21 February 2017
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then cubic zirconias must surely be the next best thing!
These amazing synthetic gemstones are so similar to diamonds it’s virtually impossible for the untrained eye to tell them apart.
So what is cubic zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide – a synthesised (man-made) material which is optically flawless and as beautiful as a diamond.
Because of its similarities, cubic zirconia is sometimes referred to as a synthetic diamond, but there are some differences.
Cubic zirconias actually sparkle more brilliantly than diamonds, which is another one of their appeals. They are not as hard as real diamonds and are are almost twice as heavy.
But even with these differences, it can still be extremely difficult to distinguish a real diamond from a cubic zirconia. One key tell-tale is that cubic zirconia stones are virtually flawless while diamonds almost always have some sort of flaw. In those cases, the distinction can only be made by a jeweller’s loupe.
The Four C's: Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Colour
Just like any other gemstone, CZ stones are graded on the “Four C’s.” Here’s a brief overview on what they are.
• Carat – used to express the actual weight of a stone - 200 milligrams equals one carat. Since CZs are heavier than diamonds, if you compared two stones of equal carat weight, the diamond would be larger.
• Cut – used to describe the qualities of the stone after it’s been chiselled and polished from its raw state into a finished product. Poorer cuts reduce the stone’s potential brilliance and beauty. CZ stones usually score well in this category.
• Clarity –used to describe the purity or clearness of a stone. There is a whole scale based around the number and types of imperfections a stone can have. CZ stones have very high clarity because they are man-made.
• Colour – used to describe the amount of colour a stone has. Again, there is a scale used to measure colour. CZ stones are generally colourless but can be made to hold several different hues.
Of the four C’s, cut is the only one that is a measure of craftsmanship. How good a job a cutter does on a stone can directly impact its sale price. Beautiful raw stones can be ruined by bad cuts. The other three C’s are all determined by nature, or in the case of cubic zirconia, by techniques used in the lab.
Why we love cubic zirconias
The great thing about CZs is they allow you to enjoy the glitz and glam of a diamond for a fraction of the price and without the worry of it being sourced from a conflict zone.
Our beautiful range of cubic zirconia, diamante and crystal earrings are made with hypoallergenic posts so they can be worn comfortably even if you suffer from sensitive ears.
Looking beautiful has never been easier and with ball season almost upon us, what better time to invest in a little piece of glam?