Salt and Pepper Diamonds: What Are They & All You Need to Know

Salt and Pepper Diamonds: What Are They & All You Need to Know

Once the diamonds are formed, they travel up to the earth’s surface in very rare volcanic eruptions – this is where we find them.

When miners find diamonds, they aren’t the shimmering, flawlessly cut stones you see in your jewelry. They’re raw, uncut, unpolished, and most are filled with imperfections, inclusions, or flaws.

What are inclusions? They’re minerals trapped inside the stone, and they might look like feathers, cracks, clouds, coloration, or even chips. Each diamond found reflects the time it was formed, and each inclusion is a timestamp of that stone’s unique life cycle and history.

What are Salt and Pepper diamonds?

You may have heard of the 4 Cs – the scale created to measure the imperfections in a white diamond. Diamonds on the far end of the clarity scale, have visible inclusions or blemishes (rated I). On the other end (VVS), the discoloration and inclusions are so small, they can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Salt and Pepper diamonds are heavily included diamonds – if you were to grade them, they would be on the farthest end of the GIA scale (I2, I3). However, since these inclusions are what makes these diamonds special, the grading system doesn’t really apply.  

They’re called ‘Salt and Pepper’ or ‘Galaxy’ diamonds for their cosmic, night sky appearance. ‘Pepper’ refers to the black inclusions, and ‘salt’ refers to the icy white inclusions. You can of course find other colors also, often earthier shades that move beyond pure black and white.

Historically these diamonds were seen as undesirable. The goal was always completely clear, see-through white diamonds. Only recently have people become to appreciate the depth, dimension, and truly unique look of a salt a pepper diamond.