Precious and Semi-precious stones are one of the most wonderful things to occur on this planet. Some of these are crystalline substances while most are not, but the unique colors and brilliance that nature has given to them is worth some price that is why they are sold as an expensive commodity. The uniqueness of these gemstones have allowed them to be the right thing for jewelry making as the match between metal, gemstones and human skin is just perfect.
In my other articles I have been discussing about some other precious gemstones like, ruby, emerald, diamond and sapphires. But it would be unfair to leave semi-precious stones aside, that is why in this article I will be discussing about a semi-precious stone or more rightly a synthetic stone, Cubic Zirconia, which is very much closer to diamond in appearance and properties and is actually the best replacement for diamond in jewelry.
How Do We Get Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic Zirconia is actually a synthetic stone which does not occur naturally and is produced in the laboratory. It is actually a cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia is available in a variety of colors and due to its very similar properties to diamonds it is on of the most popular and widely used stone in modern jewelry.
Cubic zirconia was first found naturally in the form of mineral baddeleyite. However this naturally occurring mineral is extremely rare to occur much rarer than a flawless diamond, this is why it was not feasible to start commercial production of cubic zirconia utilizing its natural mineral form.
Since it was required to bring a low cost diamond like stone into the market and cubic zironia was the best for that purpose its commercial synthetic manufacturing took a start in around 1930.
The high melting point (2750°C) of cubic zirconia made it difficult for scientists to start its synthetic production, however this hurdle was overcome and now it is the most widely used gemstone in the jewelry industry.
All commercial jewelry manufacturers use different colors of cubic zirconia in their jewelry as it gives them a new modern look and also greatly reduces the cost of their manufacturing.
Cubic Zirconia Vs Zircon
Many people even jewelers believe zircon and cubic zirconia to be the same thing. However this is actually wrong concept. Cubic zirconia is crystalline form of zirconium dioxide, whereas zircon is a crystalline form of zirconium silicate.
The big difference when speaking in commercial terms is that zircon is a naturally occurring substance and the brilliant colorless pieces are extracted for jewelry manufacturing. They are also used commercially and mostly sold in bulk as they are of low quality compared to cubic zirconia and they can break or shatter easily.
On the other hand cubic zirconia is a synthetically produced gemstone which is harder and more brilliant than zircon. Good quality and large cubic zirconia are also sold in per piece price, but today modern technology has allowed the production of more cheaper and good quality cubic zirconia which can be bought and sold in bulk rates.
Cubic Zirconia In Jewelry
Cubic Zironia is one of the best things to have been invented in the jewelry industry. With the trends in jewelry shifting fast towards white metal jewelry, it was required that something resembling diamond must be there but with a much cheaper value to allow costumers buy their dream jewelry item at a much cheaper rate.
Since White gold jewelry is mostly diamond based and cubic zirconia is its best alternative for cheaper production. Not just White gold jewelry but, jewelry of all type is now utilizing cubic zirconia in cubic zirconia rings, pendants, bracelets etc.
Traditional buyers will always prefer real stone in the jewelry but, the more commercial people who only go for beauty will buy jewelry studded with synthetic stone and today cubic zirconia dominates the synthetic stone market by all means.
Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond
Since cubic zirconia is the best alternative to diamond, many people are interested in the comparison between both of these stones. A normal eye can be very easily fooled when they are told to distinguish between cubic zirconia and a diamond, this is because good quality diamonds look almost identical to cubic zirconia in appearance.
Cubic zirconia is only slightly less brilliant the diamond, but modern methods of production have reduced this deficiency. The best way to differentiate between a diamond and cubic zircon is weigh them as a diamond is 75% lighter than cubic zirconia.
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