Salt and pepper diamonds are named for the high number of inclusions scattered throughout the stones themselves, but do they still sparkle?
Salt and pepper diamonds may still sparkle under the right circumstances, but they’re not inherently brilliant. The inclusions that are scattered throughout the stone make it difficult for light to reflect properly, which in turn massively restricts overall sparkle.
Read on to learn more about salt and pepper diamonds, how they come to exist, and why they don’t sparkle very well.
Finding Perfection Through Flaws
When you think of a diamond, you tend to imagine a crystal clear gemstone, glimmering and sparkling under a spotlight. What you don’t immediately picture is a rough-looking stone, peppered with grey and black flecks.
However, that’s just what you might end up with if you decide to purchase a salt and pepper diamond. These stones are growing massively in popularity, despite not having the awe-inspiring splendour that a regular diamond does.
When a diamond forms in the Earth’s crust, it’s subjected to intense heat and pressure that compacts the carbon into a diamond. Although, it isn’t always a perfect process, and foreign bodies, as well as trace elements of minerals and air, can also be compacted into the stone.
These instances are known as ‘inclusions’, and they usually end up impacting the final formation of the diamond. They can manifest as air bubbles, minute fractures, or even black and grey spots within the diamond.
Now, as you’ve probably already worked out, a salt and pepper diamond is quite literally littered with these inclusions. They totally change the interior of the diamond, turning it from crystal clear to grey or even black, depending on the level of inclusions present.
However, that is the desired salt and pepper effect, and it manifests differently from stone to stone, meaning every one is unique. These days, salt and pepper diamonds are a cheaper alternative to standard, crystal-clear, brilliant diamonds.
The Pros And Cons
While a salt and pepper diamond will save you some money, there are some caveats to the purchase. Firstly, yes, there are many who will see a salt and pepper diamond as being less attractive than a regular diamond.
Furthermore, a salt and pepper diamond doesn’t really sparkle, especially if the number of inclusions is remarkably high. These intrusive elements restrict the amount of light that can pass through the diamond, meaning sparkle is also massively restricted.
It’s that refraction and reflection of light that makes a diamond so sparkly under the right light, and a salt and pepper diamond simply lacks it. However, if the diamond is cut in a certain way and the inclusions are distributed in an advantageous manner, there can be a little sparkle.
As we’ve mentioned, a salt and pepper diamond is unique, and that’s one of the biggest selling points. For some, there’s something inherently charming about the ‘perfect imperfection’ of a salt and pepper diamond.
The inclusions scattered within your salt and pepper diamond are truly unique, and they won’t be replicated from stone to stone. Meanwhile, a regular diamond, at least to the naked eye, can be absolutely identical to the next stone over.
What Are You Waiting For?
There really is no solid reason to not purchase a salt and pepper diamond, especially if you want to save money. These days, salt and pepper diamonds are just as readily available as any other stone, and they can be cut the exact same way as a standard diamond.
In fact, owing to the reduced cost of a salt and pepper diamond, you can opt for a larger stone, and potentially still save money. Now, given that jewelry is inherently expensive, that’s a huge bonus.
If we use a representative example, you could purchase a 1.84 carat, rose-cut salt and pepper diamond, set in a 14k white gold ring for around $5,000. By contrast, a 1.84 carat round cut standard diamond, set in an 18k rose gold ring would cost upwards of $15,000.
Of course, it’s just a representative example, and the true cost of jewelry fluctuates from piece to piece, but it’s certainly something to think about.
There are many jewelers across the United States that specialize in salt and pepper diamonds, but almost any good jeweler should stock them. If you’re eager to learn much more about salt and pepper diamonds, you can do so through this article that we published.