What is Cubic Zirconia? Cubic Zirconia vs Diamonds

Posted on December 14 2020

When shopping for jewelry its common to come across the abbreviation “CZ” which stands for cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is a great material to use with jewelry because of its affordability and quality. This article will teach you more about cubic zirconia stones, how cubic zirconia stones are made, and the differences and similarities between cubic zirconia vs diamonds. Since cubic zirconia has become such a popular stone selection in recent years, this article will teach you the proper ways to clean your cubic zirconia stones, and how to keep them in the best condition.

 

What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is a colorless synthetic gemstone made of cubic crystalline. Cubic zirconia is lab made, by melting zirconium oxide powder with stabilizers. These stabilizers can be magnesium or calcium. After hours of heating these materials, the crystals in the cubic zirconia will form and stabilize. This makes the cubic zirconia stone hard and colorless. The end result to this lab made process will allow the cubic zirconia stones to mimic similar qualities found in diamonds. The final step when making cubic zirconia stones are cutting and polishing. Cubic zirconia stones can be cut into a variety of shapes such as round, princess, heart, cushion, and marquise. Cubic zirconia stones are great for necklaces, specifically tennis style chains because the stone is easy to cut and style.

10k solid rose gold with cubic zirconia stones

Diamond Cuban Link Choker (10mm) in Rose Gold - options come with Cubic Zirconia Stones

 

Is Cubic Zirconia Real?

Cubic zirconia is considered one of the best man-made diamond stimulants today. Cubic zirconia is technically a mineral, and the earliest reported findings of cubic zirconia in minerals appeared in the 1930’s. The cubic zirconia in minerals were found in natural zicron crystals. These mineral stones were too small to use in jewelry however, and are extremely rare and not commonly found anymore today. The first lab process to create cubic zirconia stones, without its mineral properties, was developed in the 1970’s. Famous jewelry brands like Swarvoski began to implement these cubic zirconia synthetic stones in their jewelry, quickly becoming top selling and affordable items. Still to this day, the cubic zirconia synthetic stones are extremely popular to use in jewelry. This lab made process may sound intimidating, and a common misconception is thinking cubic zirconia stones aren’t real. Cubic zirconia stones are a real man-made gemstone because it is a crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. When asking the question if cubic zirconia stones are real, it’s typically when cubic zirconia stones are being compared to diamonds.

  

 

Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds

When comparing cubic zirconia vs diamonds, it is important not to think of one being “fake” and the other being “real.” In the beginning of this article we let you know what cubic zirconia is made of, and what goes into the lab making process for cubic zirconia stones. Cubic zirconia stones are completely different from diamonds, and aren’t considered part of the diamond family. Think of cubic zirconia stones as their own category within jewelry. Even though cubic zirconia and diamonds may look similar, there are distinct qualities that separate them. Cubic zirconia stones will always be synthetic, as opposed to diamonds which will always be natural substances. Here are some facts about diamonds; A diamond is a natural occurring mineral composed of carbon, they are extremely rare, and found in the Earth. Diamonds are formed in the Earth’s mantle from high temperatures and pressures. Diamonds are produced by mining rocks that contain xenoliths. The differences between cubic zirconia vs diamonds come down to cost, the clarity of the stone, and the hardness of the stone. According to the Mohs scale, the hardness of a diamond is a perfect 10. A cubic zirconia stone isn’t too far behind on the Mohs scale. A good quality cubic zirconia stone will be an 8.5 on the Mohs scale. A cubic zirconia stone has the potential to become scratched overtime if not cared for properly. A diamond however will never scratch, and the natural gemstone will always maintain its fiery shine. In fact, diamonds are so sharp they have the ability to cut into other properties without tarnishing it’s exquisite appearance.

Diamond Cuban Link Necklace (10mm) in Yellow Gold

Diamond Cuban Link Necklace (10mm) in Yellow Gold - options come with Cubic Zirconia Stones

 

How Do Diamonds Sparkle and Shine?

Diamonds are one of the Earth’s most precious gemstones, and they’re extremely popular because of their optical properties. Diamonds have a high metallic luster known as adamantine, which is how the diamond is able to reflect a high percentage of light. Think of it this way, the more light that is reflected in a diamond, the brighter it will shine. Without sounding too scientific, this adamantine property creates the thing we love most about diamonds…. how much they sparkle and shine. When diamonds are being cut into gemstones, these cuts are specifically made in order to reflect the most light possible. Ironically, the mark of a perfect diamond is in the subtle details of its imperfections, due to the light refractions. Cubic zirconia stones are colorless, and won’t attract the same amount of light as diamonds. Because cubic zirconia is colorless, they still have similar qualities to diamonds in terms of brilliance and clarity. Just without the light refracting properties.

 

Diamond Cuban Link Necklace (10mm) in White Gold

Diamond Cuban Link Necklace (10mm) in White Gold - options come with Cubic Zirconia Stones

 

How Much Are Cubic Zirconia Worth?

Diamonds truly are one of the most special natural gemstones on the planet. Its uniqueness and rarity is what makes purchasing diamonds even more meaningful. We understand the craftsmanship that goes into the perfect diamond cuts, and how costly diamonds can be. Diamonds are valued and priced highly not because of their beauty, but because of their rarity. Just because cubic zirconia stones are synthetic and lab made, doesn’t mean they lack beauty or quality. That’s why we like to use both cubic zirconia stones and diamonds, which provide more options for customers. Cubic zirconia stones are affordable and great for everyday use and wear. The end result of the cubic zirconia stone is worth its affordable value. Cubic zirconia stones have different clarity grades just like diamonds. These grades can range from “A”- “AAAAA" The clarity grade determines how much cubic zirconia stones are worth. The GLD Shop only uses the highest grade cubic zirconia stones for all jewelry items.

 

How To Clean Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia stones are practical and durable for everyday use, however you should be just as careful with your cubic zirconia stones as you would with diamonds. The cubic zirconia stone itself can’t rust. If you own a cubic zirconia necklace for example, what could rust is the metal or gold that the cubic zirconia is set in. Cubic zirconia does not tarnish or turn green. What has the potential to possibly tarnish or turn green is the metal the cubic zirconia is set in. We recommend not to wear cubic zirconia during physical activities that could cause damage to the jewelry. Try to keep your cubic zirconia stones out of contact with chemicals like hairspray or other detergents. A great technique for how to clean cubic zirconia stones is by taking a soft cloth or brush and using warm soapy water. This will gently clean away any dirt or residues. Remember, The GLD Shop makes buying jewelry with cubic zirconia stress free. The GLD Shop is backed by a lifetime guarantee, in case there is any damage to your jewelry.

New drops & restocks