For the past century, women worldwide have dreamed of the perfect, dazzling, diamond engagement ring. Clear and beautifully cut diamonds were sought after. Heavily included diamonds were considered undesirable: they went to the rubbish pile.
Then came millennials, with our penchant to love and accept ourselves, flaws and all. And with it, a big dollop of individuality and a healthy respect for the world that we live in.
Couples started looking for something different. Something that wasn't tainted with reports of blood and violence. Some moved over to coloured gemstones like sapphires.
But then a cool rebel emerged from the shadows: the salt and pepper diamond.
With the same lasting strength of their clear counterparts, salt and pepper diamonds are an increasingly popular choice for alternative engagement rings. Their quirky looks helped couples match their unique love story with a similarly unique diamond.
More and more brides break traditional norms and choose to embrace what matters to them, and these alternative diamonds fit right in.
WHAT ARE SALT AND PEPPER DIAMONDS?
Most diamonds us common folks can afford have flaws, imperfections or inclusions. These inclusions vary in color, shape and sizes. They can be carbon spots, cracks, feathers, clouds or even chips.
Rose cut salt and pepper diamonds in different shapes all somehow manage to look pretty stunning.
As you can see in the photo, salt and pepper diamonds usually contain a mix of black (pepper) and white (salt) inclusions. The pepper inclusions make a diamond look darker, the salt inclusions make a diamond look cloudier and hazier.
These inclusions grow and form alongside the diamond. Over billions of years, the crystal is exposed to carbon, minerals and even other diamonds. Together, these elements create lasting marks, or inclusions.
The inclusions in salt and pepper diamonds are more plentiful and noticeable than in traditional diamonds.
Salt and pepper diamonds are like "wild" diamonds. They range from silky grays to stormy almost-blacks. Some are perfectly clear but spotted with a galaxy of black stars, or inclusions in cool shapes.
What makes salt and pepper diamonds so attractive is that no two are alike.
Unsalted Pepper Rings
Since our new sourcing policy came into effect in November 2018, we source many of our diamonds from Kalimantan. One of the Indonesian provinces on the island of Borneo.
All diamonds are mined by artisanal miners on a small scale using low impact methods. Most of them are panned by hand, with perhaps the use of a small pump.
The included diamonds here have a slightly different makeup from the salt and pepper diamonds on the international market. There are mostly black pepper inclusions, and hardly any 'salt'. This means mostly clear diamonds with black inclusions.
An engagement ring is a symbol of your love, so why should it look like everyone else’s? Salt and pepper diamonds bring a more personal touch to the traditional engagement ring.
Can you see the salt and pepper inclusions on this pear cut yellow diamond on our Triple Diamond Ring?
What makes someone choose these diamonds are that they're rife with symbolism. Like your partner, no diamond is perfect. Your salt and pepper diamond ring reminds you to look past the flaws and focus on your love.
Another big selling point is that salt and pepper diamonds are less costly than a traditional white diamond. So your budget may go a lot further with a salt and pepper diamond. You can choose to stay within a budget and use that hard earned cash as down payment for your first home together, or the adventure trip of a lifetime.
But what probably counts the most... Like that stray dog that nobody wants at the shelter, or that weird curved zucchini at the farmer's market. Just as good, but for some strange reason, unloved. Until you came along and found that the zucchini was perfect for your dinner plans. Different, but in a spectacular way that found its way straight to your heart.
Whether you’re after a ready-made, exclusive Gardens of the Sun design, or you want to build your own ring, our ethically sourced diamonds are ready to meet you!