Unlike diamonds, cubic zirconia doesn’t scratch easily. In fact, its hardness level is between 8 and 8.5 on the Mohs Scale, making it one of the most powerful gemstones after diamond. In other words, cubic zirconia is highly durable and perfect for everyday wear. In addition, it isn’t a diamond.
Still, it resembles one, so it is a brilliant alternative to diamonds for people who don’t like natural diamonds (due to their high price). These sharp stones look stunning, set into rings, earrings, necklaces and cubic zirconia bracelets.
Cubic zirconia is known by several names: CZ, moissanite and synthetic diamond. It’s also often confused with both moissanite and alexandrite. The three gems share similar properties, including their durability, brilliance and fire.
But each has distinguishing characteristics that make them stand out from each other — even though they’re very similar in appearance. Although synthetic diamonds aren’t rare or unique thanks to modern technology, cubic zirconia engagement rings are still popular.
Many people still prefer something manmade to something natural, especially if you consider that lab-grown gems are more complicated than real ones.
1. CZ is unblemished
The controlled manufacturing environment for CZ makes this lab-created gemstone common among fashion jewellery designers. This gemstone’s high popularity and marketability are partly because it has such a brilliant look that sparkles like natural diamonds but can be purchased at a fraction of their cost.
CZ is also ideal for anyone who desires an alternative gemstone or anyone allergic to metal. Lab-created means they do not contain any levels of nickel, which can irritate those with sensitive skin or allergies.
Because it has been artificially produced using platinum as a catalyst in its creation and then coated with silicone oil, it retains its gorgeous colour for years without ever getting cloudy or yellowed.
2. Versatility and variety
CZ is one of the elements that ensure the versatility of fashion jewellery. The most common material for fashion jewellery is cubic zirconia, the same material used for imitation diamond jewellery.
If you want a ring that looks like diamonds but costs a fraction of the price, consider a setting with cubic zirconia stones instead. CZ can also be used as a substitute for sapphires and other gems in many locations.
Though not ideal due to its hardness (8 on the Mohs scale), it can still be used when durability and strength are essential, such as in earrings or hair clips that might take daily wear and tear.
A beautiful diamond engagement ring is undoubtedly one of the most necessary purchases ever. However, an engagement ring doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For many, our choice of the jewellery we are planning to buy is guided by the price of the jewellery we are planning to buy.
Though they are not always visible on the surface, there are plenty of hidden costs associated with purchasing a diamond ring, including appraisal fees and insurance—not to mention maintenance and upkeep.
It’s brilliant, then, if you can save money by opting for a loose diamond that you can set yourself. Of course, price is also affected by cut, clarity, carat weight and colour.
4. CZ is pure and colourless
CZ, or cubic zirconia, is a type of diamond simulant. It’s not pure and certainly not colourless—it can be quite yellow. However, if you want something that looks a lot like a diamond but doesn’t carry as hefty a price tag,
CZ is your best bet. Most CZ is made from zirconium oxide (which explains its name) and small amounts of other elements. The crystals are cut and polished into white, round stones to emulate diamonds (including all their imperfections).
While it is almost impossible to find pure white diamonds, you can find pristine white CZ crystals in cubic zirconia engagement rings and other jewellery pieces.