Salt and pepper diamonds are nowhere near as beautiful or sparkly as traditional, regular diamonds, but does that mean they’re fake?
Salt and pepper diamonds can be both real and lab-grown, or ‘fake’. However, bear in mind that even a lab-grown diamond is technically an authentic diamond, it just didn’t occur under natural circumstances.
Read on to learn more about salt and pepper diamonds, how they occur, and how valuable they are.
Would You Like Some Salt And Pepper With Your Diamond?
If you haven’t heard of a salt and pepper diamond, you’re probably not missing all that much, except for a considerably lower price.
Put simply, a salt and pepper diamond is a real diamond that features a high concentration of inclusions. These ‘inclusions’ can be anything from foreign objects to air bubbles, and they exist within the diamond itself, taking the form of black discoloration.
It takes a natural diamond anything from one to three billion years to form, and in that time, if anything interrupts the process, it creates an inclusion. In almost every example, these inclusions appear as black flecks in the stone – hence, salt and pepper.
When a diamond is forming, it’s subjected to intense levels of heat and pressure, which compacts the pure carbon molecules to create a diamond. However, that same pressure can cause the very inclusions that effectively ruin a diamond.
There are many who believe that the only diamonds worth owning are those that are completely pure and crystal-clear. Truthfully, that may be the case, as a high-quality clear diamond is massively more expensive and sought-after than a salt and pepper diamond.
However, the only difference between a salt and pepper diamond and a regular diamond is that the former doesn’t really sparkle. That’s essentially it; it’s the same base composition, the same toughness, and it can be cut the same, it just lacks that brilliance that you’d expect from a diamond.
Salt and pepper diamonds are real, but you can get lab-grown variants, just like clear diamonds, that are just as authentic. While they haven’t taken billions of years to form, they’re still diamonds, and they’re a perfect alternative to the natural thing.
In fact, a lab-grown diamond makes for an economical and efficient alternative, as it can be cultured in a matter of days. They’re also a little cheaper, considering the relative ease of the process used to manufacture them.
A Viable Alternative To Tradition
It’s the thought that counts, right?
If you receive an engagement ring and it isn’t a sparkly, brilliant diamond, but a stone thick with black flecks, should you be disappointed? Not necessarily, as the person who has purchased it for you has put a lot of thought into it.
Furthermore, that diamond, if it’s authentic, is still billions of years old, and it was still taken from the earth and cut in the exact same way a regular diamond would be. Also, no two salt and pepper diamonds are the same, as the inclusions are totally unique.
So, while the next person over might have a crystal-clear diamond, it will look exactly the same as the next ten thousand diamonds. But, your salt and pepper diamond, that’s a unique stone that will likely never be replicated again.
You’re already feeling better about the salt and pepper variant, aren’t you?
These speckled stones are also a lot cheaper than a clear, high-quality diamond, meaning there’s more money for the wedding ahead. If this is an engagement ring, it serves the purpose just as well as a standard diamond would do.
There is something inherently beautiful about a salt and pepper diamond, particularly if you find the right one. In some cases, the inclusions can be so heavy that the diamond almost looks black, which is an extremely rare thing in itself.
Otherwise, a larger stone with inclusions speckled throughout the interior can take on the appearance of a galaxy of stars. It can look like something from another planet; a dimension to an otherworldly realm sitting atop your finger.
In fact, some jewelers grade these salt and pepper diamonds in such a way to further this space-like aesthetic. For example, Midwinter, a Delaware-based jeweler, grades some of its stones as ‘celestial’, or ‘stormy’.
Let’s face it, you walked into this article slightly untrusting of the salt and pepper diamond concept, but now you’re eager to purchase one. You’re in luck, as we’ve written an article explaining where in the United States you can buy them.