracks, feathers, chips, or clouds.
What Makes Salt and Pepper Diamonds Special?
Here are a few extra characteristics to this gem:
Salt and pepper diamonds give a very unique look to the jewelry. They are more like a wild version of the conventional diamonds. There are a lot of design options when it comes to picking this look. It usually has a silky gray tinge, which is not found in the more refined diamond rings. Moreover, no two designs are the same, which makes your diamond jewelry unique.
Easy On Wallet
These diamonds are not as expensive as regular diamond rings. These are mostly raw and rough-cut, which means you will get them at a lower price. Having said that, these are still diamonds, so do not expect to pay peanuts.
Salt and pepper diamonds are environment-friendly. They just involve the process of mining, which does not affect the environment when compared to standard diamond cutting and polishing procedures. One carat of gem-quality raw diamonds needs not more than a few hundred tons of extraction. Whereas, the standard diamonds require the extraction of a significant amount of soil and rock. However, it is important to mention that the overall extraction is more dependent on the richness of the ore.
What to Know when buying Salt and Pepper Diamond
Here are the things you should consider before buying salt and pepper diamond ring or jewelry:
Salt and pepper diamonds rank 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness just like regular diamonds. This ranking renders them the hardest stone used in jewelry. However, they contain numerous inclusions because of which they are more brittle and vulnerable to fracture than the refined diamonds. Because of the inclusions, the integrity of the stone is compromised. However, if mounted and treated carefully, it can stay in the family for generations. Moreover, when cleaning this form of diamond, it is important to avoid using ultrasonic cleaners.
A salt and pepper diamond ring will not sparkle like the conventional ring. It appears as matte and bland when compared to the refined cut stone. It can give a classy look and is quite stylish on its own but if you want the sparkle and care for other people’s opinions, this might not be the right choice for you. Moreover, salt and pepper diamonds are full of symbolism. The inclusions add character to the design. If you think there is beauty within the imperfections of life, this form of diamond is something you can consider.
The 4Cs of Salt and Pepper Diamond
Many people believe that one does not have to worry about the 4Cs if the diamond is raw or rough. However, that is not the case with salt and pepper diamonds. You still need to be careful about most of these things to ensure your salt and pepper diamond purchase is worth it.
Every diamond has some level of inclusions or imperfections. Even those with perfect clarity contain minor inclusions. However, they are not very obvious and that makes these diamonds more valuable. In salt and pepper diamonds, having inclusions is what makes them stand out. If you want to purchase this gem, look out for a neat distribution of white and black inclusions.
If black inclusions are more prominent, the color of the diamond will be blackish or dark gray. If you want a dark appearance, go with predominant black inclusions. If the white inclusions are higher in number, the stone will give a light appearance, from colorless or milky to light grey.
Traditional diamonds are cut and prepared for enhanced brilliance and appearance. Salt and pepper diamonds are cut to take out the unique patterns formed by the inclusions in the stone. Higher the number of inclusions, lower the brilliance of the stone. That is why diamond cutters usually opt for fancy cuts for salt and pepper gems. These cuts include rose cuts and step cuts along with shapes like kites, pear, round, coffin, triangles, and hexagons. Rough or uncut diamonds are also popular, especially in rustic and bohemian settings.
As salt and pepper diamonds are affordable, you can go for a larger size without any hesitation. There is no exponential increase in price with the increase in carat weight. A salt and pepper stone is sometimes four times less expensive than the refined, polished stone.
That’s all you need to know about salt and pepper diamond. It might not be a good choice for engagement or wedding ring but it can be a great option if you are trying to find a unique anniversary gift.