Doesn’t everyone love the rich sparkle and fire of a diamond ring? I know I do! But if you’re like me, your budget won’t stretch to accommodate very many diamond rings. What’s a girl to do? Buy cubic zirconia rings, that’s what! Of course, there are things you need to know before you buy any ring. Cubic zirconia rings are no exception. You can purchase them from high-end retailers as well as the low-end retailers. So, what is cubic zirconia? Let’s take a look at some facts about this gemstone.
About Cubic Zirconia Rings
- Cubic zirconia (sometimes also referred to as cubic zirconium) is a lab synthesized form of zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia stones are flawless, and are usually colorless. Color can be added to them, however. For example, for pink cubic zirconia rings, Erbium is added to the cubic zirconia in the manufacturing stage to produce the pink color. Because of its close resemblance to diamonds, cubic zirconia has been the main competitor for diamonds since 1976.
- Cubic zirconia can be cut and fashioned into rings as easily as diamonds can. They are often cut into the “round” shape we are all most familiar with, but may also be cut into more complex shapes such as marquis, emerald, and pillow shapes. This make it easy for jewelers to place the stones into ring settings.
- Cubic zirconia and diamonds do not have the same carat weight. In other words, a 1 carat cubic zirconia ring won’t be the same size as a 1 carat diamond ring. Cubic zirconia is usually measured in millimeters instead. If you have a 1 carat round cubic zirconia, it will be about the size as a .5 carat round diamond, and will be about 5.25 mm in size. A 6.5 mm round CZ will be about the same size as a 1 carat round diamond. I like to mention this because many people are fooled by this. Some jewelry sellers, (especially online sellers, where you don’t see the actual piece of jewelry before you buy) might exploit this fact by selling cubic zirconia according to carat weight, not its measurement in millimeters. If you are familiar with what a 1 carat diamond looks like, and then you buy a 1 carat cubic zirconia ring thinking it will be the same size, you’re going to be disappointed when you get it because it will be smaller than you expected.
- The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is used to determine how hard cubic zirconia is, just as it is for diamonds. Cubic zirconia’s rating is 8 on a scale of 1-10. Diamonds are a 10 on the scale, so you can see that CZ’s are very hard, which makes them an excellent choice for making into jewelry that will need to be sturdy, such as mens cubic zirconia rings.
- Many types of metals may be used in the design of cubic zirconia rings, such as gold, sterling silver, brass and copper. When choosing the type of metal setting for your ring, make sure you choose one that will accommodate the amount of wear your ring will get. Gold cubic zirconia rings can be made of white, rose or yellow gold and should be at least 14k. 10k gold is even harder than 14k, and so is always a good choice. A silver cubic zirconia ring is a great choice that will hold up well. (Hint: look for argentium sterling silver – it takes much longer to tarnish). Brass, copper, and other base metals however, are more likely to be used in the making of cheap cubic zirconia rings that will not hold up over time. They are also likely to leave that tell-tale green stain on your finger.
- Most people cannot tell the difference between cubic zirconia and diamonds. Plain and simple, unless you tell someone that that the gemstone in your beautiful cubic zirconia ring is not really a diamond, they won’t know! Sometimes, even a jewelry professional can’t tell until they take a look at the stone under magnification. Now, we have to be sensible and realize that if you are wearing a huge cubic zirconia stone that would cost thousands of dollars if it were a diamond, well then people might suspect something. When it comes to normal-sized stones that look like a one carat or under diamond, I’d be willing to bet that not a single soul would guess it’s a cubic zirconia ring! See if you can tell which one of the stones in the following video is a cubic zirconia and which is a diamond:
Could you tell? I bet not. The one on the right is the cubic zirconia. You might notice that it has a bit more “fire”, or color flashes than the diamond on the left side. Most people, including me, don’t see the extra color flash as a bad thing at all, especially when you are talking about thousands of dollars of difference in the price tag of the two stones shown in the video!
Cubic zirconia rings (and other cubic zirconia jewelry pieces!) are definitely wonderful additions to any jewelry wardrobe, and keeping these things in mind before making a purchase will ensure that you will be happy with your ring and it will last you a lifetime.