Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money?-Expert Answer by Jewelry Maker

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If you love sparkling diamond jewelry, but you cannot afford to put down the huge payment for genuine diamond jewelry, or perhaps you just don’t want to spend thousands on jewelry when you could have jewelry made to sparkle for much less than cubic zirconia jewelry is a good option for you.

Essentially, CZs are used in pretty much all kinds of jewelry, particularly fashion jewelry, and an increasing number of jewelry lovers now prefer CZ jewelry over most other gemstones. But is CZ jewelry worth anything?


About cubic zirconia

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Cubic zirconia is a shiny crystalline stone made in the laboratory out of zirconium dioxide, a crystalline material that is flawless and entirely colorless. The zirconia stones can also be curated to look like diamonds or any other colored gemstone.

But they are not a new thing. Cubic zirconia has been around for a while, with the very first versions of the CZ made and used in laser technology back in 1929, then it was made for industrial use in the 1960s.

Soon after, in the 1970s, the Soviet Scientists started growing CZ in the labs, which led to the commercialization and the mass production of CZ meant for use in jewelry.

In addition to their cheapness, CZ is quite durable and sparkly, so they have become a popular alternative for diamonds, especially for individuals with smaller budgets.

It is also quite versatile, meaning you could take all the features of what you’d want from a perfect diamond, and these would be replicated in the CZ, including the color and the cuts.


The Manufacturing Process of Cubic Zirconia

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

In the lab, cubic zirconia is created from melted zirconium oxide powder and stabilizers like calcium and magnesium at very high temperatures of 4982 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hours later, after the heating process, the zirconium dioxide crystals will form and stabilize, and these crystals are then cut and polished. This is the general process for making CZ, although different companies and labs create CZ using different methods.

Since the CZ stones are made in the lab, the differences in quality often depend on the manufacturing processes that bring the stones to life. Most labs use RF induction coils that work the same way as the primary winding system in transformers.

This heating method calls for the introduction of the small zirconium metal pieces, after which the temperature is gradually reduced under controlled conditions.

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

These steps result in the formation of columnar crystals, often 5cm long and 2.5cm wide. Some labs grow them larger than this. The next step is the prolonged annealing of the CZ at 1400 degrees Celsius, and this is done at a high temperature to prevent any strain.

After, the annealed crystals are cut into gemstones resulting in different types of CZ.

The common cuts of CZ jewelry on the market include oval and cushion-cut diamonds, all designed to mimic diamonds with similar diamonds.


Types of Cubic Zirconia and its price range

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Some CZ crystals cost more than others, and the reason for this is the fact that these crystals are ultimately graded differently. Although they are all made of zirconium dioxide, ZrO2 and CZ crystals are hard, colorless, and optically flawless crystals that come in different colors.

There are many options for loose cubic zirconia stones, but clarity is an important factor in the stones’ quality. This is because there are instances where the manufacturing processes result in high clarity stones or some that are a little cloudy with visible imperfections.



AAAAA Cubic zirconia is considered the best quality CZ. These stones are rugged and durable, allowing for the best machine and hand cuts. The machine-cut AAAAA stones are of the best quality and are valued higher than the hand-cut versions.

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Cubic zirconia AAAAA is made differently, the stones have a hardness level of 8.5, and the prices start from $74, depending on the cut and the size.



This is the other high-quality type of CZ, but the stone is not the most popular CZ.

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

The prices vary depending on the cut and the size of the stone, and they start from $49.


3. AAA

Also called the CZ White AAA stones, the AAA cubic zirconia stones are the most common ones used in jewelry stores because they offer an outstanding balance of affordability and quality.

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

These CZ stones cost at least $22 depending on the size, cut, color, and jewelry brand. Most AAA stones are the fastest-growing, and some have up to 58 facets. Ultimately, the quality of the cut and the polishing determine how much the stones cost.


4. AA & A

The AA and A-graded cubic zirconia stones are much cheaper than the rest of the CZ stones mentioned above, often because they are not the most flawless stones and don’t last as long as the 3A or 5A cubic zirconia stones.

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Their starting prices start from under $20.


Is cubic zirconia worth anything? Why?

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Despite its affordability being the best thing that sells for CZ and also what makes it the most popular type of stone for jewelry, including wedding and engagement rings, CZ stones are not worth much.

They may look so much like the real diamonds and have comparable strength, as well durability characteristics, not to mention the fact the CZ stones can be made in the same colors, cuts, styles, etc. as diamonds, but the fact they cost only a fraction of what the cost of the diamond means that these stones are not that valuable. Also, since they are made in the lab, they don’t really hold value.

And while CZ is considered durable, you only get 2-3 good years from CZ, especially for pieces of jewelry that you wear daily. Over time, CZ gets cloudy and will have scratches, losing its allure.

So, it is only reasonable to invest in CZ jewelry if you don’t want to be constrained financially, not because you want to invest in jewelry and then sell the same pieces later.

That said, the value of your CZ jewelry may go up a notch if you have the CZ set on high-quality and valuable stones like 14k or 18k gold, 925 sterling silver, or platinum. In such instances, the value of the metal makes the CZ jewelry more valuable.


Does cubic zirconia hold its value?

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

No, it doesn’t.


Why is cubic zirconia now so expensive?

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Theoretically, CZ jewelry is cheap. However, the price of CZ has risen recently, thanks to market demands. The increased demand and the fact that more people are buying CZ because of its diamond-like appearance means that it is now priced higher.

Also, perhaps a lower than expected supply? Generally, however, the price increase is because CZ is the new hot thing everyone is going for, which drives up its price naturally.

Should you invest in cubic zirconia jewelry?

We wouldn’t call it an investment, per se. But you could buy CZ jewelry if you are in a pinch but need something sparkly. With luck and care, it may tide over the expected 2- or 3-year-old mark, and you would be able to get some time value off it.

Keep in mind that unless it is set on high-quality metals, you will not get much out of the CZ jewelry after some months or years.


Tips for buying cubic zirconia jewelry

1. Remember that CZ jewelry is not fake

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

First, you shouldn’t underestimate CV jewelry because CZ pieces have been perfected over the past years, and the pieces sold now are very good quality stones that are great alternatives for diamonds.

As a result, most big brands, including Swarovski, now use CZ too in their pieces, and in the jewelry world, CZ is considered a staple.

As mentioned above, CZ stones are not fake diamonds but carefully curated stones made in the lab under specific and highly controlled conditions.


2. CZ stones are flawless

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

The other thing you should remember when buying CZ jewelry is that CZ pieces are flawless, and only the lower grades of CZ may look cloudy.

The flawlessness of CZ leads to their high clarity level and why they look great on different metals. They also sparkle more than the average diamond.


3. Carats vs. price

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Unlike diamonds, the carat weight of CZ doesn’t influence the stone’s price.

Also, note that CZ stones are much heavier than diamonds, but the weight doesn’t make them any more expensive.


4. The grade of the CZ is essential

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

The stone’s grade is the most important factor that points to the quality of the CZ. These gemstones are ranked from 6A to A, but 5A is the most popular grade of CZ, and it is also the most expensive version of CZ because it is indistinguishable from the natural diamonds, well, almost.


5. Be keen about the settings

Is Cubic Zirconia Worth Any Money

Your CZ jewelry will only look great on you if you buy the pieces that boast the best settings. The setting determines if the stone pops or not.



If you are looking for affordable, brilliant, and sparkling jewelry for an engagement or wedding ring but don’t want to break the bank with actual diamonds, CZ is the next best alternative – cheap, elegant, and looks just like the real thing.

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