If you love shopping for jewellery as much as we do, then we are sure you have seen the term “cubic zirconia", whether in a retail store or ecommerce site, at some point. But have you ever actually known what it is (other than something that resembles a diamond but costs a fraction of the price)?
Let's take a closer look at this gemstone and gain some insight into why it’s so in demand.
WHAT is it?
Cubic zirconia (CZ) is a synthetic gemstone that is often used as a diamond substitute in jewelry. Made of zirconium dioxide, it is optically clear and colorless and can be set in precious metals such as sterling silver, gold, and platinum, and may be accented with other gemstones or crystals.
WHERE did it come from?
Cubic zirconia (CZ) was first synthesized in 1937 by German mineralogists, but it was not until the 1970s that the production of CZ began on a large scale. The Soviet Union was one of the first countries to produce cubic zirconia on a commercial level, and it quickly became a popular diamond substitute.
It was initially created for industrial purposes (think laser technology or heat shields for space vehicles). However, its optical properties soon became apparent, and it was recognized as a potential diamond simulant.
In the 1970s, a company called Swarovski began producing high-quality cubic zirconia for use in jewelry. They were able to produce stones with excellent clarity and brilliance, making them a popular choice for jewelry designers and manufacturers.
Today, CZ’s are produced in countries around the world, including China, Thailand, and Russia. It continues to be a popular alternative to diamonds, particularly for those who want the look of a diamond without the high cost.
WHAT are its benefits?
Here are 5 benefits of cubic zirconia jewelry:
- Affordability: CZ is much less expensive than diamonds, making it an affordable option for people who want the look of a diamond without spending a fortune.
- Durability: CZ is a hard, durable material that is resistant to scratches and chipping, making it a good choice for everyday wear.
- Variety: CZ can be produced in a wide range of colors and shapes, which allows for a greater variety of designs in jewelry.
- Consistency: Unlike natural gemstones, CZ is manufactured to consistent standards, so the stones have a uniform appearance and quality.
- Ethical concerns: Some people may prefer CZ jewelry because it does not involve the ethical concerns associated with diamond mining, such as labor exploitation and environmental damage.