Grey diamond engagement rings have soared in popularity over the past few years, with their more organic, natural look appealing to women who feel less pressure to bow to convention when it comes to choosing an engagement ring. Offering a more relaxed, organic feel, a grey diamond allows the wearer to choose a ring that reflects her individual style, rather than conforming to the somewhat princess-like tradition of having a huge bright white rock on your finger.Grey Diamond Oval Ring by Michelle Oh
With natural inclusions, vastly different shades and tones, grey diamonds make a beautiful, contemporary alternative to the classic 'white' diamond, with its bright 'flawless' look and feel. Once discarded by traditonal jewellers due to their grey colour and natural inclusions, these 'imperfect' grey diamonds now represent a new ideal of beauty and style that is becoming more and more popular.
But what are grey diamonds? Grey diamonds actually fall into two groups; fancy grey diamonds, and 'salt and pepper' diamonds. As prolific London jewellery designer Rachel Boston explains, 'Natural Fancy Grey diamonds are extremely rare and can have high clarity (absence of imperfections/inclusions). The colours vary in intensity, from very light grey, to very dark. Most of the fancy grey coloured diamonds get their colour due to high concentration of hydrogen (or occasionally boron). Like traditional diamonds high clarity is sought after and fancy grey diamonds are graded on the same scale, VVS being the highest quality.'
The diamonds used more commonly in this engagement ring trend tend to be 'salt and pepper' diamonds, which are natural diamonds with a high level of visible 'imperfections' or inclusions that affect their clarity, and give a grey, cloudy, 'raw' or 'organic' look. 'These come in all shapes are sizes', expains Rachel, 'but do give diamonds an interesting and unique look and no two grey diamonds will have the same pattern of inclusions so they are totally unique. We love the visible imperfections of the diamonds as they create a beautiful haze of light to dark greys which show off the gorgeous natural state of the stone.'
These 'salt and pepper' diamonds are much more common than fancy grey diamonds, and so are therefore more affordable. The beautiful shades of grey and different speckles of inclusions in black or white result in each stone being completely unique, so no two are the same.
We've picked our favourite grey diamonds rings on the market, but as the stones are so unique, it's often better to ask your jeweller to find a stone you love first, and create a bespoke ring around it. Grey Diamond Ring by Rachel BostonGrey Diamond Ring by Ruth TomlinsonSalt & Pepper Diamond Ring in 18k Rose Gold, by Rachel Boston
Grey Diamond Ring in Hexagonal Setting by EC OneSalt & Pepper Diamond Ring by Sorrel BayDark Salt & Pepper Diamond Ring by Rachel BostonPear Cut Salt & Pepper Diamond Ring by SweetpeaPale Grey Diamond Ring by Sorrel BaySalt & Pepper Diamond Ring by Rachel Boston