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Alternative Engagement Rings, Salt and Pepper

Are you wondering what kitchen spices has to do with diamonds? Well, it is a term used to describe a diamond that has multiple and distinct inclusions that are scattered and look like pepper mixed with salt. Normally, this quality of diamonds is not used in jewelry, but in the past 6 years, this has become an alternative engagement ring style! But, what are the pros and considerations when choosing this kind of style?

(Ring and Photo from Alexis Russell)


Very Different: When this style emerged, it was a bit of a shock to gemologists because we were used to looking for the most clear and sparkly diamonds for our clients! One of the things that makes using a salt and pepper diamond different, is that the best-looking ones aren’t set in traditional settings. They are often cut in shield shapes making a ring have some interesting curves and points giving a modern look, like this Alexis Russell ring above.

Less Expensive: Yes, you read that right! The cause for the “pepper” in the diamonds are internal inclusions that are black. These diamonds rate the lowest on the clarity scale bringing the prices down. Some of the diamond shapes can bring up the price a bit just because it is a specialty cut, but it won’t be anywhere near a diamond rating higher on the clarity scale.


Make Your Choice: Not all salt and pepper diamonds are going to be interesting and unique. Many are going to look like an ugly diamond. Make sure you are able to be part of choosing the diamond so that you pick one that is visually appealing.

Fad or Not: It is still too early to decide whether this is a fad or not. We may find that in a few years it becomes a style that was so yesterday. Or, it may be here to stay! I do think that it is a type of ring that will be upgraded when the marriage years increase, but I am never opposed to upgrading your wedding ring!

With that being said, if you love the unique designs of a salt and pepper diamond for your engagement ring, then you should have one! In no way do I want to dissuade you from one, but understanding the pros and considerations are part of the process! I would love to help you create the wedding ring of your dreams, whether it be for a new engagement or an upgrade! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today!

Ring and Photo Credit:

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