Cubic zirconia (CZ stones) are the most popular diamond simulant because of their affordability, durability and beauty. But do you know how to purchase the right cubic zirconia gemstones? For better help to make your decision, here are the top 15 facts about cubic zirconia that will answer everything you need to know about this stunning stone.
History of cubic zirconia
The cubic zirconia(also known as CZ stones) was first discovered in the year of 1892. The natural form of cubic zirconia is yellow, which is known as zirconium oxide. In those days, this material was of no value. But later in the 1930s, scientists discovered that zirconium oxide does not lose its strength properties even in high heat. Eventually, zirconium oxide was used in ceramics, laser machines, etc.
In 1977, Russian scientists discovered the process of growing cubic zirconia stones in the lab. Then they marketed cubic zirconia as a simulated diamond. Although it didn’t impact the world of jewelry then, it wasn’t until Swarovski jumped into the market with its version and coined the term CZ for cubic zirconia. Then CZ became popular and a cheaper substitute for diamond jewelry.
What is cubic zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is artificial gems made from the cubic crystalline kind of zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia is rare to see in nature. In all cubic zirconia jewelry, the cubic zirconia gemstones are lab-created.
Cubic zirconia is typically considered an economical diamond substitute. Cubic zirconia stands out in its visual qualities and physical structure since it’s lab-grown, whereas natural diamonds are stunning, naturally occurring gems.
How is cubic zirconia made?
Cubic zirconia is made by melting zirconium oxide powder with stabilizers. After being removed from hours of heat, crystals form and stabilize. The crystals are then cut and polished into loose cubic zirconia gemstones. Each lab has its particular approaches for making cubic zirconia.
Cubic zirconia can simulate numerous diamond shapes, such as round-brilliant-cut and emerald-cut diamonds. Colored versions of cubic zirconia are also offered.
Cubic zirconia colors
Cubic zirconia is usually colorless, like the D grade of a diamond. There are also colored CZ stones in various colors. Each color varies from light to dark. These colors are Amethyst CZ, Aquamarine CZ, Canary CZ, Champagne CZ, Coffee CZ, Garnet CZ, Golden CZ, Green CZ, Lavender CZ, Olive CZ, Orange CZ, Peridot CZ, Pink CZ, Purple CZ, Tanzanite CZ, Violet CZ, Yellow CZ.
Cubic zirconia cuts
Cubic zirconia is rated at an 8.50 Moh’ scale hardness to simulate most of the diamond cut. Such as Asscher Cut, Cushion Cut, Cabochon Cut, Emerald Cut, Heart Cut, Marquise Cut, Oval Cut, Pear Cut, Princess Cut, Radiant Cut, Round Brilliant Cut, Trapezoid Cut, Triangle Cut, Trillion Cut, Crushed Ice Cut.
Cubic zirconia clarity
Cubic zirconia is an artificial lab stone, so cubic zirconia can be manufactured in the clearest and most colorless method. All our loose cubic zirconia are truly flawless in clarity.
Cubic zirconia carat
Cubic zirconia is denser than diamonds. So the same 1.00-carat weight stones, diamond is slightly larger than cubic zirconia. But this is not the critical thing to affect how beautiful cubic zirconia is. We wholesale our CZ stones in “diamond carat weight equivalent.” So the cubic zirconia stones we call 1 carat, 2 carats, 3 carats, or whatever, have the same millimeter as a diamond.
Cubic zirconia grades
There are five grades used to describe the quality of cubic zirconia:
AAAAA (the highest quality), AAAA, AAA, AA and A(the lowest quality).
The best cubic zirconia is a perfect cut and high sparkly. The lowest quality CZ stones have dull brilliance and bad cutting. However, there is no industry standard to grade a CZ stone. Neither is there a certifying institute to appraise the grade of the cubic zirconia.
Most cubic zirconia sold today is rated at least AAA quality stones. The crushed-ice cut cubic zirconia is the best of the best.
Cubic zirconia vs. Moissanite
The main differences between Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite
1. Moissanite is made of silicon carbide, whereas Cubic Zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide.
2. Moissanite diamonds are generally harder at 9.25 on a 10 point scale, whereas cubic zirconia is 8.5 on the hardness scale.
3. Moissanite composition is closer to diamond than CZ.
4. Moissanite is easier to clean and maintain.
5. Cubic zirconia is much cheaper than Moissanite.
6. Moissanite has more fire brilliance than cubic zirconia.
Cubic zirconia vs. Diamond
The main differences between Cubic Zirconia and diamond
1. Diamonds are made of carbon which leads to their brilliance and hardness, whereas Cubic Zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide.
2. Diamond(Mohs Scale of hardness is 10) is the hardest stone known to humans. In contrast, cubic zirconia(Mohs Scale of hardness is 8.5) has a much lower hardness rating.
3. A diamond and cubic zirconia in the same size; cubic zirconia weighs heavier.
4. Diamond is easier to clean and maintain and lasts forever.
5. Cubic zirconia is much cheaper than Diamond.
6. Diamond has more fire brilliance than cubic zirconia.
Cubic Zirconia Frequently Asked Questions
Is cubic zirconia a fake diamond?
Cubic zirconia is a genuine lab man-made gemstone. Cubic zirconia is a diamond simulant cut to imitate a diamond, but it is not a diamond. There are a few types of stones that are used as diamond simulants. But cubic zirconia is by far the most popular and the most realistic.
Can cubic zirconia cut glass?
The Mohs scale is a scientific measurement of mineral hardness. Glass is rated a 5.50, and cubic zirconia is 8.50. So CZ stone will scratch glass. But this test is not a definitive way to determine whether a diamond is real or not.
How long does cubic zirconia last?
As long as you clean and care for your cubic zirconia jewelry, cubic zirconia can last two to three years with everyday wear. With occasional wear, cubic zirconia can last up to five years. Over time, it usually gets scratched and becomes cloudy.
Does cubic zirconia get cloudy?
Cubic zirconia will get cloudy in time due to scratches, soap and mineral residue, direct exposure, and dirt to oxygen in the air and water. You can clean your cubic zirconia with soapy water and soft fabric. Depending on why your CZ stones are cloudy, you might not have the ability to restore them to their initial state.
Where to Wholesale Cubic Zirconia?
WeJEWELER is a professional manufacturer of loose cubic zirconia. We have sufficient AAAAA cubic zirconia and crushed ice-cut CZ stones in stock. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and submit your requirement to get a quote.
Is cubic zirconia a mineral?
Answer: Yes, it is. It is an artificial mineral made of zirconium dioxide. CZ can appear to be very like diamonds, but they have very different mineral structures. Cubic zircons have been found in nature in small amounts. But the vast majority used in the jewelry are manufactured in a lab.
How to clean cubic zirconia at home?
An excellent way to clean cubic zirconia is to use a small soft brush and hot soapy water to remove dirt. Rinse it in warm water and pat dry with a clean cloth. That will restore the cubic zirconia stone to its natural shine and clarity.
How to tell cubic zirconia from diamond?
There are several ways to tell cubic zirconia from diamond. Ultimately the only way to know for sure is to take your cubic zirconia & diamond to a jeweler or gemologist who will be able to test them with equipment. The following tests can help the layman tell cubic zirconia from diamond.
The weight test: If the stone is loose and can be weighed, it is easy to determine if it is a CZ as it will be 1.7 times heavier than a diamond of the exact dimensions. For example, a round diamond 6.5 mm will weigh approximately 1.00 carat. But CZ this size will weigh about 1.70 carats.
The fog test: If you breathe on the stones like you fog a mirror, a CZ will stay foggy for several seconds while the fog from a diamond will immediately dissipate. This is because diamonds have much better thermal conductivity.
The newsprint test: lay the stone upside down on a page of the newspaper or a magazine. Due to the high refractivity of diamonds, you will not be able to see the letters. If you can see parts of the print, it is probably cubic zirconia.
Is cubic zirconia cheap?
Cubic zirconia is much cheaper than a mined diamond. For example, a flawless/FL 1 carat round diamond graded D costs around $20,000. In contrast, a 1 carat cubic zirconia is only worth $10. As the carat size increases, the cost difference between cubic zirconia and diamond grows even more extensive.