Salt and Pepper Guide


What is a Salt and Pepper Diamond?

Salt and Pepper Diamonds are diamonds with inclusions visible to the naked eye. These inclusions are inside the diamond, typically underneath the surface. They look like little flecks floating in space or a sprinkling of salt and pepper. They are celebrated for their uniqueness and beauty as each diamond is one of a kind. Classic white diamonds also have inclusions but you may only be able to see them under 10x magnification. 

What is their grading system?

Diamond Grading is a way to categorize a white diamond's rarity and value. Due to their recent popularity, Salt and Pepper diamonds do not have a ridgid grading system like traditional white diamonds. Salt and Pepper diamonds do not have a clarity grade since they are diamonds with visible inclusions and tend to not have a color grade either since they do not fit within the parameters of a white diamond. Clarity typically refers to the existence and visual appearance of it’s internal characteristics, called inclusions, and surface defects called blemishes. Instead within the industry we use descriptive terms like icy, smoky, opalescent, grey or galaxy-like.  

What do their descriptive terms mean?

Terms like icy, smoky, opalescent, grey or galaxy-like are used to describe the visual impact of the diamond. They are not definitive or refer to a set style or appearance of the stone but help to give you a better idea of what the stone looks like. Typically grey and champagne are descriptive terms referring to the diamond’s color and icy or smoky are referring to their interior characteristics like a clarity grade would be to a white diamond. Since each Salt and Pepper diamond is unique there is no definitive way of grading the different types of inclusions and their desirability. 

What does being ethically sourced or conflict-free mean?

Being ethically sourced or conflict-free means that the stone has been sourced in a sustainable way. All the stones we use come from KPCS certified suppliers. We do our best to source stones responsibly and always take into consideration the ethical and environmental impacts of purchasing stones. 

Foe & Dear is also certified by the Canadian Jewellers Association meaning we follow a strict code of ethics and are committed to the highest industry standards of social responsibility. 

What is the KPCS?

The KPCS stands for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The KPCS imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as ‘conflict-free’ and prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate trade. Under the terms of the KPCS participating states must meet requirements and must put in place national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; and also commit to transparency and exchange of statistical data. Participants can only legally trade with other participants who have also met the requirements of the scheme and international shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a KP certificate guaranteeing that they are conflict-free. 

Are Salt and Pepper diamonds more fragile than traditional white diamonds?

In special circumstances inclusions and blemishes can compromise the durability of a diamond, especially if these are surface reaching inclusions. We handpick each and every diamond we source to ensure that there are not inclusions that would compromise its quality and have never had an issue with our Salt and Pepper diamonds. 

All diamonds are rated a 10 on the Mohs scale for hardness and are made up of the single element, carbon.