What Is Cubic Zirconia?

We've gotten a lot of questions recently about the gemstone we use in our pieces: cubic zirconia. What is it? Where does it come from? 

In short, cubic zirconia (CZ) is a synthetic diamond alternative. This means that it is created in a laboratory. Manual production of CZ began in the early 1970's, and increases every year with demand. If you want to get scientific with it, it's made by melting zirconium oxide powder at extreme temperatures with certain stabilisers (such as calcium or magnesium). 

It's important to note that CZ is a diamond alternative, and not an equivalent. Many people opt for CZ jewellery for everyday wear because it's cheaper, sturdy, and looks great. However, diamond jewellery is best for special occasions, such as an engagement. As a comparison, cubic zirconia scores 8.5 on the Mohs scale, while diamond is a perfect 10. That being said, cubic zirconia certainly shimmers and shines, and is sure to catch attention, which is great for those (such as myself) who want to elevate their daily style without spending a fortune.

Cubic zirconia is often cut and polished the same way as popular diamond trends. While they are typically visually unnoticeable (unless you know what to look for), there are quite a few differences between the two. A white CZ gemstone is virtually colourless, whereas a natural diamond will have imperfections that contribute to its rarity. When talking about brilliance, a diamond is known to give off a white light, and cubic zirconia will produce more "fire", which is to say more of a colourful brilliance. 

Cubic zirconia may not be rare or super valuable, but as I said before, it makes a great addition to your wardrobe, and will glow just like you. 


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