Cubic Zirconia – A Substitute for Diamonds?

Cubic Zirconia, sometimes called the Russian Diamond, has always been known as a substitute for diamonds because of its hardness but recently is has come into its own as a beautiful synthetic gemstone that comes in all of the colors of the rainbow. Cubic Zirconia is a cubic form of zirconium oxide which is not a natural mineral but is created in a laboratory. A natural mineral with the same composition was once found in 1930 but has not been found since.

Because of its transparency, when cut, is often faceted into many cuts. It can also be made in any color. Although cubic Zirconia was discovered in 1937, there was not much interest in it by the scientists that found it until the 1980’s when Svarkolsky & Co., a company that produces lead crystal, produced cubic Zirconia for the masses.

Caring for it is not any different than the care you would give to any gemstone. It can be cleaned with soap or detergent but must be dried thoroughly. If it is not dried thoroughly there is a chance of a film developing on the stone that would dull its brilliance. Cleaning your CZ gems can be done in an ultra sonic jewelry cleaner also. The brilliance of the stones can be dulled from the oils on the skin and therefore, should be cleaned regularly.

Even though the cubic zirconia has less brilliance than a diamond, it is often confused with the diamond especially to an untrained person. In some instances, it has been known to fool even the most versed gemologist. Although the cubic zirconia is often mistaken for a diamond, the difference between the two is weight and the cubic zirconia is also brittle and softer than a diamond. Because it is synthetic, it has no flaws, whereas the diamond is not flawless and contains impurities.

Hardness of gemstones is measured in MOHS. The diamond is the hardest mineral on earth and is measured in at (10 MOHS), followed closely by a synthetic gemstone called Moissanite (9.25 MOHS) and then the synthetic cubic zirconia at (8 MOHS). They are all brilliant and beautiful stones and are often confused for the diamond. Cubic zirconia is called by many names, such as Diamondique or just referred to as CZ when advertised in the sale of jewelry.

To clean CZ, one should wipe when the jewelry dry thoroughly to avoid residue from the soap leaving a film that will dull the brilliance of the stone. Cubic Zirconia should be cleaned frequently to remove oils from skin that dulls the brilliance of the gem. However, when using soaps or detergents to clean CZ, one should wipe the jewelry dry thoroughly to avoid residue from the soap leaving a film that will dull the brilliance of the stone. Cubic Zirconia should be cleaned frequently to remove oils from skin that also dull the brilliance of the gem.

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