When you look at rings, necklaces and earrings in jewelry shop windows, can you tell which is Cubic Zirconia and which is diamond?
You may think you can, but what about if the display tags were taken away? Could you tell which is which then, simply by looking at them?
We’re pretty sure you couldn’t.
If you can’t tell the difference, then you can be fairly certain no one else could either. To the untrained eye, Cubic Zirconia jewelry shines just as brightly and looks just as attractive as most diamonds.
Is our preference for diamonds then, mostly a perception thing?
We know that diamonds are super expensive, just as we know that Cubic Zirconia jewelry is relatively cheap. Even so, the presumption is that when it comes to that moment, we should expect the real deal.
Men feel an enormous pressure to come up with the goods. When it comes to proposing, there is a real fear the answer might be ‘no’ if a Cubic Zirconia ring were to be presented.
The expectation is that if you’re giving something special it has to be diamonds, because financially, Cubic Zirconia value bears no comparison.
While this is true monetary wise, Cubic Zirconia has real value to be found in other directions, which can sometimes be overlooked.
To appreciate this, let’s learn a little more about Cubic Zirconia.
The Four C’s
The four C’s used to measure the value of diamonds is also applied to cubic zirconia. These being:
- Clarity – is the crystal clear with no cloudiness?
- Cut – how good is it?
- Color – is it truly clear with no tinge of color?
- Carat – what weight is the crystal?
All these factors play an important role in determining Cubic Zirconia value and price. Ask about the Four Cs whenever you purchase a piece of cubic zirconia jewelry to ensure the price lives up to the quality.
Choice of Color
Cubic Zirconia is available is an impressive array of colors and hues.
Classic white, bubbly pink, purple (similar to deep-purple amethyst) the more subdued like champagne, or the more vivid emerald green, blue sapphire and orange. Take a look at this one from Birkat Elyon Or this gorgeous rose gold ring from Amazon, where the stones appear to have a myriad of colors.
Diamonds occur in just as many if not more colors. Pure diamonds are perfectly transparent and colorless but there are also white, steel gray, yellow, blue, red, green, orange, pink to purple, brown, and black.
Make sure to find out all you can about the quality of the gem you choose, as colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects, these are what cause the coloration.
Read more about Cubic Zirconia and the myths surrounding it here.
Is Cubic Zirconia Real?
You know it’s not a diamond, but when comparing jewelry pieces, you’ve probably wondered, is cubic zirconia real?
Cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone made by melting powdered zirconium and zirconium dioxide together and heating them up to 4,982ºF.
A man-made stone, it is flawless and free of inclusions, but it is not a ‘real’ gemstone.
For information on how cubic zirconia is made, read here.
Cubic zirconia has what is called a higher dispersion quality than diamonds, an effect responsible for the ’fire’ of the stone. As a result, your piece of cubic zirconia jewelry will sparkle and reflect light more than a diamond.
Unlike diamonds, it won’t capture light in the same way as it has a lower refractive index, resulting in a lower brilliance.
The slight difference in these values between a quality cubic zirconia simulant and a diamond means most people can’t tell the two apart by sight alone. However, this isn’t true of the larger carat cubic zirconia stones. They may flash and sparkle more than a large diamond, but can’t achieve the same level of brilliance, or depth of display.
The greater the carat size, the more noticeable the visual differences, and larger carat cubic zirconia rings can begin to look fake.
As a result, people on smaller budgets tend toward smaller, more authentic looking, carat gemstones. At around one carat they have a cubic zirconia ring that looks real but cost a fraction of the price.
Cubic Zirconia has a practically flawless surface without external blemishes or internal inclusions. It has a hardness on the Mohs scale of about 8.5 out of 10. While this is harder than most natural gems and makes it extremely resistant to scratching, it won’t have the longevity of a diamond.
Over time, it will eventually become scratched and cloudy. Cubic Zirconia is also brittle and has less durability to resist breakage from falls and impacts.
Diamonds are the hardest gem with a Mohs hardness of 10 and an absolute hardness of 1500.
Diamonds are incredibly durable and suitable for everyday wear.
Additionally, the color is pure and without tints of yellow or gray. In terms of sparkle and shine, no other diamond substitute compares.
Is Cubic Zirconia Cheap?
Cubic Zirconia jewelry is significantly less expensive than diamonds, with a 1.5 Carat Princess Cut Cubic Zirconia ring retailing for about $37. A 1.4 Carat Princess-Cut diamond ring would cost about $9,800!
As the carat weight increases though, so does the price gap. For this reason, people looking for affordable trendy fashion jewelry items that would pass for a diamond will often choose cubic zirconia as gifts.
There is no doubt that diamonds outweigh Cubic Zirconia value as a long-term investment.
So, does Cubic zirconia have any real value?
Unlike diamonds, Cubic Zirconia jewelry doesn’t have the same elite status, and from a value point, is worth almost nothing.
If you were to try and resell a Cubic Zirconia ring or pair of earrings, you could perhaps retain some of the value, but not much.
A diamond will retain much more of its market value.
Diamonds can also be handed down through the family as a keepsake. Cubic Zirconia jewelry items will eventually cloud – or even break.
There is no doubt that diamonds carry a prestige that Cubic Zirconia doesn’t.
A natural gemstone, diamonds also carry years of tradition and expectation along with them, making them the anticipated choice for special occasions.
And economically, you will probably get more long term for your money.
Diamonds are hugely expensive, and most of us either inherit them as part of a family heirloom or can only afford to buy infrequently. This results in some pieces looking dated and left languishing in jewelry wraps and boxes.
As Cubic Zirconia jewelry is a fraction of the cost of diamonds, you can buy more, and worry less!
Buying Cubic Zirconia jewelry is far more affordable, allowing even the most budget-conscious of us the chance of buying trendy fashion jewelry which to the naked eye looks like the real thing.
Save your real diamond earrings, necklaces and rings for truly special occasions, and wear your Cubic Zirconia fashion jewelry daily, even taking them on vacation with you. You won’t have to worry about costly insurance or be distraught should you lose an item that has great sentimental value.
A growing trend for young couples wishing to get engaged, Cubic Zirconia rings offer many benefits.
For those on a tight budget, perhaps saving for a first home, they make a brilliant substitute for a diamond, with many admirers unable to tell the difference. A smart choice, you could be forgiven for wondering why you would want the huge cost of a real diamond, when Cubic Zirconia looks almost, if not identical?
A partner looking to make a surprise proposal can purchase a Cubic Zirconia ring as a first step, especially if the proposer is unsure what their partner may be expecting! A Cubic Zirconia ring gives some breathing space after the proposal, so both partners can shop for the forever ring together (if a real diamond one is wanted).
Make sure when choosing your item that you check the quality of the item and ask about the four C’s. Some retailers use low-grade Cubic Zirconia or crystal/glass in their rings. Avoid buying gold or silver plate as the plating that covers the jewelry is thin and will eventually wear away, reducing the rings cosmetic look and appeal.
Remember though, after receiving an engagement ring, it’s said that 62% of fiancée’s post pictures of it on their social networks; so, it has to delight and wow not only your partner, but all their friends too!
In conclusion, Cubic Zirconia value is very real. Not necessarily financial-investment wise, but in quality, appearance, affordability, and brilliance.
It’s not something that is likely to be passed down to your children, but does that matter? They might not like or want it anyway!
Is cubic zirconia cheap? Fitting most pockets, it’s certainly more affordable than diamonds, but good quality cubic zirconia can still be relatively expensive.
Buying Cubic Zirconia jewelry gives you a wide choice of color, style, and affordable trendy fashion jewelry.
Swap and change around to suit your mood while keeping up to date with current trends.
Cubic zirconia jewelry may not last as long as a diamond will or be worth as much – but you don’t always need or want it to.
Cubic Zirconia makes wearing gorgeous, sparkling, diamond-like fashion jewelry, fun for everyone – and that’s the real value.
What do you think about Cubic Zirconia value? Would you rather buy a diamond, or buy several trendy fashion jewelry items made with Cubic Zirconia?
We’d love to hear your comments below.