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What Is a Salt and Pepper Diamond?

by Clean Origin
Last updated on August 22, 2023
round salt and pepper diamond

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” might be a cliché, but it has proven true over the years. Diamonds are sparkly and unique, just like your special someone. If you are looking for a gift as unique as your partner, you should consider a salt and pepper diamond. (NOTE: this post is for educational purposes– we currently don’t have an assortment of salt and pepper diamonds. Check out our lab grown diamonds for a stunning alternative to traditional mined.)

For centuries, diamond rings have placed a permanent mark on the jewelry world, making them the best option for an engagement ring. The most popular among them is the brilliant cut white diamond. This flawless and perfect stone has held many in awe; without a doubt, it is a beauty to behold. 

However, the need and desire to create a more traditional and unique piece brought about the introduction of salt and pepper diamonds, or galaxy diamonds as some prefer to call them. This one-of-a-kind and beautiful piece easily stands out among other colored diamonds and can be worn as an engagement ring.

Salt and pepper diamonds are diamonds with black and white inclusions when looked at with the naked eye—no two salt and pepper diamonds are the same. Some appear dark, some look close to gray, while others may be bright. They are a unique and special version of an already stunning gift. And the best part is realizing that no one shares an identical engagement ring.

While Clean Origin has no stock of salt and pepper diamonds at this time, we do offer a wide selection of beautiful lab created diamonds that will take your breath away. You can shop these at the link below. If you’re curious about salt and pepper diamonds in particular, we’ve compiled a useful guide to them here on this page.

What To Look For

A salt and pepper diamond has a distinct look and personality to match its name. It refers to the color of certain diamonds with contrasting shades of black and white. The mix creates diamonds of distinct shapes with smoky and smooth speckled facets that highlight the features of the stone. 

If you purchase a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring, you can be assured you own a ring with an exclusive look and personality. However, learning more before buying a collection or a piece is essential in selecting a salt and pepper diamond.

How Do Salt and Pepper Diamonds Get Their Look?

Salt and pepper diamonds are unique and stand out among other colored diamonds. They have a special appearance because inclusions naturally occur within their crystal structure—these inclusions are small imperfections within the diamond that influence its look and style.

Various inclusion types give salt and pepper diamonds many possible looks. Depending on the inclusion, salt and pepper diamonds could be black, light gray, milky, or nearly black in all spectrums. Sometimes it is possible to find green, yellow, gold, orange, or red colors within inclusions.

What Should I Know Before I Purchase an Engagement Ring With Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Deciding the perfect stone for your engagement ring isn’t always the easiest given there are many diamonds you can select from. If you have decided to go with salt and pepper diamonds, here are a few things to take note of

Your Budget

Traditionally, brilliant cut white diamonds cost more than salt and pepper diamonds. However, it would help if you did not think you were buying a cheap trinket; salt and pepper have become popular, with jewelry designers raising their prices while remaining affordable

So, if you are on a budget and you want the glamour that comes with wearing diamonds, then salt and pepper diamonds are just right for you.  

Ring Size

The perfect ring size is essential to creating your engagement ring. Your salt and pepper engagement ring should fit your finger and that of your love perfectly, so you must get both your finger and that of your significant other measured. There are different ways to get this done:

  • Take it to a jeweler
  • Invest in a ring mandrel 
  • Use the ring sizing chart
  • Trace it
  • Try it on yourself
Structural Integrity

Structurally sound, salt and pepper diamonds are a 10 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. But they may lose structural integrity and become fragile if there are too many inclusions.  

The stone’s structural integrity is vital; too many imperfections and inclusion can mean the stone is fragile and can cause it to lose its structural integrity. You wouldn’t want that. 

We would never offer any of our customers a fragile or structurally unsound diamond, and neither would any of our jewelers. But it’s always important to ask about fidelity; your jewelry designer must well inform you about the durability of a salt and pepper diamond before including it in an engagement ring.


Salt and pepper diamonds suit both vintage and contemporary ring styles. They fit into any fashion era; you wouldn’t have to worry about being in vogue. 

Whatever stylish setting you desire, salt and pepper diamonds have a way of always fitting in. Whether it is for a minimalist style or maximalist style, a salt and pepper diamond fits perfectly. It also works well for rough ring design and high-end settings. 

Why Should You Buy a Salt and Pepper Engagement Ring?

Salt and Pepper Diamond Ring
Salt and Pepper Diamond Ring

They are a dynamic alternative. Salt and pepper diamonds are vibrant and distinct, making them unique like the love you and your partner share.

They are not perfect. Their imperfection has a powerful way of reminding couples that they are not perfect and they get it wrong sometimes, but the love they share would see them through. 

They are less costly. You wouldn’t have to destroy your bank account to own one completely. The salt and pepper diamonds are less expensive than pure diamonds, given the same carat weight.

How Do I Create a Salt and Pepper Diamond Ring?

Creating your engagement ring is an exceptional process. Your jewelry has to be carefully handcrafted to fit your desired taste, and your design specification matters a lot.

Once you have chosen a natural salt and pepper diamond, the next step is to decide on the gold color. Some prefer 24k yellow gold, 14k yellow gold, or rose gold. In addition, determine your setting type and metal finish. 

How Do You Care for an Engagement Ring With Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Salt-and-pepper diamonds will show lesser wear and damage than traditional diamonds, but cleaning remains essential. Even though it will not dull as quickly as other stones, you must maintain your rings regularly. You can do it by cleaning up dirt on the rings and bands. 

Take the ring off before a bath. The water will not affect your salt and pepper diamond ring but, in time, will cause a dulling and reduction of the luminosity of the ring. Whether you are in the mood to wear an elegant diamond ring or one with salt and pepper, browse this collection of different engagement ring styles and budgets.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Salt and pepper diamonds have extremely high values, and this one-of-a-kind stone has more character than incredibly sought, pristine diamonds. They also make distinctive rings. The rings tend toward the left but not far away from the center without going overboard in the avant-garde territory, making it easier to differentiate. 

Salt and pepper diamonds are sturdy but are considered weaker than traditional diamonds because of their many inclusions. It’s better to have your ring designed with a more protective setting like a bezel or, better still, radiance. Regardless, they are, in fact, stronger than some gemstones.

What are the Best Alternatives? 

Perhaps you feel a salt and pepper diamond wouldn’t do it for you. Here are some alternatives you should consider. 


How Do the 4Cs Relate to Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Salt and pepper diamonds and colorless diamonds have specific differences you will want to note as you search for the perfect engagement ring. They are formed in the same way and from the same material, but they have different quality factors. 

Regardless of the diamond cut, you should understand the necessary information to help you make the best decisions for your ring. It’s essential to know how the 4 C’s relate to salt and pepper diamonds.


Salt and pepper diamonds are cut to reveal the stone’s patterns and unique inclusions. Fancy cuts for the rocks are also better than stones with many inclusions. If the stone has a high number of inclusions, the stone’s brilliance will reduce a lot when cutting. 

Salt and pepper diamonds come out well in fancy cuts such as rose-cut and fancy cut and shapes such as kites, round, hexagons, rose cut, pear, step cuts, triangles, and oval. You might also prefer raw or rough salt and pepper diamonds best used for rustic settings.


Clarity here means the number of blemishes and inclusions in a diamond. There is no diamond that is entirely perfect, and all diamonds have flaws. The salt and pepper diamond inclusion are formed by a neat distribution of black and white light, highlighting its central feature and unique identity.


When it comes to the color of a diamond, it means the absence of color. The less the color a diamond has, the higher the grade. The black inclusion in a salt and pepper diamond makes it look gray, giving it a darker appearance. However, the body color of the diamond can range from gray to milky and colorless, which tends to have an impact on the overall look of the diamond. 


Salt and pepper diamonds are easy to find because they are affordable. These stones are readily available, and their prices do not increase with an increased carat weight the way traditional diamonds do. A colorless diamond costs almost 200% of the price of a salt and pepper diamond of the same carat. 

Lab Grown Diamonds 

Salt and pepper diamonds are naturally sourced diamonds, but you can get the lab grown variant. The lab grown salt and pepper diamond and mined salt and pepper diamond have exact chemical construction and appearance. Lab grown salt and pepper diamonds are perfect alternatives to the natural ones. When comparing the two, look carefully at the cut, color, clarity, and carat. Also, decide the length-to-width ratio you prefer. You can get lab grown diamonds at a 30-50% lower price so that you can add an extra carat to your one-of-a-kind jewelry. Clean Origin doesn’t currently carry any salt and pepper lab grown diamonds, but we do have a variety of other gorgeous lab created stones for you to browse.

What Are the Benefits of Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

They are environmentally friendly. The mining process causes a minimized disturbance to the environment and nature, as mining companies have put considerable effort into reducing its effect on the ecosystem. That is why people are consistently turning to synthetic diamonds.

Over time there has been a high demand for these diamonds; their unique features and interesting shape have caught buyers’ interest. Its natural difference is another selling point; some consider it a rare find. 

From diamond engagement rings to everyday diamond jewelry, Clean Origin offers 100% ethical lab-grown diamonds and jewelry for every special occasion. Schedule a virtual appointment today to find the perfect ring for you.