It all started in 2008/2009 when the global economy went into a downward spiral that launched a new jewelry trend. Many people were unemployed and those who were employed chose to wear jewelry that was more understated. This left the industry wondering how to entice consumers into buying jewelry. Enter the highly included diamond. Sometimes called salt and pepper, rustic, or funky, these diamonds were originally used for industrial purposes, but are now treasured in jewelry. They are often rose cut, or unusual fancy shapes, such as a kite, that honors the subtle sparkle of these diamonds, that caught on with consumers as a very cool alternative to the perfect white diamond.
What Are The Inclusions?
The inclusions in salt and pepper diamonds may be either carbon that didn’t crystallize as the gem was forming, or they may be graphite, hematite, pyrite or another mineral. The main point is that the inclusions are visible to the naked eye and there are lots of them.
Why Designers Love Salt & Pepper Diamonds
Designer Dana Bronfman loves these gems because she is always attracted to out of the box beauty, “I love gemstones that are a little bit unexpected, that encourage you to hold your gaze a bit longer to see all the layers they encompass,” explains Bronfman. “I love that they feel more understated, down-to-earth, and wearable than a perfectly white diamond.” Bronfman notes that these diamonds allow extra layers of intrigue to a design, allowing clients to have a special relationship with their diamond, as not everyone will know what it is.
“I imagine that as my clients wear them, they are signaling to others that they are unique, interesting, and have their own point of view, as well as being knowledgeable about gemstones and jewelry on a deeper level than a person wearing a simple navy blue sapphire ring with a diamond halo”
An Exciting Gem
Prince Dimitri of Prince Dimitri Jewelry, was inspired by a very unique diamond filled with unidentified coral color inclusions that appeared to float like confetti through the stone. It captured his imagination and using a combination of leather and gold chain, he created a boho chic necklace.
“Everything about that diamond intrigued me. I’d never seen anything like it before. It was like crushed coral trapped inside the crystalline structure of the diamond. It was amazing and it’s more interesting from a design point-of-view,” says Prince Dimitri. “People like diamonds that have an unusual shape or inclusions. Everyone loves a white D flawless diamond. I call those polite diamonds, this one was exciting.”
Millennials and Gen Z Love Unique Diamonds
Over at Aurelie Gi, Vice President Alisa Bunger, notes that Millennials and Gen Z love salt and pepper diamonds, which they can easily layer with other jewelry.
“They are looking for nontraditional funkier pieces, salt and pepper diamonds have more appeal because they don’t want what their parents had. We put the stones in everyday fashion settings so people can wear a pendant to work, or out with friends. We offer single earrings so that they can be mixed and matched.”
For those who want to design with, or wear, unique gems, salt and pepper diamonds may be just the answer.