In today's blog we're answering all your questions about our favorite alternative gemstone - salt & pepper diamonds! If they're more breakable, are they more sustainable, and what makes one stone more salty or peppery than another. Keep reading for the full tea on salt & pepper diamonds!
What do you think of salt & pepper diamonds?
We LOVE THEM! We love their cosmic vibe, and the fact that every single stone is completely unique. It’s almost impossible to find two identical salt & peppers. And those inclusions you see showcase the stone’s unique path on this planet over billions of years – it’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Check out our blog ‘What are Salt & Pepper Diamonds’for more on our fave alternative stone!
Are salt & pepper diamonds more prone to breaking than a traditional diamond?
A well-cut salt and pepper diamond should be just as durable as a traditional white diamond. Where you can run into problems is with surface-reaching inclusions –these inclusions extend to the outside surface of the diamond and can be found in both salt & pepper diamonds and white diamonds.
Why surface-reaching inclusions can be a problem:If the surface-reaching inclusion is located in a prominent place (somewhere that easily be bumped or hit) on the stone, it can affect the durability. If this kind of inclusion were located somewhere less prominent like on the bottom of the stone which is protected by the setting, it wouldn’t pose the same risk.
Because salt & pepper stones have more inclusions overall (which is why they're sought after), it’s more common to see surface-reaching inclusions. Having said that, if you want to avoid those kind of inclusions, there are still infinite salt & pepper stones to choose from.
Your best bet in finding the most beautiful, durable stone for your design: work with a trusted jeweler who will do all the sourcing and vetting for you. We hand-select every single stone we purchase and will always make sure you get the most stunning, durable, magical stone for your dollar. We work really hard to vet all our stones to make sure they don't have these inclusions.
Also, generally the belief is when the stone is cut it was under tremendous pressure on the cutting wheel. If the surface reaching inclusion did not pose a risk to the stone and case it to break in that scenario it is unlikely in real life that it would encounter a scenario with more pressure than that and unlikely to pose a durability risk to the stone.
But aren’t white diamonds considered unbreakable?
No, that’s a common myth - all diamonds can break under damaging circumstances. They have an unbreakable reputation because they’re the hardest gemstone, however that doesn’t make them invincible. Hence why It’s super important to take good care of your diamonds to ensure they last a lifetime (or longer)!
Read our blog on jewelry carefor more!
Are rose cut salt and peppers a thing?
Definitely! Because of their flat base and domed top, rose cuts show off the depth, detail, and one-of-a-kind saltiness (or pepperiness) of a salt and pepper stone amazingly. Unlike the blinding sparkle of a brilliant cut diamond, rose cuts allow light to move through the stone, resulting in a more lustrous, candlelit glow that adds a certain magic to a salt & pepper diamond.
Where do you get your stock of Salt & Pepper stones from?
We get most of our salt & pepper stones from Misfit Diamonds, a Canadian based, OG partner of Gem Breakfast. They source all their gemstones through UN approved Kimberly Process channels, and handpick every stone to ensure the highest quality. You can browse all their loose salt & pepper stones on the site!
For more on Misfit Diamonds and their founder Ashkan Asgari, read our blog.
Do salt and pepper diamonds have a GIA report?
The GIA doesn’t have a system for assessing and grading salt & pepper stones and there’s no indication that it’ll happen anytime soon. The GIA takes a long time to come up with their grading scales and salt & pepper stones are still fairly new to the jewelry scene.
For now, the most important factor in choosing a salt & pepper stone is which one you love the most! It’s kind of liberating to throw away the rule book and just listen to your own personal taste.
Do salt and pepper diamonds come in other colors? Are they called something else?
‘Salt and pepper’ just means heavily included diamonds, so technically any color of diamond with lots of inclusions could be considered a salt & pepper stone! It's somewhat of just a slang term for heavily included diamonds.
Check out the loose salt & pepper diamonds from @misfitdiamonds on our site – you’ll find every shape, color, size, and style of salt & pepper diamond! If there’s a certain salt & pepper you’re looking for but don’t see, send us a message and we’ll start the search!
For custom orders, can we choose how much salt or pepper we desire?
Definitely! We’ll work together to find the perfect salt & pepper stone for you! Whether that’s purely pepper, ultra icy, or something in between, we’ll find the one you can’t live without.
Check out our blog ‘How to Choose a Salt & Pepper Diamond’ for more on where to start your search.
Are salt & pepper stones more sustainable than white diamonds?
They add to the sustainability of diamond mining overall. In the past, mining companies would only use a very small percentage of the diamonds they found, discarding the rest (including salt & pepper stones) as waste or for industrial purposes.
Now, these alternative diamonds are being celebrated instead of discarded. That means all material is used - less waste.
Can salt and pepper diamonds come in any shape?
Yes! Salt & Pepper stones come in pretty much every shape - pear, kite, round, hexagon, oval, asscher cut, or even shield!
Browse through our selection of salt & pepper rings to get an idea of which shape you love most.
Is it safe to ultrasonic clean salt & pepper stones?
Yes, every now and then! But for everyday care, we recommend good old dish soap and a toothbrush is really the best!
Do salt and pepper diamonds hold their value?
Since it’s a relatively new trend, there’s not a lot of data to show how their value holds over time, But, in our view, with the rise of lab created stones, natural gemstones will continue to rise in value as synthetic stones flood the market. As of now, salt & pepper stones are continuing to rise in price along with the demand.
Why is a salt and pepper diamond peppery?
All diamonds are made from carbon - the black spots are pieces of carbon that didn’t fully crystallize during the diamond's formation. Almost ALL diamonds (except the very rare flawless ones) have some black inclusions, they are just incredibly tiny and can only be seen with a microscope. Salt and pepper diamonds just have more of them!
What makes some salt and peppers more icy than others?
Mother nature! Icy stones have more white inclusions than the more common black ones. Fun fact: inclusions actually come in lots of colors like red or orange, they’re just less common.
This is why we love salt & pepper stones so much! They’re all completely one-of-a-kind, and a reflection of the moment in time they were created by nature,
What’s more expensive: sapphires or salt and pepper diamonds?
It all depends on the quality of the stone, but generally the prices are pretty comparable!