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The Four C's of Salt and Pepper Diamonds

Salt and pepper diamonds are no longer an emerging market trend, demand for alternative and unique diamonds has grown exponentially the past decade. By incorporating these types of diamonds into their work, jewelry designers celebrate individuality and personal style. Available in full cut or rose cut, salt and pepper diamonds come in many shapes- hexagon, kite, lozenge, trillion, marquise, cushion, emerald, etc.


prijems salt and pepper diamond chart


Naturally one-of-a-kind, salt and pepper diamonds are natural, earth mined stones with unique trace element patterns within them. They come in colors from opaque white or grey to misty shades to the more sought-after clearer material with sharp black and white defined inclusions which are often referred to as "galaxy diamonds".

rose cut diamond diagram


Salt and pepper diamonds are primarily rose cut (more on diamond cut info here). Rose cut diamonds are extremely versatile as they can be set in a multitude of creative bezel or prong options. Another great thing about rose cut diamonds is they have a flat back making them very well suited to a low-profile setting and therefore less prone to catching on things or more suited to an active lifestyle.

poor quality vs good quality salt and pepper diamond


Clarity on salt and pepper diamonds is in the eye of the beholder as the inclusions looked down upon in white diamonds are the very features which make salt and pepper stones unique.  Lower quality material will have more surface reaching fractures (referred to as “opens” in the industry) and be dark or cloudy. Lower quality goods may also have deeper inclusions that could be prone to fracturing the diamond during normal wear.

round brilliant vs rose cut diamond


Salt and pepper diamonds are more economical than their white diamond counterparts, designers and clients can get more look for the money. Rose cut diamonds are also flat, many times having a wider “spread” and can have more face up surface area to them when compared to a full cut diamond such as a round brilliant.


Remember, salt and pepper diamonds are still diamonds; they will always be rare and rare is valuable.

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