Cubic Zirconia has been widely recognised gemologically as the most important synthetic substitute for diamonds since it first began to be commercially manufactured in 1976.
Cubic Zirconia or CZ is actually the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. The synthesised material is hard, optically flawless and usually colourless but may be made in a variety of different colours.
Some of the key features distinguishing a cubic zirconia form a diamond, other than price of course are:
- CZ has a rating of approx 8 on Mohs Hardness Scale vs a rating of 10 for diamonds
- A CZ will weigh about 1.7 tomes more than a diamond of the same size
- A manufactured CZ is virtually flawless whereas most diamonds will have some sort of defect
- Some CZ gemstones are cut with facet shapes that differ from those typically used for diamonds
- Only the rarest of diamonds are truly colourless whereas CZ can be made entirely colourless
My Gold and Silver Bangle with Red CZs, pictured above, is a bangle I made using Cubic Zirconias.
Here is some more jewellery made using cubic zirconia from members of the Jet Team: