Cubic zirconia (CZ) is a manufactured crystal that is often compared to a diamond because of its reflective and malleable qualities. Its hardness and brilliance is similar to a diamond, making for a great imitation. Cubic zirconia was originally developed in Russia as a synthetic gemstone using highly advanced laser programs. Now, cubic zirconia jewelry includes engagement rings and wedding rings, as well as earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. This kind of jewelry is set in silver sterling and gold.
What determines the quality of a cubic zirconia is the cut and size of the stone. To be more precise, the 4Cs that are used to measure the value of diamonds are also applied on this gemstone. Namely, clarity, cut, color and carat. All of these play a role in determining the price and value of a cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is made of zirconium oxide (ZrO2), an extremely rare mineral in nature, but one that is easily synthesized as a diamond stimulant.
Advantages Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia and diamond have similar qualities and an almost identical appearance that it is hard to tell them apart. However, CZ is more affordable than a diamond. It is actually just a fraction of the cost of diamond jewelry. In the diamond clarity chart, CZ has a high clarity grade of F, which is almost perfect. Other good points of cubic zirconia are its practically flawless surface without external blemishes and internal inclusions, its hardness of about 8.5 on the Mohs scale that gives it much resistance to scratching and makes it harder than most natural gems, and its ability to be made into a colorless gemstone that is equal to a perfect Grade D on the color grading scale.
Colors Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia comes in an impressive assortment of colors. There are the popular hues of a colorless look, or white, and the bubbly pink. There is also the unusual color of purple, which is similar to deep purple amethyst. Other colors are subdued champagne (light brown) and the more vivid tones of emerald green, blue sapphire and orange. For a colored cubic zirconia on the other hand, it is extremely versatile. Due to its synthetic quality, it can be made into a variety of colors. Lastly, cubic zirconia is 75 percent heavier than diamond.