Salt & Pepper Diamonds: A Brief Description & Why We Wouldn’t Recommend Them For Your Engagement Ring

By | General

Diamonds can come with flaws or inclusions. These imperfections can actually come in various colours, although typically they’re black and white.

What Is A Salt & Pepper Diamond?

A salt and pepper diamond is essentially a diamond that has white (ie salt) and black (ie pepper) inclusions within it, hence the fact that they are sometimes referred to as ‘imperfect’ diamonds.

Almost all diamonds (99.9% to be precise) have some flaw, but mostly they are so tiny that they can’t be seen with the naked eye. Conversely, salt & pepper diamonds are so full of imperfections that it affects the look of the entire stone.

Where a normal diamond refracts light and appears to shine and sparkle, a salt and pepper diamond has a flat, mottled and grey look about it.

Historically these gems have been around for millions and sometimes billions of years!  Traditionally they’ve been considered undesirable due to the imperfections, but more recently they are enjoying an increase in popularity by brides seeking something a little different.

Why We Wouldn’t Recommend Them For Your Engagement Ring

At Artisans Bespoke Jewellers we wouldn’t recommend using a salt and pepper diamond for your engagement ring. Depending on where the imperfections are within the stone, and how big they are, it could compromise the strength of the diamond.

Even if you’re careful with your engagement ring and try not to bump it or scratch it, the risk to damaging the stone is much greater than with a normal diamond.

Our Recommendation

Instead, if you like the look of the salt & pepper diamond and would like a similar look for your engagement ring – we would recommend a grey spinel. The grey spinel has a gorgeous silver tone and also has the added value of being an 8 – 8.5 on the Mohs scale, which measures the hardness of a gem (10 being the highest/hardest).

Hex cut grey spinel and diamond engagement ring

Grey Spinel Diamond Ring
Grey Spinel Ceylon Pink Sapphire Diamond Ring

Hopefully this information helps you in your engagement ring research! If you’d like to meet with us and learn more about which gems we would recommend for your engagement ring, don’t hesitate to contact us at the shop on (07) 3369 3798.

Artisans Bespoke Jewellers: Top 3 Engagement Ring Predictions For 2019

By | General

You’ve asked and we’ve delivered! We’re pleased to bring you our top three engagement ring predictions for 2019!

Fancy Shape Diamonds & Coloured Gemstones as Features

This year we’ve noticed the rise of diamonds or other gems in what we would call “fancy” shapes being used as features to the main stone. We love a solitaire engagement ring as much as the next person, but we also adore using feature stones.

These stones can be in a variety of shapes and sizes and we’ve listed them below with a brief description.


The pear shaped diamond is also known as a teardrop diamond. This shape is quite unique because it combines the design of a round brilliant and a marquise to create this beautiful shape.


As the name suggests, this particular cut resembles a kite. Broader along the top and tapering down to a thin point. Because of the shape, these cuts of diamonds or gems are usually used on the shank of a ring.


This one is a no-brainer. It’s a six sided gemstone and is perfect as a centre stone.

Tapered Baguette

This particular cut is perfect as a side stone because of the shape. These are generally smaller stones cut into a tapered shape.


Short for “Cadillac”, this diamond has five sides (because the base is one long side, then two sides that taper at the same angle and then two more that meet at an apex). It derives this name because it looks similar to the Cadillac logo. These are best for side stones!

Asymmetrical & Organic Cuts

Asymmetrical cuts are, as the name suggests, asymmetric in design. Organic cuts are probably better described as a ‘rough’ cut. They’re not a precise, clean cut like you would find in the others we’ve described.

Tiara Rings with engagement rings or combined/stackable engagement & tiara options

The tiara ring is also getting a lot of attention from our customers. We love these rings, not just because they’re stunning to look at, but because they’re a beautiful way to present your wedding stackers (engagement, wedding &/or eternity). Who wouldn’t want to wear a tiny tiara on their finger? In the design process you get to choose the gold, the gems and the design of the tiara.

Trilogy design engagement ring

A trilogy engagement ring is steeped in symbolism with the three stones representing the past, the present and the future. The middle stone, which represents the present, is usually (but not always) the larger stone.

The design possibilities for this type of ring are quite wide and varied depending on the shape and the stones you’d like to use.

That rounds up our top three predictions for engagement rings this year. If you’d like to meet with us to chat about your engagement ring design options, don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 3369 3798.

Jewellery Remodelling: A Sister’s Legacy

By | General

They say that your sister is the first female friend you’ll ever have.

Yes, there may be bickering and misunderstandings and oneupmanship happening all through the relationship, but for the most part – there’s love and understanding. You were both raised in the same crazy family and nobody gets your family like you do. One look between you both can convey an entire conversation.

All this and more, came to our minds when we met our beautiful customer, Merryl.

You see, Merryl’s sister had recently passed away and on her passing, she left a gorgeous ring to Merryl.

The ring was a beautiful rose gold garnet and black diamond piece, but it needed a little bit of TLC. The garnets and the diamonds were falling out and the gold was a little worn in places.

Left: Original Ring. Right: Newly Remodelling Ring using original gemstones.

Merryl wanted the ring to look exactly the same, but just repaired and refreshed.

Bearing all of this in mind, our workshop began the remodelling process. Our team very carefully went about unsetting all the stones. Thankfully we were able to reuse the garnets and diamonds. The original ring had quite a high profile which compromised the integrity of the ring somewhat. We handmade the new ring with more gold and a lower profile. It meant the ring would be more comfortable to wear and last longer. As an example, the original ring weighed 3 grams and the new ring weighed 11 grams.

We were able to deliver Merryl a ring that still looked like her sister’s original ring, but was made to stand the test of time.

Ring basket comparison. The right is much more stronger.

If you’re looking to refresh a piece of jewellery but you don’t want it to be unrecognizable from the original, we can do that for you. Just like we did for Merryl and her sister’s ring. We’re able to unset and reuse gemstones and we can even source gems to match the colour, size or cut of the existing gems. Following your wishes, we can remodel a piece to still look like the original, but will last a lot longer. Find out more about our remodelling process here.

Contact us and book a design appointment today!

Testimonial from Merryl:
Over the past two years I have bought four stunning pieces of jewellery from Artisans at Paddington.

My very first purchase was a beautiful floating pendant set with champagne and white diamonds – it was a present from my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary, and it is unique and very special. Hazel helped me to select it, and that was when my love affair with Artisans began!

My other three purchases have been rings, two of which were individually designed for me by Tammy and/or Hazel. One incorporated two pairs of stud earrings into a classic row with a modern twist, and my most recent ‘creation’ is the most exquisitely gorgeous rose and white gold Art Deco-style grey spinel, green tourmaline and diamond ring which I can’t stop looking at!! 

Tammy also remade a ring which had great emotional significance to me because it had been a gift from my sister who passed away a few years ago. The ring had been cast rather than hand-made, and the claws and some of the stones had broken or fallen out. The remake is almost identical to the original, but stronger and much more durable.

I regularly receive compliments about all of these pieces because they are truly stunning, one-of-a-kind items which have been carefully crafted by Brisbane’s  most highly-skilled jewellers.

But do you know what the best thing about Artisans is? Everyone who works there really seems to love his/her job, and this shows from the moment you walk through the door. There is the buzz of a happy workplace, with people who know their craft and enjoy what they’re doing.


Artisans Wedding Photoshoot – Behind the scenes

By | General
Behind the scenes team photo

Join us as we go behind the scenes of our wedding photoshoot…

List of our amazing team from the day:
Photographer & Retoucher – Olivia from Liv Photography
Hair & Makeup Artist – Jim from Jim Jirarnuttaruj
Garment Stylist – Mette from Be Divine
Product Stylist – Hazel from Artisans Bespoke Jewellers
Talent – Adele & Luke from Chic Management
Social Media – Leanne from Hardcastle Business Support
Wedding Dresses – Paddington Weddings
Flowers – Anna from Flowers By Forrest
Photoshoot Venue – Darling & Co


By | General

At Artisans Bespoke Jewellers, it didn’t take the official legalisation of gay marriage for us recognise that love is love. We have been creating beautiful bespoke pieces for same-sex couples for many years and we have lots of examples we can share with you if you need help with your design. Just contact us for an appointment, bring some ideas, thoughts & stories with you and we’ll do the rest!