Cubic Zirconia: An Alternative to Diamonds
Cubic Zirconia: An Alternative to Diamonds
Providing elegant shine and sparkle that levels up any outfit, cubic zirconia has become a popular jewelry addition. Stunning and environmentally friendly, cubic zirconia is a popular and affordable substitute for diamonds.
Common Alloy has always strived to: create beautiful, timeless pieces that you’ll keep coming back to. So we wanted to take a deep dive into what we use for jewelry, specifically looking at cubic zirconia, and why we use it so much in our jewelry.
Though cubic zirconia looks very similar to diamonds, the two differ greatly when it comes to their origins, hardness, color, clarity, and price. If you are looking for a beautiful alternative to diamonds, check out our cubic zirconia guide.
What Exactly is Cubic Zirconia (CZ)?
Chances are, you’ve come across cubic zirconia (CZ) a lot. Cubic zirconia is one of the best diamond alternatives currently available since they share many of the same properties at a fraction of the cost of a diamond.
In addition, CZ is a synthetic crystalline, so it is created for commercial purposes in a lab rather than mined. So, while the look and feel of (and even the evaluation!) CZ is similar to a diamond, CZ is an affordable alternative designed to capture the same gleam and shimmer of real diamonds and looks incredible when used in jewelry.
Technically known as a diamond simulant, cubic zirconia is made from a chemical composition of zirconium oxide. Because it is manufactured, cubic zirconia is a sustainable source of gemstones that has no inclusions and is virtually flawless. And what makes cubic zirconia so versatile is that there are also a variety of color options and rainbow hues available to portray other types of gemstones!
What is the difference between cubic zirconia and diamonds?
At first glance, CZ and diamonds look so indistinguishable that even an experienced jeweler may find it hard to tell apart diamonds and cubic zirconia.
Natural diamonds are formed from naturally occurring carbon, are extremely rare, and take many many years to develop, making them much more expensive than any other stone. They often have minor inclusions and flaws that make each and every stone unique, like black spots, color tints, or lines, which is not something you will get from cubic zirconia.
Cubic zirconia is also different from natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are made in a lab, with the same physical and chemical properties of natural diamonds. However, since they are not naturally grown, the price point will be slightly more affordable than natural diamonds. Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, is simply manufactured to curate the look of natural diamonds but is not made of the same elements. Since cubic zirconia is more readily available and easier to produce than lab-grown diamonds, it is the most sustainable and affordable gemstone option when making jewelry.
The pros of cubic zirconia
One of the biggest advantages of cubic zirconia comes down to the price. Compared to diamonds, the cost of cubic zirconia (CZ) is significantly cheaper. Essentially any buyer can get a beautiful piece of jewelry in any setting or style at an affordable price. They can be cut in any shape, size, and quality - giving you a beautiful, cohesive piece that inspires confidence and meets your expectations.
Also worthy of note is that although not as hard as diamonds, cubic zirconia is harder than most stones out there (8.5 on the Mohs scale, diamonds are 10 and emeralds are 7.5 to 8), including emeralds and semi-precious stones and even glass stones seen in jewelry and will be durable for everyday wear.
While diamonds may have external blemishes or other small flaws, you won’t need to worry about that with CZ, making it one of the best stones to use for jewelry. It is easy to wear and take care of so it’s perfect for daily use. And because of the lower price point, it’s safe to travel with CZ jewelry without sacrificing style.
At Common Alloy, we also only use higher quality cubic zirconia stones for extra brilliance. We take social responsibility very seriously, so we only use responsibly-sourced cubic zirconia in all of our jewelry.
The cons of Cubic Zirconia
So we’ve looked at the good, but what about the bad? The main argument against CZ is that it’s not necessarily an investment like a diamond would be because of its low cost. While yes, that is true, it’s important to remember that cubic zirconia serves as an affordable alternative for a reason. Diamonds are an investment, but CZ is one of the best options for those looking for high-quality jewelry on a budget.
The bottom line
Because cubic zirconia is lab-created, they result in a stunning piece that is affordable, flawless, and akin to the best color grade of a diamond. If you’re looking to add some sparkle to your collection with a diamond alternative you feel safe wearing while traveling, working, or playing outdoors, be sure to check out our wide array of beautiful cubic zirconia pieces. Ready to add some beautiful cubic zirconia jewelry for your collection today? Shop Common Alloy today!