Posted on December 21 2015
Anyone who’s keen on buying jewelry knows pretty well what Cubic Zirconia is. This post, however, is intended for those who have never really seen nor heard of a Cubic Zirconia before. This post also applies to those who are curious to know a thing or two about Cubic Zirconia. We will discuss relevant pieces of information that pertain to Cubic Zirconia including frequently asked questions about this famous diamond substitute.
1. What exactly is a Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic Zirconia is an affordable alternative to a diamond. Cubic Zirconia also referred to as CZ, is an artificial diamond, which means that its creation started inside the confines of a laboratory. It was in the 1970s where the commercial manufacture of Cubic Zirconia began. Other terminologies used to describe materials that are used to copy another are imitation, simulant, fake and faux. But perhaps the only purchase-problem customers encounter with a Cubic Zirconia is when they are made to believe that it’s a diamond or a gemstone.
2. What is the difference between a Cubic Zirconia and a Diamond?
- A single mass of Cubic Zirconia is relatively heavier compared to a diamond even if both are similar in size. Nevertheless, diamonds are harder compared to a Cubic Zirconia.
- A Cubic Zirconia, according to the Mohs scale has an 8.5 rating but a diamond, which is considered as the hardest substance, is rated as 10. A corundum, examples are ruby and sapphire, have a rating of 9.
- When you are shopping for Cubic Zirconia jewelry, the jeweler will likely list a carat weight but will refer to it as a “diamond equivalent”. This will give you a better understanding and a convenient reference about the weight of the Cubic Zirconia when compared to a diamond of the same size.
- Cubic Zirconia jewelry can be altered to take on the form of popular shapes and cuts used for colored gemstones and real diamonds.
- A white Cubic Zirconia does not have a color or you can say it is colorless. It doesn’t have any inclusions present in a real diamond that isn’t treated. Just think of it as a piece of jewelry that is visually flawless.
- A Cubic Zirconia creates more bursts of color compared to an actual diamond.
- At present, you’ll find several Cubic Zirconias that are polished with a certain product to make the stones last longer. The stones also look a lot like real diamonds albeit a jeweler would know what’s real and what’s not.
- You will also find a lot of colorful Cubic Zirconias. These Cubic Zirconias are slowly becoming famous to keep up with the trend of fancy-colored diamonds.
3. Does Cubic Zirconia come in different grades?
A Cubic Zirconia is appraised by adopting the same qualities that gemstones and diamonds are graded by, by making use of the Four Cs: Color, Cut, Carat Weight and Clarity.
- A Cubic Zirconia’s quality will depend on the manufacturer and often times it varies quite a lot. There are Cubic Zirconias that are less appealing than others. The number one characteristic that differs among Cubic Zirconias is its clarity.
- A five-level system of A (which is the lowest grade) to AAAAA (which is considered to be the highest grade) is utilized to describe the qualities of Cubic Zirconia. However, the majority of retail jewelry stores both online and offline do not use these grades as a reference. They are only used when customers purchase wholesale orders of Cubic Zirconia.
- It is advisable to ask any questions or clarifications or ready any descriptions meticulously before you purchase a Cubic Zirconia from any store.
4. Would a Cubic Zirconia be appropriate for an engagement ring?
It is worth mentioning that a Cubic Zirconia is not as tough or as hardwearing as a real diamond, ruby or sapphire. It is also likely to harbor scratches. But if you can’t afford to purchase a gem or a diamond for an engagement ring, a Cubic Zirconia will do, well at least for the meantime while you save up for an expensive diamond.
Cubic Zirconia will look pleasantly appealing when you set it into bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings or any other piece of jewelry that aren’t for everyday use.
5. How should you clean Cubic Zirconia jewelry?
You can clean a piece of Cubic Zirconia by using an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. It is important, however, to study the setting materials first before you plunge the jewelry into the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner and turn the switch on. When your Cubic Zirconia is made from sterling silver or other plated materials you can make use of a less powerful method like cleaning your Cubic Zirconia with a dishwashing detergent soap and a soft-bristled brush. These two can easily remove the film from the Cubic Zirconia and restore its fire.
When storing your Cubic Zirconia make sure that you separate it from diamonds and gemstones particularly those that are softer or harder as rated by the Mohs scale to prevent any unnecessary scratches. This is why it is important to know how to store your jewelry the right way to avoid unsightly scratches on your jewelry pieces.
6. Is Cubic Zirconia similar to Zircon?
- A Zircon is rated 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. A Zircon is a type of gemstone, a zirconium silicate and is therefore not in any way linked to Cubic Zirconia. Brown zircon treated with heat was made colorless with heat and is also widely used as an alternative to diamond before Cubic Zirconia came to the picture.
- Virtually all Zircon you’ll find in jewelry stores have been treated with heat to enhance or alter its color. Some of the stones in the Zircon may return to their original shade after they have been exposed to the light.
- Treating Zircons with heat will make it less stable.
- You may encounter the term Cubic Zirconium but this substance is not real and it does not exist.