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Salt and pepper diamonds have a unique beauty and splash of personality to go along with their name. The term ‘salt and pepper’ refers to the look of a particular diamond that features a mix of black and white inclusions. This mix creates one unique diamond after another with smoky and smooth speckled looks.
Salt and pepper diamonds achieve their unique look due to the natural occurrence of inclusions in their crystal structure. Inclusions play an important role in all diamonds. For salt and pepper diamonds, there isn’t one single inclusion that is responsible for their unique look. Instead, a myriad of different types of inclusions can be present, creating a countless variety of looks in a salt and pepper diamond.
🎈The 4Cs of Salt and Pepper Diamonds
When evaluating the quality of a diamond, most people are familiar with the term ‘the 4Cs.’ This term describes the attributes on which a diamond is judged for quality: clarity, color, cut, and carat. For salt and pepper diamonds though, the 4Cs play a different role in determining value. These diamonds are evaluated based on the inclusions being a standout feature of the gemstone. Since most colorless diamonds have clarity evaluated on the basis of lack of inclusions, this is the exact opposite.
The clarity in salt and pepper diamonds is not a concern in the traditional sense because the presence of inclusions is the main appeal. Subtle distributions of black and white inclusions give the stone its unique look. They usually consist of opaque minerals like graphite, hematite, and pyrite. And the larger the number of black inclusions, the more gray or dark the stone will appear.
The color of the body of the diamond itself will also have an affect on the overall look of a salt and pepper diamond. Acting almost like a colored diamond, the body color of this particular diamond ranges from being colorless to milky, to having hints of yellow or green, to gray. So a darker body color combined with darker inclusions will result in a darker overall diamond appearance, and vice versa.
The cut of salt and pepper diamonds will differ from traditional diamonds as well. To enhance this diamond’s beauty, stones are cut to highlight the unique patterns and inclusions in the stones. For this reason, fancy cuts are quite common, including step cuts, rose cuts, and geometric shapes like hexagons, kites, pears, and triangles.