Probably the most popular type of cheap engagement rings are those made with cubic zirconia stones. In a nutshell, cubic zirconia is a man-made stone and is considered a great substitute for diamonds. They are far cheaper and very easy to customize. Read on to find out the more.
Terms Related to Cubic Zirconia
A-AAAAA – indicates the quality of a cubic zirconia stone. AAAAA is the highest quality available for cubic zirconia, and the most common. Cubic zirconia is quite cheap, so you should generally consider getting AAAAA grade.
CZ – abbreviation for cubic zirconia
Moh’s Hardness Scale – measures the scratch resistance of different minerals and stones. The highest possible score is 10, which is held by a diamond. Cubic zirconia scores 8.5, and as a reference, gold only scores a 2.5.
What is Cubic Zirconia
Cubic Zirconia is created in a lab from zirconium dioxide. It is a somewhat complicated process including high heat, but this process has been perfected since its introduction in 1976. The result is a very hard and perfectly clear stone that can be cut to look nearly identical to a diamond.
Types of Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings
Cubic Zirconia stones can be created in any way a jeweler wants. These stones are easily customized, so you can get a CZ stone however you want. Generally, they are cut similar to diamonds, as they are sold as a substitute for the rare and expensive diamonds. Here are some of the most common:
Round brilliant cut cubic zirconia
This stone is cut in the shape of a cone. The visible part is a circle, and the back or bottom of the stone forms a point. It is the classic cut for diamonds, and is, therefore, the most common cut for cubic zirconia. It is a beautiful cut that really sparkles.
Princess cut cubic zirconia
Instead of a cone, this one is cut in the shape of a pyramid. It is the second most common and is the cut that makes the best use of “space” (it looks the largest).
Emerald-Cut Cubic Zirconia
This cut is in the shape of a rectangle and looks elegant and sophisticated. It does a great job of showing off a stone’s clarity, although this is something that is more important with a diamond (CZs are naturally clear).
Oval Cut Cubic Zirconia
This is similar to the round cut, but instead of a circle, it is the shape of an oval. Also shows off the brilliance of the stone.
Marquis cut cubic zirconia
An elegant shape that shows off the stone’s brilliance. It is similar to an oval cut, but is more narrow in the center, and is pointed on both ends.
Cubic Zirconia vs Diamonds
It can be very difficult to tell the difference between Cubic Zirconia and diamonds. You have to be an expert, or have to know exactly what to look for. Here is an overview of the difference between the two.
Color: Cubic Zirconia is perfectly colorless. A perfectly colorless diamond is extremely rare, and ultra expensive.
Hardness: Cubic Zirconia scores an 8.5 on Moh’s hardness scale, whereas diamonds score a perfect 10. Diamonds are impossible to scratch, and cubic zirconia, although very hard, can be scratched. Also, it is important to know that even though CZ is difficult to scratch, it can shatter quite easily, meaning proper care is important.
Weight: Diamonds are much lighter than cubic zirconia. If you have one diamond and one cubic zirconia that are equal in size, you will find that the cubic zirconia is 1.7 times heavier.
Refraction: Diamonds have a higher refractive index, meaning they are more “sparkly” than cubic zirconia.
Dispersion of light: This is greater on a CZ stone, meaning you will see more colors on a cubic zirconia than on a diamond.
Flaws: Although difficult to see with the naked eye, CZ is much easier to cut than diamonds, and nearly all dia
Uses for cubic zirconia
Cubic zirconia is used for all different types of jewelry. The most common are cubic zirconia engagement rings, because people often can’t afford a diamond engagement ring, or certainly not one as big as they’d like.
Other popular uses include cubic zirconia bracelets, earrings, broaches, deluxe watches, and necklaces. Again, because cubic zirconia is cheap and easily customized, it is perfect for making beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Three Reasons Why Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings Are A Girl’s Best Friend
There are many reasons why you should love cubic zirconia engagement rings, but if I listed them all here, you would be reading an article that is 10 pages long. So after doing some research, I uncovered what I think are the three main reasons why they are indeed a girl’s best friend.
Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings are Flawless
Cubic zirconia is a man-made stone created in a lab setting out of zirconium dioxide, a natural mineral found in abundance. The manufacturing process is done under strict guidelines and so the stones will never have any of the natural inclusions that diamonds have. This means that all quality cubic zirconia rings will be absolutely gorgeous! Even a jeweler will not be able to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia engagement ring and a diamond engagement ring until they take a look at it with a loupe (that’s the little magnifier jewelers use to look at stones up close). The lack of inclusions will be the way they can tell it’s a cubic zirconia stone.
Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings are Very Durable
Cubic zirconia stones are measured on the Mohs scale of mineral harness just as other gemstones are. Diamonds are of course the hardest known mineral and measure a 10 (out of 10) on the Mohs scale, but a cubic zirconia engagement ring will be almost as sturdy as a diamond one because CZ stones measure just over an 8 on the scale. Even a very active woman should not be afraid of damaging the stone in a cubic zirconia ring. High-quality cubic zirconia engagement rings will last a lifetime!
Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings are Affordable
I saved this one for last because I think this may be the best reason of all to think about getting a cubic zirconia engagement ring. In these days and times, everyone’s wallet seems to be a little thinner. When you are going to get married, who has several thousand dollars extra for a diamond ring? In my research, I found that sterling silver cubic zirconia engagement rings can be found for $30-50 and are absolutely beautiful! If you prefer that the setting for your ring be gold, then the price will go up considerably, yet won’t be anything near the cost of a diamond and gold ring. I found this gorgeous 10K white gold ring with a 4 carat (8 mm) round cubic zirconia stone along with pear-shaped cubic zirconia baguettes for $179!
Round Cut 8mm Cubic Zirconia Engagement Ring in 10K White Gold Setting
That round stone will be about the size of a 2.35-carat diamond – very impressive!
If you haven’t decided by now that a cubic zirconia engagement ring is a great choice, then I would suggest just taking a look for yourself at how beautiful they are. Google them, and take a look at some at your local mall. Once you see for yourself, I believe you will also agree, cubic zirconia engagement rings are most definitely a girl’s best friend!
If you liked this, you might also like my article about aquamarine engagement rings.
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Check out how cubic zirconia can sparkle in this video:
5 Things You Should Know About Cubic Zirconia Rings
everyone loves the rich sparkle and fire of a diamond ring? I know I do! But if you’re like me, your budget won’t stretch to accommodate very many diamond rings. What’s a girl to do? Buy cubic zirconia rings, that’s what! Of course, there are things you need to know before you buy any ring. Cubic zirconia rings are no exception. You can purchase them from high-end retailers as well as the low-end retailers. So what’s the difference?
About Cubic Zirconia Rings
- Cubic zirconia is a lab synthesized form of zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia stones are flawless and are usually colorless. Color can be added to them, however. For example, for pink cubic zirconia rings, Erbium is added to the cubic zirconia in the manufacturing stage to produce the pink color. Because of its close resemblance to diamonds, cubic zirconia has been the main competitor for diamonds since 1976.
- Cubic zirconia can be cut and fashioned into rings as easily as diamonds can. They are often cut into the “round” shape we are all most familiar with, but may also be cut into more complex shapes such as marquis, emerald, and pillow shapes. This makes it easy for jewelers to place the stones into ring settings.
- Cubic zirconia and diamonds do not have the same carat weight. In other words, a 1-carat cubic zirconia ring won’t be the same size as a 1-carat diamond ring. Cubic zirconia is measured in millimeters instead. If you have a 1 carat round cubic zirconia, it will be about the size as a .5 carat round diamond and will be about 5.25 mm in size. A 6.5 mm round CZ will be about the same size as a 1 carat round diamond.
- The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is used to determine how hard cubic zirconia is, just as it is for diamonds. Cubic zirconia’s rating is 8 on a scale of 1-10. Diamonds are a 10 on the scale, so you can see that CZ’s are very hard, which makes them an excellent choice for making into jewelry that will need to be sturdy, such as men’s cubic zirconia rings.
- Many types of metals may be used in the design of cubic zirconia rings, such as gold, sterling silver, brass, and copper. When choosing the type of metal setting for your ring, make sure you choose one that will accommodate the amount of wear your ring will get. Gold cubic zirconia rings can be made of white, rose or yellow gold and should be at least 14k. 10k gold is even harder than 14k, and so is always a good choice. Sterling silver is also an excellent choice for a ring that will hold up well. Brass, copper, and other base metals, however, are more likely to be used in the making of cheap cubic zirconia rings that will not hold up over time. They are also likely to leave that tell-tale green stain on your finger.
Cubic zirconia rings are wonderful additions to any jewelry wardrobe, and keeping these things in mind before making a purchase will ensure that you will be happy with your ring and it will last you a lifetime!