The market for diamond engagement rings has become more eccentric with the addition of salt-and-pepper diamonds from designer Ashely Thorne of A.M. Thorne Jewelry. In an interview with JCK, she discusses working with the odd stones and how customers have reacted to them.
When asked to divulge how she ended up using salt-and-pepper diamonds in her engagement rings, Thorne said, "When I first started to make jewelry, I was really shy about working with stones and I specifically wanted to use conflict-free diamonds so was seeking that out. I came across a company around 2016 that specialized in salt-and-pepper diamonds. Early on, I decided I wanted to use them. I liked them better than black diamonds as an alternative to white. My jewelry is really clean, simple, and elegant—I like using the salt-and-pepper diamonds because they’re a little more edgy. A lot of people have approached me for using those diamonds in their engagement rings."
"You can look at white diamonds with the naked eye and once you’ve seen one, you know what to expect," said Thorne when asked to describe what she likes about the diamonds. "It doesn’t work like that with salt-and-pepper diamonds. When I realized these were parts of the diamond that were typically discarded, I felt like more people needed to see them. They are beautiful because of their clarity characteristics. It’s almost like looking at art or a painting—they have value because of those inclusions."
When Thorne was asked if she had to help customers understand that salt-and-pepper diamonds are fit to wear, she said, "No. Most of the time, I’m not sourcing the diamonds for engagement rings. People have them from heirloom pieces they want to reconstruct. If I’m sourcing diamonds for people, it’s typically the salt-and-pepper diamonds, because people come to me for that. When people are talking to me about their budget, I will push the salt-and-pepper because it’s a little more in line with people’s budget for what they have in mind for size. There’s a client I’m working with right now. He gave me his budget, and I suggested a salt-and-pepper diamond. He loved the idea; he said it resonated with him because he felt his girlfriend was classic but had a little edge to her, so that would be the perfect stone to represent her. It’s this contrast of elegance and edge."
Information originally sourced from JCK.