CZ stones are beautiful, colorful, mesmerizing, exotic, and highly valuable. In 1970, it is the Russians who have invented Cubic zirconia. Generated from the crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), CZ is hard but not as hard as a diamond. CZ stone is optically flawless, and usually colorless, though it can be doped to a number of color shades. The intention behind developing this stone was to utilize it as an alternative to diamonds for the technological and industrial use. But over the years the stone has become favorite among the jewellery lovers because of its brilliance, clarity and low price. People have found a breath of fresh air with the emergence of CZ stones in the world of fashion jewellery.
In appearance, cubic zirconia looks almost exactly like a good quality diamond, but CZ is much more affordable. The standard price of a one carat flawless diamond could be around $7,000 to $8,000, the price of a one carat cubic zirconia would be around $10 to $15. You get the brilliance, fire and sparkle of a diamond at a much lower cost. It’s valued at only a small fraction of what a real diamond of the same size and quality would be.
Fire and Brilliance- CZ has slightly less brilliance (sparkle) than diamond, while having more fire (flashes of rainbow colors). The overall effect is so similar to diamond that trained gemologists often require special equipment to tell them apart.
Weight- CZ is about 75% heavier than diamond. As such, a CZ’s size is referred to in carats only as in comparison to diamonds. CZs are more accurately measured in millimeters, referring to the diameter. (A 6.5 mm cubic zirconia is equal in size to a one-carat diamond and actually weighs about 1.75 carats.)
Hardness- There are very few substances on earth harder than CZ. With a hardness rating of 8.5, CZ comes closer to matching diamond’s perfect 10.
Cut- The finest CZ is cut to exacting tolerances, according to the proportions demanded in fine diamond cutting. Finely cut CZs will have a polished girdle and more fire.
Clarity- Because CZ is grown in a laboratory in a controlled environment, any crystals that fall short of perfect clarity are simply not used. The finest CZ gems are perfect in clarity.
Even though it’s man-made, cubic zirconia stone comes in varied qualities much like diamond. CZ stones are exceptionally good as a substitute for diamond. As the original diamonds get influenced by the cutting, purity of the rough material and the polishing of finished stones, so as cubic zirconia stones.