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What are salt & pepper diamonds?

Salt & pepper diamonds are naturally occurring earth diamonds with lots of inclusions. Inclusions are just little bits of non-diamond material, small feather fractures, or small cavities inside the stones (or a combination of all three). Sometimes these inside-the-stone inclusions can reach the surface. These inclusions, though responsible for lowering the traditional market value of salt & pepper diamonds, are a positive, value-adding thing in our view for several reasons.

Why? These diamonds are 100% unique. They’re also beautiful. They also buck the industry-created demand for high ratings on the “4 Cs.” The 4 Cs system, after all, was invented by the diamond industry to support diamond valuation. The more “pure” and large the stone, the more expensive it is. And this system is often used by traditional jewelry stores to talk you into buying a more expensive stone without an obvious or meaningful difference in appearance to anyone without a jeweler’s loupe between their eye and your stone. Inclusions are what the industry has said makes a stone less valuable, but at Betsy & Iya, we celebrate these unique and beautiful stones.

In fact, we don’t always find white diamonds as beautiful as diamonds with inclusions. We believe the beauty of our earth is in its variety, in the surprises that result from different circumstances. What’s more beautiful? The purity of the sun at noon on a cloudless day or the rich variety of colors and textures of the sun as it’s setting amidst clouds, breezes, and flocks of birds, over untamed waters, each wave and ripple glinting back a multitude of sparkles and colors. That’s not to say we don’t find white diamonds beautiful. We do. And we find included diamonds beautiful. And we will never try to upsell you because of a rating that primarily exists on paper or shame you for finding beauty in a stone that doesn’t come with a high 4C marks. If you think it’s beautiful, it is. Plus, you’ll be able to choose your favorite salt & pepper stone from our inventory if you’d like to.

Finally, the “lower value” of salt & pepper diamonds means fewer incentives for ethically questionable business practices all the way up and down the supply chain, from mine to market.