Is cubic Zirconia hypoallergenic? You might ask. We’re in a time where the customer is more aware of what they want, and thus require companies to meet their needs. One such question that keeps coming up in the jewelry space is if items are hypoallergenic.
People want to wear jewelry with the confidence that their skin will not react to the ornament, as was typically the case when lead and nickel were prominent in jewelry making.
More are also turning to crystals to know if they are hypoallergenic. On such crystal is cubic zirconia.
In this article, we are going to look at what it is, answer the question if it has any allergenic properties and if they are overall safe to wear.
What is cubic zirconia made out of?
Cubic zirconia, or short CZ, is made from zirconium dioxide, which in its natural form is a crystalline oxide.
To make the CZ, the zirconium dioxide is synthesized, meaning that it is made in the laboratory.
The crystals get made from melting a mixture of zirconium dioxide and 10 percent yttrium oxide, a stabilizer, at 4,982 degrees Fahrenheit, along with zirconia.
The final product is a human-made crystal. The cubic zirconia didn’t get made until the 1970s, where its popularity picked up quite fast.
Currently, due to its likeness to diamond, cubic zirconia is the go-to crystal for many as an alternative to diamonds.
What makes cubic zirconia considered an option is that it has a similar crystal formation and omits to the popular gemstone. Even when held up in the light, it tends to have the same brilliance.
The other aspect that makes CZ impressive is that it has the hardness of 8.5-9 Mohs on the hardness scale. Diamonds stand at 10.
That means that they can hold up quite well in jewelry and other industrial and commercial uses.
Something to note is that there is natural cubic zirconia, but it is so rare and hard to come by that all those available are synthesized.
Even then, there are different grades of cubic zirconia in the market. Some look better than others in their characteristic or clarity.
There are five-tiers when it comes to grading the quality of the crystal. The lowest grade is A while the highest is AAAAA. It’s not always evident when purchasing so you can ask the jeweler.
Does cubic zirconia have Nickel?
Cubic zirconia does not contain nickel give that’s not one of the compounds used to make the crystal.
However, the only time CZ does contain nickel is during the doping process. That is when companies use different elements to change the color of crystals. For manufacturers to get the color yellow-brown, they add nickel.
However, nickel in crystals does not transfer to the body the way metal. There is no evidence that it can happen.
For example, Swarovski crystals have a significant proportion of nickel as it helps to increase the brilliance it is known for. Therefore, while some cubic zirconia crystals will have nickel, they won’t affect your skin.
Is cubic Zirconia hypoallergenic?
Given that the lead in crystals does not affect the skin, one can consider cubic zirconia hypoallergenic. The issue that most people have is with the metal itself.
Therefore, while the stone itself could be hypoallergenic, if the metal contains elements such as lead or nickel, then that’s where the problem comes in.
Your focus, therefore, should be on the metal that you purchase and not so much the stone.
Pros and cons of cubic Zirconia
Let’s look at what makes CZ likable and also potential drawbacks.
Pros: CZ is an affordable substitute for diamonds, given that they cost only a fraction of the price. Thus far, they have been a competitor with the real gemstone because of how they can pass for the real thing, making people opt for it. That’s in terms of hardness, clarity, refraction, color, and other characteristics of genuine diamonds. When it comes to variety, you’re always guaranteed to get what you need. CZ is equally hypoallergenic and safe to wear.
Cons: Cubic zirconia is still a flawed stone given that machines can’t always get it to look like the real thing. Additionally, not all manufacturers provide good quality cubic zirconia, which can lead to it loosing its diamond-like properties.
Is cubic zirconia suitable for sensitive ears?
If you do have sensitive ears, then there’s no problem with wearing cubic zirconia. As mentioned, your primary concern ought to be on the metal.
You also want to check what material the prong is made from as in the even it contains nickel or other allergens, then you will have a problem.
For those that have gotten an issue after earing an earring with CZ, the issues were likely the metal prong and the stone itself.
There is much to love about cubic zirconia with regards to it being a close imitation to diamonds.
They are perfect for those who what to get jewelry that is stunning but for a fraction of the price of the real thing.
The other aspect that makes CZ an asset in the jewelry industry is that it has increased the number of people who have access to beautiful jewelry. The untrained eye cannot tell the difference between diamonds and these synthetic crystals.
The other thing to be thankful for is that CZ does not contain any allergens.
Its hypoallergenic nature makes it safe for those with sensitive ears to wear. The only thing to remember is that you have to find out what the metal the prong and the earring itself is made from so that you don’t end up wearing something that would irritate your ears.