While chatting to my friendly local store keeper last week; beyond the obligatory hello’s and comments on the weather, he asked me a question that was harder to answer than I thought it would be, “which do you prefer, summer or winter?”
I love summer, but, looking past the dropping temperatures and waning days, I find autumn and winter astonishingly beautiful and nostalgic (I also like my knitwear). There is something about the changing light and the slow shift in colours, from bright blues and greens to earthy tones and hidden shades of grey.
And that is how I find myself naturally glancing back at cooler stone colours, in particular the dark and stormy ‘salt and pepper’ diamonds and silvery cool grey diamonds.
People are often surprised when I show them grey diamonds and many don’t realise diamonds come in these tones and textures, that sparkle with life and character. You may be looking to buy a gift or never considered standard stones because they haven’t had enough appeal. So I would like to share with you a little about grey diamonds, why I love salt and pepper diamonds and what makes them a compelling stone to consider.
Firstly, grey diamonds fall into two types of category; ‘fancy grey diamonds’ and ‘salt & pepper’, or ‘included diamonds’.
Fancy Grey Diamonds – These are rare and can have high clarity (absence of inclusions and imperfections). They and come in a range of hues, from beautifully light silvery grey to deep charcoal. These are graded in the same way as traditional diamonds VS – VVS (VVS being the best quality - for more on traditional grading visit https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/gia-diamond-grading-scales/). Unlike salt and pepper diamonds, their lovely grey hues come from a concentration of hydrogen.
Salt & pepper diamonds
(S&P) – These are “included” diamonds, meaning they have a myriad of other minerals trapped within the stone, such as graphite and pyrite. These little flecks of colour are what give these stones their mesmerizing characteristics, making each one completely unique. I find myself thinking of stormy skies or a nebula of stars, these are stones you can get lost in.
Not only can they come with a tiny galaxy trapped within, but they can also exhibit a beautiful range of colours; from frosty whites, cool greys, stormy blacks, through to warm cognacs and even tinged with rusty reds and cinnamon hues.
These diamonds have a lot of personality and often have unique shapes and cuts to accommodate the patterns and inclusions of the raw materials.
While clearer stones usually have depth to allow light to penetrate the stone and showcase their colour, this isn’t as necessary with salt and pepper stones because of all their beautiful inclusions, so whilst also available in traditional cuts, ‘rose cut’ is the prevalent choice. This classic cut has a faceted top with flat bottom, providing a larger surface area to view the delights of their beautiful engaging inclusions and brings out their natural brilliance most effectively.
This has always appealed to me as a way of introducing graphic and abstract shapes and ideas into the pieces I make, while leveraging taking full advantage of the individuality and unique qualities of these impressive stones.
Have a look at some of the S&P diamond pieces I have created, or feel free to get in touch to have a chat about how to include one of these beautiful stones in a project with you.