As a famous jazz song goes, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But how many jewelry lovers can afford these precious stones?
Luckily, faux diamonds like cubic zirconia are a game-changer. You can look good on a budget and satiate your love for diamonds. Well, at least until you can afford real ones.
The best part is these faux diamond looks great on anyone. Since its introduction into the jewelry scene, cubic zirconia has disrupted the diamond market globally.
Is cubic zirconia worth the hype? Read on to find out what a 5A cubic zirconia is and a brief comparison to other gemstones.
5A Cubic Zirconia in Brief
A 5A cubic zirconia, also known as CZ, is a diamond simulant; it imitates the appearance of a diamond flawlessly despite its different non-carbon structure.
This faux diamond is almost as strong as diamonds too. Its manufacturers apply a skull crucible technique to make cubic zirconia; this technology traces back to the Soviet Union.
Her scientists perfected cubic zirconia when they stabilized the chemical structure of a white crystal called zirconium dioxide. Since natural zirconium dioxide is rare, manufacturers make most of it.
5A is one of five zirconia grades that range between A to AAAAA. 5A cubic zirconia is the highest grade of these diamond simulants, while grade A has the lowest quality.
Skilled jewelers treat 5A cubic zirconia pieces like any top-rated diamonds; they cut and polish this simulant with attention to detail.
This professionalism yields a CZ that bears a striking resemblance to diamonds. Manufacturers consider the cut, clarity, color, and the carat of cubic zirconia as quality control.
Jewelers add specific metal oxide dopants, like cobalt to zirconia powder to get a variety of colors. In this case, a dopant is a substance that alters a gemstone’s optical properties.
Cubic zirconia jewelry pieces have different shades of green, blue, and red. For instance, Iron makes a CZ stone look yellow. 5A cubic zirconia is an excellent alternative to priceless diamonds since it offers high-quality jewelry stones at an affordable cost.
Physical And Chemical Properties of CZ White AAAAA
Cubic zirconia is denser and harder than most semi-precious gemstones. It has a high dispersion and refractive index. CZ has no cleavage; it doesn’t split along definitive planes in its crystalline structure; its physical hardness makes it brittle.
The table below shows the detailed physical and chemical properties of 5A cubic zirconia.
|CZ White 5A||Properties|
|Refractive Index||2.088- 2.1766|
|Hardness||8.5 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness|
|Heat resistance||1200F- 1300F|
|Fracture||Conchoidal (smooth rounded surface)|
|Specific gravity||5.65- 5.95|
5A Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond
Although a 5A cubic zirconia resembles natural diamonds, the following factors distinguish the two stones.
5A cubic zirconia has a crisp white appearance; its synthetic structure is inferior to diamonds. On the other hand, seasoned diamond experts understand that white diamonds have a brown, gray, and yellow tint.
A diamond also has natural inclusions in its structure that are not apparent to an untrained eye. Inclusions are natural flaws in diamonds that are absent in CZ.
Notably, some people prefer zirconia to diamonds because the latter involves mining which damages the environment.
These opinions don’t absolve zirconia manufacturers either since factories have significant carbon footprints that harm the environment too.
A diamond’s unique carbon structure contributes to its strength and brilliance. Yes, you read that right; diamonds don’t sparkle. Gemstone experts refer to this shine as brilliance.
A diamond bends light, reflects it into smooth inner surfaces known as facets, and gives it a distinct lustre. CZ cannot refract light like diamonds.
When light hits a diamond, it bounces from one surface to another. 5A cubic zirconia has a structure that cannot replicate this phenomenon.
Diamonds have a certain flair that emits several rainbow colors in the light. When light hits a diamond at different angles, it bounces off and projects its rays outwards instead of inwards.
Cubic zirconia has a lesser brilliance than diamonds; it tends to reflect more rainbow colors inwards to produce a disco-ball effect.
Diamonds have a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs scale; it’s the hardest mineral. 5A zirconia has a lower hardness rating of 8.5.
This CZ grade is also heavier and denser than diamonds.
5A cubic zirconia is incredibly inexpensive. A diamond carat is the equivalent of 75 CZ carats.
This low price makes cubic zirconia grades like 5A appealing to jewelry lovers who want to wear diamonds on a budget.
5A Cubic Zirconia Vs Moissanite
Moissanite is a rare silicon carbide that occurs naturally. Legend has it moissanite came from outer space when meteors hit the earth.
Due to this scarcity, jewelers manufacture moissanite to meet demand. Its chemical and physical properties make moissanite an excellent alternative to club zirconia.
You can buy clear moissanite jewelry or choose from yellow, green, and grey shades based on a D-to-K diamond color grading scale.
The mineral’s hexagonal crystalline structure is similar to a diamond’s strong carbon bonds. Moissanite is cubic zirconia’s biggest competitor. Here are the key differences between the two faux diamonds.
Moissanite has a chemical structure that’s as strong as a diamond. T
his faux diamond has a hardness of 9.25 on a Mohs scale and a density of 3.22g/cm³.
Therefore, moissanite is comparatively harder than 5A cubic zirconia and is less brittle.
Moissanite has a higher refractive index than 5A cubic zirconia. A 2.65- 2.69 refractive index gives moissanite a more alluring sparkle that resembles a diamond’s brilliance.
The dispersion rate in moissanite creates rainbow colors that are flashier and fierier in the light. However, this fire looks tacky in big moissanite stones; jewelers recommend smaller pieces to shoppers.
A quality moissanite carat costs $400 compared to a cubic zirconia carat which retails at around $20. Moissanite has more value and can fetch a reasonable resale price.
This valuation is a surprise to many jewelry lovers since it’s also a faux diamond. A moissanite piece of jewelry is an excellent investment; it offers value for your hard-earned money.
If your sole concerns are your jewelry’s appearance and affordability, cubic zirconia is a better option.
5A cubic zirconia is less durable than moissanite. CZ clouds easily, especially with exposure to cosmetics, body oils, and other environmental factors.
5A cubic zirconia is also more brittle than moissanite and has a higher chance of breaking on impact.
5A cubic zirconia has a flawless sparkly appearance with a high level of clarity.
In contrast, Moissanite is rarely entirely transparent and white.
A complicated moissanite process gives this faux diamond flaws and some colored tints.
If you prefer clarity in your jewelry pieces, a 5A cubic zirconia is better. All CZ jewelry has the highest color grade assigned to diamonds.
Is 5A Cubic Zirconia a Real Diamond?
No. As mentioned previously, 5A cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone that resembles a diamond.
This faux diamond lacks the structural integrity, brilliance, and long-term beauty of a diamond.
Will A 5A CZ Pass a Diamond Tester?
If you want to know whether cubic zirconia can pass an authenticity test, you should understand how diamond testers work. Testers measure the amount of heat or electricity that moves through a gemstone and at what speed.
The tip on a basic diamond tester transfers these thermal elements to a diamond and gives LED results on its authenticity.
Cubic zirconia is a poor conductor of thermal energy; a diamond tester won’t pick up a reading. Therefore, 5A CZ will not pass a diamond test.
Is 5A Cubic Zirconia Worth Anything?
Although cubic zirconia stones make beautiful jewelry, they don’t have the same perceived value as other precious stones like diamonds. This faux diamond has a low monetary value; you cannot use it as a fair long-term investment.
The brittle nature of a CZ also hurts its valuation. Cubic zirconia scratches easily, clouds with time, and loses its lustre. People who love cubic zirconia seemingly tend to attach sentimental value to its jewelry. Perhaps you can assign a similar personal value to it.
Why Is Cubic Zirconia So Cheap?
Cubic zirconia is inexpensive because manufacturers produce it synthetically in bulk. According to jewelry experts, manufacturers use around $20 to cut and polish a carat of cubic zirconia.
A two-carat CZ is even cheaper to produce at $30. These low prices are significantly more affordable than the $1800 it takes to make a diamond carat.
Cubic zirconia is an excellent faux diamond that makes beautiful jewelry pieces. This diamond simulant is significantly cheaper than diamonds since manufacturers produce it in bulk.
CZ has a notable competitor called moissanite with a stronger, more appealing appearance. Since cubic zirconia is a thermal insulator, it cannot register a reading on a diamond tester.
Unfortunately, cubic zirconia has no commercial value, but its sparkly appearance and manufacturing professionalism ensure its quality suffice.
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.