Salt and pepper diamonds

Salt and Pepper Diamonds, What Are They, Pros & Cons For Engagement Rings

What are Salt and Pepper Diamonds?

Salt and Pepper Diamonds are heavily included diamonds (small imperfections: specks, dots, fractures). The inclusions are created due to extreme pressure and heat that diamonds experience during their formation.  From a gemology point of view, Salt and Pepper Diamonds are considered “poor quality,” as throughout history, people strived for the flawless, clear, and unbreakable diamond. However, peppered diamonds create a specific aesthetic that has become popular over the last 5 years. Today, we will be breaking down everything you need to know about them! Pros & Cons, prices, aesthetics, symbolism, and wether or not they're a good choice for an engagement rings!

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Pros & Cons


  • They are much more affordable than their higher clarity counterparts!
  • Peppered diamonds carry much more personality. If you find traditional diamonds boring, peppered diamonds are the way to go! They have unique characteristics and generally look more interesting than a plain sparkling stone.
  • Typically, they are not found in a standard brilliant cut,  but rather rose cuts. This style of gemstone cut has fewer and larger window like facets, which allows you to see the diamonds peppered patterns.
  • Because rose cuts have a flat base, you will have a larger surface area, in opposed to paying for a deeper stone, such as a brilliant cut. Therfore the same carat weight in a rose cut diamond will often appear larger then a more modern brilliant cut.

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  • Finding modern cuts, like a brilliant cut, is more challenging and harder to find in Salt and Pepper Diamonds. They are more commonly cut as rose cuts which have fewer facets, thereby reflecting less light causing it to be more subdued.
  • When a peppered diamond is cut into a brilliant cut, they become "muddy," making it more difficult to admire its patterns due to having more and smaller facets.
  • Peppered diamonds are by nature more opaque, which means less light reflects and passes through them, causing it to lose the sparkle that we all look for in diamonds.
  • They are more fragile than a flawless diamond due to their inclusions.

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Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds more expensive?

Salt and Pepper Diamonds are extremely affordable! They can go as low as 60% less than a standard diamond. A peppered diamond could be anywhere from $500 to $1500 per carat. Perfect for an engagement ring with a smaller budget! If you are looking to purchase a peppered diamond, send us an inquiry at and we can send you diamond options within the next 2-3 hours!

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Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds lower quality?

Technically, yes. Due to their inclusions, they would be graded very poorly if using the same standard of quality as the commercial grading chart, where diamonds are evaluated quite severely on clarity. At the top of the chart we have flawless all the way to I3. Peppered diamonds would find themselves at the base of the I3's and even lower. 

 Because salt and pepper diamonds are heavily included they are more fragile than a diamond with no inclusions. The diamonds imperfections could be fractures, which can seriously impact the durability of your stone.

For very heavily included stones, setting it in a bezzle setting provides further protections against everyday wear and tear.


Colors are influenced by the different minerals within the stone. Salt and Pepper diamonds come in grey, ice, champagne, black and more. Different colors and patterns affect the prices of the diamonds. A diamond that has just a few speckles could be much cheaper than a diamond with a natural intricate pattern. Additionally, your peppered diamond is one of a kind, no one will ever have the same one as you!

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Peppered diamonds come in several different cuts that heavily influence the aesthetic of the ring such as round, oval, kite, and coffin. However, any shape can be requested! We offer custom Salt and Pepper Diamonds that range between 150-300 per cutting, simply send us an email at

Ethically sourced

Salt and Pepper diamonds are said to be more ethically sourced because while looking for one flawless diamond, you find an abundance of flawed diamonds in the process. They are much easier to find and are not as rare, reducing the extent of mining required for each stone.

We do offer a selection of Canadian mined Salt and Pepper Diamonds. Canada is known for its strict labor laws and environmental impacts, so rest assured, your purchase would be completely ethical. However, anything mined in Canada will always have a 10% increase in price. Email us at if you are interested in our collection of Canadian mined Salt and Pepper Diamonds.

What does a Salt and Pepper Diamond symbolize?

Salt and Pepper Diamonds are described as "flawed" and "imperfect," but they, nonetheless, have a stunning beauty to them. In fact, it is their blemishes and imperfections that give them a particular beauty, uniqueness, and personality. As we learn to accept our own imperfections and fragility, an imperfect diamond is the ideal companion.

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Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds good for engagement rings?

Of course! Their distinctive beauty is perfect for engagement rings! Yes, they are not as strong as diamonds with less inclusions, but if this is a concern of yours, a great way to protect your uniquely precious stone would be a Bezel setting.

If you are looking to create or custom a Salt and Pepper ring, send us an email on We work with your budget and needs to create the perfect ring for you!

Are Salt and Pepper Diamonds real?

Yes! Salt and Pepper Diamonds are real diamonds, they are just not as “perfect” as the diamonds we are traditionally exposed to. 


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