If you are someone who loves wearing diamonds but finds it difficult to buy them at the hefty price tags that they are available at, then Cubic Zirconia gemstones are for you. Introduced to the world in the 1970s, Cubic Zirconia or CZ resembles a diamond and is extremely popular amongst jewelry lovers.
These stones are a little on the heavy side when compared with the gorgeous diamonds. Ranking 8.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, they are pretty durable too. Unlike the zircon gemstone, cubic zirconia stones are human-made and not a mineral composition.
Here’s what you must know about cubic zirconia.
Cubic Zirconia – Quality & Grading
Just because diamonds are natural gemstones and CZs are manufactured, they are often manufactured to perfection. This means that unlike diamonds, these gems don’t have inclusions, are absolutely transparent and carry a perkier gleam.
Just like many other gems, CZs are graded in quality. From ‘A’ quality to ‘AAAAA’ quality, these stones are graded on the basis of the cut, color, clarity, and carat.This means that an ‘AAAAA’ qualityCubic Zirconia will be excellent in terms of quality and highly expensive too.
Cubic Zirconia Formation
Cubic Zirconia gemstones are formed by heating high purity Zirconium Oxide at extreme temperatures and then stabilizing with magnesium and calcium. At times, some additives are also used to give these gems an appearance quite similar to natural diamonds.
Cubic Zirconia vs Diamonds
While Cubic Zirconia gems are available in different colors, a colorless cubic zirconia and a diamond may look the same to the naked eye. However, here are a few differences between the two identical gemstones:
- In terms of durability, a diamond ranks at 10 on the Mohs Scale, which means it is the strongest gem and much more durable than the Cubic Zirconia gem which has a hardness of 8.5 on the same scale.
- With absolutely high refractive index and transparency, a CZ stone’s clarity comes at par with some of the most valuable diamonds.
- When it comes to the density, the cubic zirconia gem is about 75% heavier than a diamond.
- A Cubic Zirconia has more flashes of color than a natural diamond.
- As a Cubic zirconia does not have cleavages, it is much more vulnerable to breaks and cracks than diamonds.
Cubic Zirconia Styles
For decades now, Cubic Zirconia gemstones are adorning rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings, etc. with almost the same panache as diamonds. They increase the beauty of a jewelry piece when embedded in metals like gold, platinum and sterling silver, and are a must-have for all gem and jewelry enthusiasts.