Cubic Zirconia is Not the Same as Diamond
What is a cubic zirconia?
A cubic zirconia is a lab-created gemstone. It is zirconium oxide in cubic form, and the crystal clear stone resembles diamonds. It took many years to invent cubic zirconias; the process lasted from 1892 until 1930 when the first cubic zirconia was introduced. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that the cubic zirconia, sometimes abbreviated as CZ, was first used in fashion jewelry. Since the 1970s, cubic zirconias have been the leading diamond-alternative gems all types of gemstone jewelry and accessories. Today, cubic zirconias are available in many sizes and a rainbow of hues, from perfect white stones to bright red gems.
What types of cubic zirconia jewelry are available?
Cubic zirconias can be found in all types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cuff links, charms, pendants, body jewelry, and even handbag embellishments. Cubic zirconias are lovely in engagement rings, stunning in tennis bracelets, and eye-catching in large necklace pendants. Large, flawless cubic zirconias are great centerpieces for cocktail rings, and colored cubic zirconia gems look fabulous in birthstone jewelry.
Is cubic zirconia jewelry a good value?
Cubic zirconia jewelry is an impressive value. Because cubic zirconias are created in a lab, large stones are common, but they are also valuable. Cubic zirconias rate an eight on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, which is a scale from one to ten. When your cubic zirconias are set into quality metals, such as gold, sterling silver, titanium, or platinum, they will retain their value and appearance for decades.
Should I purchase cubic zirconia wedding jewelry?
Cubic zirconias are perfect for engagement rings and wedding bands because they look like flawless diamonds and are incredibly durable. Many couples choose cubic zirconia wedding jewelry because they are concerned about the environmental and cultural impacts of purchasing diamonds, and they benefit from saving money in the process. Big, flawless diamonds are incredibly rare and may not be available or attainable for the stunning solitaire engagement ring you’re dreaming of.
How do I care for cubic zirconia jewelry?
Most pieces of quality cubic zirconia jewelry will last a lifetime with the proper care. You can usually just clean them with soapy water and a soft cloth. For more information, be sure to read our guide on caring for CZ jewelry.
Are you Considering a CZ vs diamond as your “Gem” of choice for getting married?
Is cubic zirconia on your radar for your engagement ring? You’d save a lot of money…. Do I approve? No! As a passionate wedding jewelry designer I’ll tell you why in technical and emotional terms.
CZ vs. Diamond, a Poor Substitute
Cubic zirconia—commonly called CZ—is widely used as an inexpensive diamond substitute. To the untrained eye, a brand new CZ looks like a real diamond. This is why many people substitute them for the real thing.
Hey Cool a Skull Made of CZ. But I’m Not Using it in My Wedding Ring!
Does this mean it’s alright to put one in your wedding ring? For a number of reasons, the answer is NO! A CZ is to diamond what brass is to gold. The two substances may look similar—especially when new and clean—but they’re not!
Unlike diamonds, CZ’s scratch and become dull and lifeless over the long term. They don’t sparkle like real diamonds either once you’ve worn them for a bit.
What is Cubic Zirconia?
Note the Out of Focus Looking Ring Around the Flat Table of This CZ. That is worn away CZ material. They Don’t Hold up.
Technically, cubic zirconia is zirconium dioxide. It’s a relatively hard synthetic mineral. It’s optically flawless, usually colorless, though it can be made in a variety of colors.
Don’t confuse cubic zirconia with zircon. The latter is a real gemstone. CZ’s are not. CZ’s are grown in a lab. We December babies who have zircon as a birthstone are not happy!
For a thorough explanation of CZ. go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubic_zirconia
Notice the Clear Sharp Edges of the Table, (center flat part of diamond) of This Older Cut, Thirty Year Old Diamond. They do Hold up.
How Do You Tell the Difference?
Try the Huff Test:
The Huff Test
Hold the stone in question next to a diamond and “huff” on them with your hot breath. Both stones will fog up. The diamond will clear up rapidly, while a CZ will take a little longer. This is due to diamond’s greater thermal conductivity.
I found that on whiteflash.com.
I Couldn’t Believe the Ridiculous Prices Online for CZ!
The Real Cost of Cubic Zirconia
Perusing the internet the other day, I was astounded at the prices jewelers—and the regular public—were quoting for CZ’s. I saw them costing anywhere from forty dollars per carat to hundreds!
One site said that CZ’s cost about one-tenth of what a diamond does! That means that if a one carat diamond went for $6,000, a CZ of the same size would cost $600. Nothing could be farther from the truth! If you paid more than $20 or $30 for one—whatever the size—you probably paid too much.
Diamonds vs. CZ’s, What Are You Saying with Your Gem Choice?
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth. As I mentioned, they rarely scratch, they don’t cloud up, and degrade over time. Like the famous slogan says, “A diamond is forever.” A cubic zirconia? Not even close.
This Diamond Ring Has Black Diamonds on the Side and Curlicue Edge Details
Diamond rings mean something. They’re a symbol of love, marriage, and eternity. Diamonds don’t degrade over time and the rings in which they’re set get passed down from generation to generation. CZ rings? Not so much. Diamond rings are valuable. CZ rings? Nope!
CZ’s are cheap. A few grande lattes at Starbucks would cost more. So would a toaster or two tickets to the movies and snacks for you and your significant other.
Diamonds are valuable. They’re important and precious. They always have been and always will be. Diamonds stand for a lasting, sparkling love. CZ’s…not so much.
CZ’s in Many Colors for Your Right Hand.
Diamonds, CZ’s, and You and Getting Married
You would never buy a brass or aluminum wedding ring, right? You’d get one made out of gold or platinum. Gold and platinum are valuable. Brass and aluminum are not. Brass is for plumbing fixtures and aluminum is for cheap pots and pans. Likewise, diamonds are for weddings. CZ’s are for cocktail parties.
Last Word on Cubic Zirconia
There’s nothing wrong with CZ’s in costume and less expensive jewelry—especially the kind your teenage daughter wears to school everyday (more than likely, on more body parts than you would care to think about).
When it comes to matrimony, however, stick with the real thing. Choose a diamond.
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