When it comes to gemstones, one question often arises: “How much is cubic zirconia worth?” This gemstone is a popular choice because it’s much more affordable than diamonds, yet it shines just as brightly.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cubic zirconia, comparing it to diamonds to understand its value better. We’ll explore its unique features, like how it’s made and why it’s a favorite for many jewelry lovers. Whether you’re a gem enthusiast or just curious, this journey into the world of cubic zirconia will show you why it’s a fantastic option for those who love sparkle but also value saving money.
Cost Comparison Between Cubic Zirconia and Natural Diamonds
“While high-quality cubic zirconia can mimic the appearance of a top-tier diamond, it can cost less, making luxury accessible at a fraction of the cost.”
Lowest Quality Stones vs. Highest Quality Stones
Lower-grade cubic zirconia is incredibly cost-effective, making it an ideal choice for budget-friendly jewelry. These stones, while lower in quality, still offer a significant degree of sparkle and aesthetic appeal.
On the other end, high-quality cubic zirconia, known for superior cut and clarity, is still much more affordable compared to natural diamonds. The price of natural diamonds escalates considerably with quality, driven by factors like clarity, cut, color, and carat weight. The stark price contrast between high-grade cubic zirconia and premium diamonds illustrates how quality influences the pricing in the gemstone market.
Lab-Created Diamonds vs. Natural Gemstones
The market for lab-created diamonds has grown significantly and is expected to reach USD 15.9 billion by 2027 for offering a cost-effective yet authentic diamond experience.1 These diamonds, made in a controlled environment, typically cost less than natural diamonds due to lower production costs and reduced environmental impact. They match natural diamonds in terms of physical, chemical, and optical properties.
Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, while not a diamond, offers an even more affordable alternative. It mimics the look of a diamond at a fraction of the cost, making it an attractive option for those who prioritize budget without compromising on aesthetics. This comparison underscores the diverse price range and value propositions of different gemstones in the jewelry market.
Properties of Cubic Zirconia
“Cubic zirconia provides a colorful sparkle that contributes to its unique appeal as a gemstone.”
Cubic zirconia (CZ) is composed of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2).2 This synthetic material is made stable and durable by incorporating stabilizers such as yttrium or calcium. This combination creates a stone that is highly resistant to wear and tear, less prone to chipping, and maintains its luster over time, differentiating it from other synthetic gemstones.
Cubic zirconia has a dispersion rate (or ‘fire’) that is significantly higher than that of a diamond. This means it can disperse light into a spectrum of colors more vividly, creating a dazzling, rainbow-like effect that is highly prized in jewelry. This characteristic is a key factor in CZ’s appeal as a diamond alternative.
Variety of Colors Available
Manufacturers can produce cubic zirconia in an array of colors by adding different metal oxides during production. This range of colors adds to its versatility, making it suitable for a variety of jewelry designs and personal styles. It mimics different gemstones, providing consumers with numerous options for customization and uniqueness.
Mohs Scale Rating
On the Mohs scale, which measures the hardness of minerals, cubic zirconia scores between 8 and 8.5. This means it is quite hard and scratch-resistant, though slightly softer than diamonds. This hardness makes cubic zirconia suitable for everyday wear while retaining its polished look.
The refractive index of cubic zirconia, which measures how much it bends light, is slightly lower than that of a diamond. However, it is still high enough to give CZ its characteristic sparkle and brilliance, closely resembling that of a diamond.
Form of Zirconium Dioxide (ZrO2)
Being a crystalline form of zirconium dioxide, cubic zirconia is unique in its physical and optical properties. Created under high temperatures, it emerges as a crystal that shares many qualities with natural diamonds, like brilliance and clarity, yet it stands apart with its own unique characteristics, such as higher dispersion and a slightly different hardness level.
Everyday Wear Considerations with Cubic Zirconia Jewelry
Durability of Cubic Zirconia: Cubic zirconia is known for its significant hardness, making it quite resistant to scratches and wear. However, it’s more susceptible to chipping compared to diamonds, so care should be taken, especially during activities that could lead to hard knocks.
Maintenance Requirements: Cubic zirconia requires minimal maintenance; regular cleaning with mild soap and water is usually sufficient. It’s important to avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, as they can affect the stone’s appearance.
Proper Storage: Store cubic zirconia jewelry in a separate compartment or a soft pouch to avoid scratches. Keeping it away from harder jewelry pieces can help maintain its condition and appearance over time.
Considerations for Daily Wear: Due to its durability, cubic zirconia is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. However, it’s advisable to remove it during high-impact activities or when working with harsh chemicals to prevent potential damage.
Can cubic zirconia withstand daily wear?
Yes, cubic zirconia is quite durable and scratch-resistant, making it suitable for everyday use. However, like all gemstones, it requires some care to maintain its brilliance, especially to avoid chipping.
Does cubic zirconia get cloudy over time?
Cubic zirconia maintains its clarity well, but like any gemstone, it can gather grime and appear cloudy if not cleaned regularly. Proper maintenance can keep it looking clear and sparkling.
Is cubic zirconia considered a good investment?
Cubic zirconia is more of a cost-effective fashion choice than an investment. It offers aesthetic value but doesn’t typically increase in monetary value over time.
Can cubic zirconia be resized like diamond jewelry?
Many cubic zirconia pieces can be resized, similar to diamond jewelry, but the feasibility depends on the specific setting and design of the piece.
How can I tell the difference between cubic zirconia and a real diamond?
While more brilliant and heavier than diamonds, cubic zirconia can be distinguished from diamonds by professionals using tools to test properties like refractive index and hardness.
Conclusion: Gauging Cubic Zirconia’s Market Value
In concluding our exploration of “how much is cubic zirconia worth,” it’s clear that this gemstone stands out for its exceptional balance of affordability, aesthetic appeal, and durability. Cubic zirconia presents a cost-effective alternative to diamonds, offering the beauty and brilliance many seek in fine jewelry without the high cost. Its wide range of colors and styles makes it versatile for various jewelry designs, solidifying its popularity in the market.
Read the guide for our easy and effective tips on how to clean your titanium ring, ensuring it stays as stunning as the day you got it.
Cynthia met Brian during one of their aid work on Typhoon Katrina, and they have been inseparable since. They both believe that Living By Example could be the best platform there is to write about subjects that will help people connect with others and give them a deeper understanding of different societies and cultures.