When you think of that perfect forever ring, what do you picture? Is it bold, elegant, and totally one-of-a-kind? If so, prepare to fall head-over-heels in love with salt and pepper diamond engagement rings!
A rad, non-traditional alternative to classic diamonds, salt and pepper diamonds (also known as galaxy diamonds) are making a name for themselves in the engagement ring world. And it’s easy to see why!
We decided to make our obsession with this style official and create a complete salt and pepper diamond engagement ring guide. We talked to the experts at Kristin Coffin to get the low down on everything you need to know about these out-of-this-world diamonds — and we’ve also rounded up 30 of the most stunning styles to help you find your dream ring!!
Ready to put a ring on it?
Just starting your ring-shopping journey? We’ve got your back with our ultimate guide on the best places to buy engagement bands for women. Consider us your engagement ring gurus!
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What is a salt and pepper diamond?
A salt and pepper diamond is a diamond with distinct inclusions that give it a speckled, galaxy-like look. They get their name from the combination of black and white flecks in the stone, which vary by darkness, pattern, and opacity.
While they probably don’t look like the diamonds you’re used to, salt and pepper diamonds are still genuine, naturally occurring diamonds. They used to be throw-away stones because of their “flaws” compared to completely clear diamonds. But in recent years, they’ve become hugely popular thanks to their perfectly imperfect look and one-of-a-kind style!
What does a salt and pepper diamond symbolize?
While salt and pepper diamonds don’t have any historic meaning, couples and designers are now drawn to them because of their individuality and uniqueness.
As Kristin Coffin says, “What I love most about salt and pepper diamonds is that each is entirely unique. You can always find two VS1/H clear white diamonds, but finding two of the exact same speckled salt and pepper diamonds is impossible. This makes each diamond one-of-a-kind!”
Because of their different inclusions, color variations, and rare patterns, salt and pepper diamond engagement rings are a gorgeous symbol of your unique love story — and the perfect way to celebrate your partner’s rad individuality!
They’re also a sweet reminder that something doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. (We’re not crying, you are!)
Are salt and pepper diamonds good for engagement rings?
One word: yes! Like clear diamonds, salt and pepper diamonds are a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which means they’re extremely durable and are perfect for everyday wear.
They’re also super versatile. Whether you’re looking for something classic and timeless or boho and distinct, you can find a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring that fits your style.
And because of their non-traditional, galaxy-like look, salt and pepper diamonds make great engagement rings for people who want to showcase their individuality and rock a ring that stands out.
Did we mention that they’re also more eco-friendly than traditional mined diamonds? Safe to say we’re totally obsessed!
Is a salt and pepper diamond more expensive?
With a variety of inclusions and “flaws,” salt and pepper diamonds tend to be less expensive than their traditional clear counterparts. But they do still hold the value of a diamond, making them more expensive than diamond alternatives (such as lab-grown stones) and many other gems.
Salt and pepper diamonds are also gaining popularity in the wedding world and are now being sought after for their uniqueness. This has boosted their value and made them a hot commodity for engagement rings!
As Coffin explains: “Until fairly recently, diamonds that weren’t clear or some other clear fancy color, like blue, canary yellow, or pink, were once thought to be inferior by society’s standards. Designers started questioning the notion of ‘value’ and the societal norms associated with the white diamond. The once thrown away diamonds with inclusions, color variations, and opacity are now celebrated as unique, rare, and daring in contemporary jewelry.”
We love to see it!
How much should you expect to spend on a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring?
How much you spend on salt and pepper diamond engagement rings will depend on a few different factors, such as the carat of the diamond, the metal used for the band (for example, 18K gold will be more expensive than 14K gold), and if there are any accent stones. But typically, you can expect to spend between $1500 and $3000 on a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring.
How to know if a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is high quality
The quality and value of salt and pepper diamonds is graded differently than traditional white diamonds. The Four C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat) that are typically used to grade diamonds don’t always translate here, since the color and clarity of each salt and pepper diamond is distinct.
“Rustic stones have their own standards, and different levels of value based on their rarity, carat weight, cut quality, and translucency,” says Coffin.
When shopping for high-quality salt and pepper diamond engagement rings, look for fancy cuts (like the rose-cut) that show off the diamond’s distinct pattern, as well as rare inclusions that catch your eye. For these rings, the value really is in the eye of the beholder!
What types of wedding rings to pair with a salt and pepper diamond engagement ring
We especially love the look of pairing these engagement rings with both black and white diamond bands — they bring out the salt and the pepper in the main stone, and add a little extra sparkle to the ensemble!
GWS Pro Tip: Many salt and pepper diamond engagement rings have matching bands (like this hexagon beauty and matching salt and pepper diamond band), so be sure to keep an eye out for those along your ring-shopping journey. We’ve also included tons of great matching options down below!
Best Places to Buy Salt and Pepper Engagement Rings
More and more jewelers are starting to create gorgeous salt and pepper diamond rings, but here are our top three fave spots to shop the look:
- Etsy: If you’re looking for stunning (and budget-friendly) salt and pepper diamond engagement rings in every style, Etsy has you covered. They have dozens of expert independent designers who are creating some of the most beautiful rings in the game (plus gorgeous bands to match!).
- Kristin Coffin: We love Kristin Coffin for their vintage and nature-inspired salt and pepper diamond engagement rings. They are known for using unique rose cut salt + pepper diamonds with 100% recycled metals and made in the USA. This is definitely the place to be for distinct rings you won’t find anywhere else.
- Staghead Designs: Staghead Designs specializes in customizable rings that speak to you personal story and style. Not only do they have some swoon-worthy salt and pepper styles (just look at this feminine floral one!), but all of their designs can be totally personalized to make your dream ring a reality!
Now that you’re a salt and pepper diamond expert, let’s get into the finger candy!
The Best Salt and Pepper Engagement Rings We’re Loving
Now for what you’ve all been waiting for: the bling!
We’ve rounded up the best salt and pepper diamond engagement rings in every shape, cut, and style. Whether you’re searching for a classic salt and pepper ring that will never go out of style or an unexpected design that speaks to your partner’s personality, we’ve found the best of the best.
Keep scrolling for all of the most stunning galaxy diamonds, and get ready to say “yes” to your forever ring!!
Kristin Coffin makes elegant, edgy, and ethical rings that are destined to become the next generation of heirlooms. Case in point: this dazzling salt and pepper diamond engagement ring!
This Art Deco sparkler pays homage to the bygone era, with a bold hexagon center salt and pepper diamond surrounded by bursts of stunning white diamond accent stones. It’s the kind of ring you’ll want to pass down for generations to come!
As a bonus, you can choose between eco-friendly (and budget-friendly) lab grown diamonds or conflict-free mined diamonds for the halo. We love this option for couples who value sustainability!
Channel the glitz and glam of the Art Deco period with this dazzling salt and pepper diamond engagement ring!
This gorgeous ring features a kite cut salt and pepper diamond surrounded by sparkling round accent stones and a glimmering gold band. The result? A glamorous sparkler that makes a statement — perfect if your S.O. also loves to stand out from the crowd!
P.S. You can order this salt and pepper diamond ring with or without the matching band, but we say the more sparkle the better!
Looking for an engagement ring that’s as unique as your love story? We’ve got you covered with these STUNNING one-of-a-kind styles that we can’t stop staring at!
Salt and pepper diamonds + hexagon engagement rings — name a more iconic duo! There’s something about this distinct diamond that looks SO good in a geometric shape. And this stunning salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is proof!
We love the look of the traditional sparkling white diamonds alongside the ultra modern center stone. It’s a bold, elegant, and one-of-a-kind ring!
We can’t take our eyes off of this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring! The brilliant cut of the square center diamond gives this ring a reflective, eye-catching look. Talk about the center of attention!
And the cherry (or cherries) on top are the sparkling, asymmetrical accent stones. In total, this shimmering ring includes three different types of diamonds (black, white, and salt and pepper), all of which come together to create a romantic, one-of-a-kind ensemble.
We’re big fans of pear-shaped engagement bands — they’re the ultimate mix of trendy and timeless. And with a dark + moody center teardrop, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring takes the popular style to the next level!
Inspired by the Roaring ’20s, this glamorous ring oozes elegance and sophistication. Complete the glitzy look with this open shank diamond band, which perfectly matches the ring’s twinkling pavé setting!
Another geometric design, this modern salt and pepper diamond engagement ring maxes out on sparkle! With a hexagon halo and diamond accents, it’s designed to make that round center stone really pop.
Plus, Staghead Designs handcrafts each order — so you can customize this geometric ring for no added cost! Request different materials, stones, or design features, or even incorporate your own personal accents, to transform your dream ring into reality.
Subtle and understated, but never boring, this round salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is one of Catbird’s classic styles with a twist! Every dainty detail makes it shine, from the delicate hand-carved golden band to the three tiny diamonds on each side.
Calling all lovers of a no frills look! This is another one of the best understated salt and pepper diamond engagement rings — but with an elevated vibe. Featuring a classic solitaire teardrop (plus some dainty white diamond accents, for extra sparkle), it’s a sophisticated design that really speaks for itself.
And if you’re looking for something with a little more oomph, this chic ring also pairs beautifully with tons of different bands. From this dazzling crown to this modern wave, the options are endless!
The whimsy of it all! If your S.O. is anything but basic, they’ll love this fairytale-esque salt and pepper diamond engagement ring. With playful swirls and dreamy flourish details, it’s the perfect sparkler to match their personality!
While a one-of-a-kind salt and pepper diamond is a no brainer for this one-of-a-kind ring, you also have the option to select any other center stone. Choose between clear diamonds, agate, sapphires, or anything in between to make this beautiful ring your own!
On the other end of the spectrum…if your partner’s style is classic and timeless (but with a bit of an edge), you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous salt and pepper diamond engagement ring!
A round solitaire stone is a classic for a reason — it complements every style and will never go out of fashion! This elegant ring definitely checks off those boxes, while also adding a one-of-a-kind touch, thanks to the rose-cut salt and pepper diamond. It’s truly the best of both worlds!
Give us ALL the fairytale vibes!! This kite cut salt and pepper diamond engagement ring looks like something out of a whimsical, romantic fantasy world. With a marquise diamond crown and a speckled salt and pepper stone, it’s a swoon-worthy ring fit for a swoon-worthy love story!
This glittering salt and pepper diamond engagement ring has us totally starstruck! It looks like a mini night sky for your finger, with a twinkling starburst halo surrounding a mesmerizing salt and pepper diamond. Kind of like a constellation around a full moon!
For a ring that says “our love was written in the stars,” it doesn’t get better than this golden sparkler!
Toi et Moi engagement bands are some of the most romantic styles EVER, and our personal favorites! Featuring two stones side-by-side, they symbolize the perfect pair. You and I. Just the two of us.
This two-stone ring embodies all of the above, with one teardrop-shaped salt and pepper diamond and one cushion-cut salt and pepper diamond. Different, but made for each other — kind of like salt and pepper! (Cue the tears!)
This charming salt and pepper diamond ring needs no introduction — but we’ll give it one anyway! It features a circular salt and pepper diamond, surrounded by a glittering halo and accent diamonds along the band. Chic, classic, and oh-so eye-catching!
It’s no secret that we LOVE Etsy’s range of gorgeous rings. For more stunning styles made by talented independent designers, don’t miss our list of the best Etsy engagement bands!
Ready to bend the knee? Because this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is fit for royalty!
We can’t stop admiring the gilded detailing around the reigning center salt and pepper diamond, plus the four sets of dainty stones adorning the sides. This intricate ring is kind of like a crown for your partner’s finger — safe to say we’re totally obsessed!
Is there anything cooler than a trillion-cut diamond engagement ring? We think not. They’re modern, unconventional, and sleek — and they totally stand out in a sea of circles and squares!
With a salt and pepper diamond center stone and a v-shaped tracer, this trillion-cut ring is about as cool as it gets. Perfect for non-traditional couples who love all things edgy + modern!
While salt and pepper diamonds look stunning with every metal, there’s something about this rosy hue that makes them absolutely dazzle. And with eight accent diamonds, this shining salt and pepper diamond engagement ring will light up a room!
But don’t take our word for it. All the raving five-star reviews prove that this romantic ring is really THAT good!
Modern meets retro with this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring! Bezel settings are becoming more and more popular, especially for people who love all things modern and non-traditional. (As a bonus, it’s also a great setting for protecting your center stone!)
While this bezel set solitaire ring can definitely stand on its own, it also looks SO rad with this Art Deco-inspired crown. We love the unconventional marquise cut black diamond stones — they really bring out the “pepper” in the salt and pepper diamond!
Doesn’t this salt and pepper diamond ring kind of look like a little constellation? Cluster engagement bands are known for their sparkle — and this ensemble of dainty salt and pepper diamonds definitely has a twinkle to it!
Such a sweet alternative to the classic engagement ring style, this one-of-a-kind salt and pepper ring is proof that the best things come in small packages. Plus, all of this designer’s rings are made from recycled gold and delivered in eco-friendly packaging. As if we needed more reasons to fall in love with this sparkler!
For the free-spirited, one-of-a-kind, boho babes, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is a MUST. With a salt and pepper stone surrounded by a golden sun-inspired design, it doesn’t need tons of frills and sparkles to stand out. It glows all on its own!
Somehow, this bohemian ring has captured the magic of golden hour, and we can’t stop staring at it. You’re definitely going to want to bookmark this one!
Where do we even begin?! From the hexagon salt and pepper diamond to the baguette white diamond side stones to the dainty details on the top and bottom, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is working overtime to make us fall in love. It’s bold, modern, and impossible NOT to fall head over heels for!
One word: regal. This salt and pepper diamond ring is anything but common with a dark center stone, v-shaped white diamond tracer, and moody marquise crown. It has ultimate royal vibes — we see a family heirloom in your future!
Note: Also gorgeous as a stand-alone style, this teardrop ring can be ordered with or without the matching salt and pepper diamond crown.
Want more teardrop ring inspo? Check out our list of the best pear-shaped engagement bands in every style — and prepare to be dazzled!
This asymmetrical sparkler is another one of our favorite salt and pepper diamond engagement rings with a dreamy celestial look. Just peep that galaxy baguette diamond surrounded by dark + light round cut diamonds!
After all, why give your soon-to-be betrothed the whole world when you could give them an entire galaxy instead?!
Bold, bohemian, and absolutely beautiful, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring draws you in the moment you lay eyes on it.
Made up of multiple distinct kite cut diamonds, this rad ring and matching crown are perfect if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary (but in the most stunning way possible).
And since both rings are so striking, you can wear each of them separately and still have an attention-grabbing look. Great if your S.O. loves to switch up their style!
If your partner is the type of person to rock a black wedding gown on their big day instead of a white one, we have a feeling they’d love this salt and pepper diamond ring!
The dark teardrop center stone looks stun-ning with the black diamonds along the band. It’s dark and moody, but also powerful, bold, and sophisticated. If we’re also describing your other half right now, then you may have just found their dream ring!
Named after the one and only Cleopatra, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is definitely iconic. Like many of the other rings on this list, it has that glamorous Art Deco style that we love so much — but it also doesn’t look like any other designs!
For the icon in your life, this glamorous, golden diamond ring will match their energy. And if you don’t love the classic yellow gold, you can also customize it with any metal of your choice!
If ring #20 on this list channels golden hour, then this stunning salt and pepper diamond engagement ring channels sunrise!
It features the same half-circle diamond with a golden bezel setting — but instead of boho sun rays, this sparkler makes a statement with a crown of dazzling ombré diamonds.
We can’t think of a better way to start this new chapter in your relationship than with a ring that symbolizes the start of a new day. Meaningful AND gorgeous! (Bonus points if you propose during sunrise!)
Inspired by nature, this salt and pepper diamond engagement ring is perfect for people who love the great outdoors and want a design that stands out.
If you and your S.O. love to spend time hiking, camping, or strolling through the forest together, this rustic diamond ring will make your proposal that much more special. Just don’t forget to complete the look with a matching antler band!
We’re not stopping with just one gorgeous salt and pepper diamond engagement ring for nature lovers! Enter: this leafy, nature-inspired solitaire.
This charming diamond ring adds a dose of whimsy to the style with an intricate leaf-themed band. Like a little vine wrapping around your finger, it represents the growth of your love and relationship. Swoon!
P.S. We also found a matching band here.
Crisp and clean, this solitaire salt and pepper diamond ring is stunning in its simplicity.
Simple engagement bands are some of our faves because (1) they never go out of style, and (2) they’re great for even the busiest lifestyles. Plus, with such a minimal style, that salt and pepper diamond can really take center stage!
We also love that this teardrop ring has a thick and sturdy band to frame that diamond — perfect for a lifetime of love!
Plan the Most Epic Proposal With Our Best Guides
Ready to pop the question? Now that you have the perfect salt and pepper diamond engagement ring covered, it’s time to plan the ultimate milestone: the proposal!
To help you make it a moment to remember, we’ve rounded up 74 unique proposal ideas that will help you achieve tears, smiles, and a big “YES!”
And to ensure it goes smoothly, we also created the ultimate guide on how to measure ring size at home (as discreetly as possible). There’s nothing like sliding the dream ring on their finger and having it fit perfectly!
How are you planning to propose? Need any tips or advice? Let us know in the comments below!