Pretty much all the cheap fashion jewelry you find in the stores with sparkling stones is made of cubic zirconia.
And though cubic zirconia have been identified and mined naturally, they are only found in very small concentrations, which means that a large percentage of the cubic zirconia used in jewelry making is made in the lab.
It also means that the cubic zirconia stones are available in various grades, and some cost more than others.
This article will take you through everything you need to know about cubic zirconia stones used in jewelry making.
Just like diamonds, the cubic zirconia stones are graded differently, and some cost more than others. Let’s get into it!
About Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia or CZ is the ideal example of conflict-free stones, precisely a great alternative to diamonds. CZ and diamond have the same fire and sparkle in them, but you will get these from the CZ stones at only a fraction of the total cost of the diamonds.
As mentioned above, natural CZ is rare, so CZ used in jewelry making is made in the lab, meaning that it only costs a fraction of the total cost of the diamonds.
CZ is the synthetic version of the stones; they are lab-created, crystalline stones that are not just hard and colorless but also flawless.
But what exactly is CZ? Well, CZ is a mineral made of zirconium oxide, a substance that occurs naturally in nature.
Though natural, zirconium oxide is also made in the lab, and it stands out as this brilliant gemstone that oozes the fire and the brilliance of real diamonds.
And so, to the untrained eye, CZ can easily be mistaken for natural diamonds.
Cubic zirconia stones are not diamonds, but jewelers refer to them as simulated diamonds.
And if you are looking for cheaper alternatives to diamonds, then jewelry made of CZ would be the ideal option for you as they are entirely colorless.
That said, diamonds and cubic zirconia stones have several differences. While they have similar properties and are tough substances, the CZ stones are softer than natural diamonds. CZ stones also don’t conduct heat, unlike diamonds, which may show some level of conductivity.
Regarding their weight differences, a cubic zirconia stone with the exact dimensions of a diamond weighs so much more than the diamond; more specifically, the CZ will weigh up to 1.7times more than the weight of the diamonds. And so, CZ is often measured by its stone size rather than the stones’ carat weight.
Are All Cubic Zirconia the Same Quality?
As mentioned above, the grading system for CZ jewelry is different from that of diamonds, and to meet the needs of everyone’s budget, the CZ stones are made differently, with different qualities.
CZ stones are graded based on the A-Grading System. So, when buying cubic zirconia jewelry and assessing the stones based on the color, cut, clarity, and carat weight, they are mostly graded based on the A-grading system.
Like diamonds that are graded based on the 4Cs system, CZ stones are also graded based on this system, along with a different system called the A-grading system, and there are 6 main categories used to grade the CZ stones.
These six categories rank from the highest to the lowest from the AAAAA-grade Cubic Zirconia, AAAA, AAA, AA, and A-graded CZ stones. But we list 5 common grades of CZ you guys can buy on the market!
The AAA-Cubic zirconia stones are the most common standard for the CZ stones on the market today, and they are often used for most CZ jewelry. So, if you are looking for the highest-graded CZ jewelry on the market, we’d recommend getting the AAAAAP-graded CZ jewelry.
Below, we’ll take a detailed look at the different Cubic Zirconia stones.
Types of Cubic Zirconia
1. Cubic Zirconia White Diamond 6A
While the CZ stones are available in different categories, the diamond CZ is the highest-rated form of CZ, specifically, the Cubic Zirconia 6A. This is a high-quality CZ stone that is quite brilliant and flawless.
Its quality corresponds to the rough materials used for the stones to ensure the highest quality and importance. CZ Diamond 6A boasts a high precision cut, and if you are looking for the best quality CZ, this would be right for you.
The standards of the CZ Diamond 6A are unmatched by all other diamond CZ pieces.
Its specific features include the transparent to the opaque level of transparency, it’s available in multiple colors, comes in a cubic system, and its hardness level sits at 8.5.
Its luster is adamantine; it has an isotropic optic character, conchoidal fracture, and a refractive index of 1.5. CZ Diamond 6 is inclusions-free, transparent, and perfectly structured, and it has the brightest fire.
And when it is used on jewelry, anyone can confuse it for diamonds. It is also the only CZ set on valuable metals like platinum, gold, and sterling silver.
2. Cubic Zirconia White AAAAA
This is also high-quality cubic zirconia that is classified as a diamond simulant. It is one of the best quality lab-created gems used in gem collections and jewelry making. Want to know more about 5A CZ, please read this post!
This simulant is very hard and flawless, and the AAAAA CZ stones are the best quality CZ stones that have been crafted by the best stone cutters, leaving you with stones that look just like natural diamonds.
These CZ stones are available in 5 primary dopant colors – pink, yellow/red/orange, green, purple, and golden brown.
The AAAAA CZ is ranked 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, has a refractive index of between 2.088 and 2.176, conchoidal fractures, and very high water resistance.
3. Cubic Zirconia White AAAA
These CZ stones also boast a high level of hardness and a VVZ clarity level, and they are primarily brilliant-cut.
Although you can also find these stones in vivid colors, with a superior sparkle and fire, these stones are optically flawless.
They are also cheaper than the 5A and 6A CZ stones and are also used in high-end cheap jewelry. The AAAA stones have a refractive index of 2.17
4. Cubic Zirconia White AAA
As mentioned above, this is the most common CZ type used to make cubic zirconia jewelry.
It is as hard as the other CZ stones, but it’s not as expensive, so most jewelers use it to create fashion jewelry.
These CZ stones have a high level of heat resistance; they are optically flawless and colorless, meaning that they are perfect for most of the jewelry you wish to wear.
It might have some imperfections, though, and most jewelers create jewelry using this grade of CZ.
5. Cubic Zirconia White AA
This quality of CZ is lower, but the jewelry pieces made of these stones are cheaper and will not break the bank.
These gemstones tend to have many inclusions, and they change color too soon after purchase.
6. Cubic Zirconia White A
This is the lowest grade for the CZ stones, which are also the cheapest and not the most valuable.
CZ A has a hardness level of 8, and the colors of the jewelry include pink, red, orange, white, and yellow, with a refractive index of between 2.15 and 2.18.
7. Cubic Zirconia White AB
The white AB CZ are multicolor-coated CZ stones often found as loose stones and plated. They are elegant and add great style and elegance to the jewelry. They are not the most common types of CZ stones, though.
What is the highest quality cubic zirconia?
These are the AAAAAA CZ or the Diamond CZ 6A stones.
What is the lowest quality cubic zirconia?
The lowest quality CZ is the Cubic Zirconia White A stones. These stones are also the cheapest of the CZ stones.
The CZ stones are created differently, and they fall into different categories depending on the quality of the stones and how they are made.
The Diamond CZ 6A are the highest quality stones, while the CZ White A stones are the lowest quality CZ stones.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.