So, you enjoy the beauty and the indelible charm of diamonds, but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket for a mere piece of jewellery. The solution? Cubic Zirconia. While the comparison between diamonds and cubic zirconia will hold a long, drawn debate, this stone is indeed one of the hottest diamond alternatives in town.
The product was popularized by millennial women and over the years manufacturers have delivered wonderful pieces of Zirconia jewellery. If you aren’t familiar with diamonds, you can’t even distinguish between the two- such as the similarity. But is cubic zirconia worth it? How do they compare with lab-grown diamonds? Let’s find out.
Lab-grown diamonds: the basics
As evident from the name itself, lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are manufactured directly via laboratories. The composition or chemical elements of this product are not different from organic diamonds because carbon is one of the key elements. While there are several ways to come up with laboratory-manufactured diamonds, one of the most common ones would be deposition via vapour. As part of the process, a tiny piece of diamond is kept in a tight vacuum which imitates the usual heat and high pressures required to come up with an organic diamond. The various carbon molecules that are produced during the process are combined with the diamond seed. Usually, the majority of laboratory-driven diamonds require at least two to six months to assume their real size. Depending on the manufacturer, the time can be longer.
Cubic Zirconia: The basics
In case you’re hearing about Cubic Zirconia for the first time you’re not alone. Many aren’t aware of this beautiful element which is, but a crystalline variant of a substance called zirconium dioxide. Even though these cubic zirconias may resemble common stones, they are rare, to say the least. No variant of CZ is made through the machine and this product is specially curated by hand.
The defining aspect of this product is its completely colourless appearance. Thanks to this feature, it directly resembles a diamond, especially if you haven’t seen too many diamonds or can’t generally distinguish between them. This is quite interesting because Zirconia doesn’t come with similar chemical composition as a diamond. This is also one of the main reasons why they are touted as synthetic. Others call this diamond simulated especially when you reference them in multiple spheres.
Lab Grown Diamonds vs. Cubic Zirconia
The majority of the lab-grown diamonds aren’t available infinite quantities. What’s more, they have different supply chains and require lesser human capacity than conventional mining. This is one of the reasons why they are available at an affordable price point. Depending on where you are getting your diamonds from, you can get your lab-grown variant at a 50% lesser price point than a conventional diamond without compromising on the grade.
On the other hand, we have cubic zirconia that is even cheaper to manufacture. One of the biggest reasons behind this is that you do not need to manually recreate the. In almost all cases, a zirconia ornament will cost you a fourth of what a usual diamond ring would cost. However, the price might go up if you are planning on an ornament with multiple stones. The more the stones, the higher the price. However, it’s still reasonable compared to its contemporaries because even high-end Zirconia jewellery would cost you around $100 or less.
What’s more durable?
As with conventional diamonds, the diamond that is manufactured in labs is crafted from high-quality carbon. As you already know, they are one of the substances that are extremely hard and score a solid 10 on the standard hardness parameter of Mohs. This makes lab-produced diamonds extremely durable. They are resistant to wear and tear and you cannot technically knock them off. The best part: you can continue to wear them even if you are performing physically tedious activities. The stone will remain intact as long as the surface remains undamaged.
With Zirconia may not be as hard as lab-produced diamond, they are still quite hard with an impressive 8.5 of the Mohs parameters. You can wear them regularly, perform physically daunting activities performing them, and even bate with them. Most Zirconia will withstand regular and basic damage, but if you accidentally knock your hand, you might find a couple of scratches.
In case you are concerned about durability, you might also want to check out moissanite which boasts a decent 9.5 on the Mohs parameter.
Is the diamond clear?
Even though lab-produced variants are artificially manufactured, at times they have been produced the same way as a conventional diamond. The time may not be that long, that is why the diamond can have tiny impurities that affect the transparency of the stone. The result? The grade of the diamond will be affected, and its clarity will be less. For the uninitiated, the standard grade for a usual diamond would be between F1 which indicates the diamond is flawless, and I3 which indicates the diamond contains impurities. Both conventional and lab-manufactured diamonds are assessed on the same scale.
Interestingly enough, you wouldn’t experience a similar issue with cubic zirconia. Why? Because they are directly made from machines, there’s no way you will find an imprecation in the product. The product itself doesn’t accept any inclusions. So, when you place your bet on this ornament, you can rest assured of getting a piece of object that resembles a diamond and doesn’t even have impurities. This way, you get the feel of an expensive diamond without having to pay an exorbitant amount for it. And because these diamond alternatives are cheap, you will find them in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and you can always own several pieces of them.
What is the carat percentage?
Typically, you will find that cubic zirconia exhibits greater density than diamonds. This is one of the major reasons they are heavy. If you get a lab-manufactured diamond of a specific carat and compare it with cubic zirconia of the same carat, you will find the carat weight to be the same even when the zirconia piece is smaller.
How to check the quality?
As you already know at this point, the material compound of cubic zirconia and diamond is not the same. This is one of the main reasons why their grading scales are different. Unlike diamonds whose scaling parameters we discussed earlier, zirconia is graded between A(1A) to AAAAA (5A). As you would guess from this, the latter is the highest grade. You would find these grades and ratings while making a wholesale purchase. They wouldn’t be the same for consumer purchases. Either way, these products are produced reputably so you won’t experience any compromise on quality. If you choose the higher-end quality of this diamond, it will last you the longest time. In some cases, it may even outlive you. Even if you get a lower quality variant, it will still look good because the material wouldn’t contain any impurity and therefore shine just like a real diamond.
How do you check the colour?
It doesn’t matter whether you are getting a lab-produced diamond or a conventionally produced one, the D-grade variant of diamonds is almost unavailable everywhere. Even if you end up spotting them, they will happen to be extremely expensive. This is one of the major reasons why people choose diamonds that are almost colourless instead of completely colourless. Some of these would be diamonds that are graded between G and J. You would find some excellent diamonds within these quality brands. Even if they contain any tiny yellow impurity, you won’t notice it at the outset and even after observing closely unless you are an expert on diamonds.
Now, as we already told you, Zirconia doesn’t come with any impurity. This is one of the major reasons why it is completely clear and colourless. You wouldn’t find the tiniest of hue on this product unless the manufacturer has intentionally customized it that way. That means, with zirconia you get the feel of an expensive D-grade diamond without having to pay the hefty amount for it.
While you can shop for artificial diamonds and cubic zirconia for many occasions, one of the primary occasions would be a wedding. Typically, brides, these days prefer flashy pieces of cubic zirconia that stretch much beyond the conventional wedding ring. Because zirconia I abundantly produced you will find several variants of statement-level earrings designed like chandeliers, and tiaras that are designed after royal brides among others. If you created the same items using conventional diamond or its lab-grown counterpart, you would need to pay a higher price. While that might be convenient for some, the other lot of us would prefer something cheaper that looks just as expensive as diamonds.
According to leading jewellery chains, the demand for zirconia has shot up over the years and several brides are now looking for heavier bigger jewellery accents instead of the usual proposal ring. The best part: the brides have no complaints about the engagement ring because they are durable, classy, sophisticated, and ideal for all occasions. To add up to everything else, they are extremely cheap. This is why zirconia is more popular among jewellery enthusiasts, brides, and the likes who are looking for flashy but classy pieces of jewellery without draining their entire bank account.
Should I purchase cubic zirconia?
Whether you want to express your commitment or are simply looking to pamper yourself, cubic zirconia might be the best bet! They can accommodate tight financials and the designs you will get will blow your mind. Even though it’s still a gemstone, it looks gorgeous and is almost similar to a conventional diamond. You will find several grades of zirconia and you can always pick the one that you love best.
If you’ve purchased a low grade of the ring at the beginning, you can always do an upgrade at any later point. These diamonds are ethically produced so you wouldn’t need to worry about sustainability. This is also an excellent choice to present to your loved ones if you want them to wear something like a diamond without guilt.
Overall, the product is certainly worth purchasing, and given the many options and designs you’ll come across, you will certainly find a perfect fit for yourself or your loved ones. Just ensure the grade of the zircon ornament is high and the product is purchased from a certified retailer. You will find several retailers selling these products but not all of them stand out.
In the following few sections, we will walk you through the process of zeroing in on the right retailer for your zircon ornament.
Features of a good retail outlet for Zircon ornaments
When it comes to zircon ornaments, one of the first things you should look for is the rarity of the carat. Assess the ornament thoroughly and check its grade and carat. A reputed and reliable outlet will never compromise with the grade and the carat.
A rarecarat is one such brand that always stands out with its high-grade lab diamonds. So, whether you’re buying the natural or lab-grown for the first time, or you are a seasoned purchaser, explore your options online at Rare carat. You will find some amazing diamond jewellery at affordable rates there.
Depending on the online outlet you choose, you can view a digital representation of how the ring would appear on your fingers. With so many shapes of zircon, it’s difficult to make your pick unless you physically wear it. And because all of us are busy these days, nothing works better than AR-powered capabilities that let you check how the ring or ornament will look on you digitally from the comfort of your preferred location.
Next, you need to look for an excellent web experience where you can find your coveted products easily. The site should be easily navigable, and it should barely take you a couple of minutes to find your favourite product. Rare Carat offers this exact experience. Their website is extremely user-friendly and even if you are searching for ornaments online for the first time, navigating through the site would be a breeze!
High-quality imagery and 360-degree product videos
The next thing you want is high-quality images. Of course, you don’t want a hazy product video that doesn’t even give you an idea of the quality of zircon. To add to that, you would also require all-encompassing product videos. Thanks to these videos, you can view the product from all angles. This way, you would know whether you like it for sure.
Rare Carat especially ensures on featuring high-quality product images on their website. They also have a bunch of 360-degree product demos. So, you might want to check their site before finalizing your pick.
A reputed retail outlet will never shy away from offers on zircon jewellery. And that is exactly what rare carat does. The company offers an extensive range of offers and you can find the finest jewellery at some of the best deals. What’s more, they don’t disappoint you in the design sector either. You will find plenty of designs and options to pick from.
The final thing you want is good customer reviews. The outlet you choose should have genuine customer reviews from real users. Rare Carat already meets this parameter because the majority of the customers have been genuinely impressed by the product. You can also verify them on other websites for reviews and according to our assessment, most of the reviews are genuinely rave.
Now that you know both about lab-produced diamonds and zirconia, you are probably wondering which one to choose. While both are excellent alternatives to regular diamonds, we would recommend zirconia. Why? First, because it is incredibly cheap and you will get several pieces of jewellery within a tight budget. Next, they are available in the prettiest of designs. You will find zirconia in every shape and size and their ornament designs are sophisticated, to say the least. Third, they are decently hard and can withstand regular wear and tear. So if you are planning to keep the ring on while you’re at the gym or performing sports or indulging in something physically intensive, you needn’t worry about the stone falling off. The final and the biggest highlight would be the lack of impurity. Unlike diamonds that are produced in labs, zirconia is practically flawless.
If you buy zirconia with high-quality grade it will resemble the usual D-grade diamond which is deemed extremely rare and expensive. And you get all of this at a fraction of the cost you would have otherwise paid for the diamond or the laboratory-produced diamond.
While zirconia isn’t bad, they don’t stand out when compared mostly because of the cost and the lack of clarity. That is why if you are looking for diamond-Esque jewellery, we would certainly recommend lab diamonds over any other alternative.