Is Cubic Zirconia Fine Jewelry

Cubic zirconia is fine jewelry that has gained popularity for its affordability, durability, and remarkable resemblance to real diamonds. This synthetic gemstone is widely used in jewelry making as a cost-effective alternative to natural diamonds. In this article, we will delve into the world of cubic zirconia and explore its significance in the realm of fine jewelry.

Over the years, cubic zirconia has carved a niche for itself in the jewelry industry due to its striking similarity to diamonds. Despite being man-made, cubic zirconia exhibits brilliant sparkle and clarity, making it an attractive choice for those seeking luxury without the hefty price tag. Its use in various types of jewelry, including rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, has made it a popular option for both everyday wear and special occasions.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take a closer look at the history of cubic zirconia, its unique characteristics, quality grades compared to other gemstones, as well as the benefits and misconceptions surrounding it. Additionally, we’ll provide valuable insights into how to care for and maintain cubic zirconia jewelry effectively. Whether you are considering purchasing or already own cubic zirconia pieces, this article aims to equip you with important knowledge about this exquisite synthetic gemstone.

History of Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia has a rich history in the jewelry industry, tracing its origins back to 1937 when it was first discovered. The mineral form of zirconium oxide, cubic zirconia is synthesized material that is optically flawless and usually colorless, but can be made in a variety of different colors. It is often used as a diamond simulant due to its close visual likeness to diamonds and is grown in a laboratory instead of being mined like natural gemstones.

The use of cubic zirconia in jewelry really took off in the 1970s when Soviet scientists perfected the method for growing it in a laboratory. This marked the beginning of widespread commercial production and use in jewelry. Initially, cubic zirconia was used as an affordable alternative to diamonds, catering to consumers who desired the look of fine jewelry without the price tag. Over time, it has also been utilized to mimic other precious and semi-precious gemstones.

An interesting development in recent years has been the increasing popularity of cubic zirconia as a stand-alone choice for fine jewelry pieces. Designers and consumers alike have come to appreciate the stone’s unique appeal and versatility. As advancements continue to be made in the creation and cutting techniques for cubic zirconia, it will likely remain an important player in the world of fine jewelry for years to come.

1937First discovery of cubic zirconia
1970sSoviet scientists perfected laboratory production methods

Characteristics of Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone that is made from a crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. It is often used as a budget-friendly substitute for diamonds in jewelry, and its popularity has grown significantly in recent years. One of the main reasons why cubic zirconia is favored for fine jewelry is due to its impressive physical and chemical properties. Below are some of the characteristics that make cubic zirconia a popular choice for fine jewelry:

  • Hardness: Cubic zirconia ranks high on the Mohs scale of hardness, coming in at an 8 to 8.5. This means that it is durable and resistant to scratches, making it suitable for everyday wear in jewelry pieces like rings and bracelets.
  • Brilliance: Cubic zirconia exhibits a high level of brilliance and fire, similar to that of diamonds. Its ability to disperse light creates a sparkling and dazzling effect, adding to its attractiveness in jewelry designs.
  • Color options: Unlike natural gemstones, cubic zirconia can be created in a wide range of colors, providing versatility for designers and consumers who want unique and vibrant pieces.

In addition to these characteristics, cubic zirconia is also free from the ethical concerns that surround natural diamonds and other gemstones. This makes it an appealing option for individuals who prioritize sustainability and ethical sourcing when purchasing fine jewelry. Overall, the physical and chemical properties of cubic zirconia contribute to its status as an excellent choice for those seeking beautiful yet affordable jewelry pieces.

Quality and Grades

When it comes to cubic zirconia, quality grades play a significant role in determining the overall value and appearance of the gemstone. Cubic zirconia is classified into several grades based on its cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. The grading scale ranges from A to AAAAA, with A being the lowest grade and AAAAA representing the highest quality. This system helps consumers understand the differences in cubic zirconia stones and make informed purchasing decisions.

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In comparison to other gemstones like diamonds, cubic zirconia offers a more affordable alternative without compromising on brilliance and sparkle. While diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight), cubic zirconia is appraised using similar criteria but also differs in terms of natural formation. This makes it a popular choice for individuals looking for high-quality jewelry at a fraction of the cost.

Another important factor to consider when comparing cubic zirconia to other gemstones is its durability. With a hardness rating of approximately 8-8.5 on the Mohs scale (compared to diamonds at 10), cubic zirconia is highly resistant to scratches and abrasion. This makes it suitable for everyday wear in various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

Cubic Zirconia PropertiesDiamond Properties
Hardness: Approximately 8-8.5 on Mohs scaleHardness: 10 on Mohs scale
Affordability: More budget-friendly optionAffordability: Generally more expensive
Brilliance: High refractive index for excellent sparkleBrilliance: Known for exceptional sparkle and fire

Overall, understanding the quality grades of cubic zirconia and how they compare to traditional gemstones can help consumers appreciate the unique qualities that make this synthetic gemstone an attractive choice for fine jewelry. Whether it’s for an engagement ring or a special occasion piece, cubic zirconia offers affordability, durability, and brilliant aesthetics without sacrificing elegance or style.

Benefits of Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconia is a popular choice for jewelry due to several benefits that it offers. Whether as an alternative to diamonds or as a standalone gemstone, cubic zirconia has become a favored option for many consumers. The following are some of the key advantages of choosing cubic zirconia jewelry:


One of the most attractive features of cubic zirconia is its affordability. As compared to natural gemstones like diamonds, rubies, or emeralds, cubic zirconia is significantly more budget-friendly. This makes it accessible to a wider range of consumers who may be looking for beautiful, sparkling jewelry without the high price tag.


Cubic zirconia is known for its durability, making it a practical choice for everyday wear. Unlike some other gemstones that may be more prone to chipping or breaking, cubic zirconia is relatively hard and can withstand normal wear and tear. This durability also means that cubic zirconia jewelry can last for years with proper care and maintenance.


Another benefit of choosing cubic zirconia jewelry is the wide range of options available. From classic solitaire rings to intricate earrings and pendants, cubic zirconia can be crafted into various designs to suit different preferences and styles. Additionally, cubic zirconia can be colorless or come in a variety of vibrant hues, allowing for endless possibilities in jewelry design.

Overall, the affordability, durability, and versatility of cubic zirconia make it an attractive choice for those seeking beautiful and sparkling fine jewelry without the high cost associated with natural gemstones. With proper care, cubic zirconia pieces can maintain their brilliance and luster for years to come.

Care and Maintenance

Cubic zirconia is a popular choice for fine jewelry due to its affordability and durability. However, in order to maintain its luster and keep it looking its best, proper care and maintenance are essential. Fortunately, caring for cubic zirconia jewelry is relatively simple and can be done with a few easy steps.

To keep cubic zirconia jewelry looking shiny and beautiful, it is important to clean it regularly. This can be done using a mild soap or detergent and warm water. Simply soak the jewelry in the soapy water for a few minutes, then use a soft brush to gently scrub away any dirt or debris. Be sure to rinse the jewelry thoroughly to remove any soap residue, and then pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth.

In addition to regular cleaning, it is important to store cubic zirconia jewelry properly to prevent damage or scratching. When not being worn, store your cubic zirconia pieces in a fabric-lined jewelry box or pouch to protect them from dust and scratches. It is also recommended to avoid wearing cubic zirconia jewelry while performing activities that may expose it to harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.

By following these simple tips for care and maintenance, you can ensure that your cubic zirconia jewelry retains its shine and beauty for years to come. Taking proper care of your jewelry will not only keep it looking stunning, but will also prolong its lifespan as a valuable and stylish accessory for any occasion.

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Misconceptions and Myths

Is Cubic Zirconia Just Cheap Imitation Jewelry?

One of the most common misconceptions about cubic zirconia is that it is merely a cheap imitation of real diamonds and other gemstones. However, this is not entirely accurate. While it is true that cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone created in a laboratory, it possesses its own unique beauty and appeal. When set in high-quality metal settings, cubic zirconia can closely resemble the look of a genuine diamond, making it a popular choice for fine jewelry pieces.

Can Cubic Zirconia Pass for Real Diamonds?

Another prevailing myth about cubic zirconia is that it can easily be distinguished from real diamonds. While trained professionals with specialized equipment may be able to differentiate between the two, to the untrained eye, cubic zirconia can pass as a real diamond. Its brilliance and sparkle make it an attractive alternative to natural diamonds, especially for individuals who are looking for more affordable yet still elegant jewelry options.

Is Cubic Zirconia Fine Jewelry Worth Investing In?

Some may question whether investing in cubic zirconia fine jewelry is a wise decision. In reality, while natural gemstones hold their own value and allure, cubic zirconia offers an affordable yet equally stunning option for those who appreciate beautiful jewelry without the hefty price tag.

Additionally, with proper care and maintenance, cubic zirconia jewelry can maintain its luster and beauty over time, making it a worthwhile addition to any collection. Therefore, dismissing cubic zirconia as unworthy of consideration in the world of fine jewelry would be unjustified.


In conclusion, it is evident that cubic zirconia is indeed a viable option for fine jewelry. Throughout its history, this man-made gemstone has continuously evolved to meet the demands of consumers who seek affordable yet high-quality pieces. The characteristics of cubic zirconia, including its brilliance and durability, make it a popular choice for those looking to achieve the same elegance and luxury as traditional gemstones at a fraction of the cost.

When considering the quality and grades of cubic zirconia, it is important to note that this synthetic gemstone can closely resemble the appearance of diamonds and other precious stones. With proper care and maintenance, cubic zirconia jewelry can maintain its luster and shine for years to come, making it an attractive option for everyday wear or special occasions.

It is also crucial to debunk the misconceptions and myths surrounding cubic zirconia, as it truly offers a valuable alternative in the world of fine jewelry.

In summary, while some may still question “Is cubic zirconia fine jewelry?”, it is clear that this synthetic gemstone possesses all the qualities and attributes that define fine jewelry. Its affordability, durability, and versatility make it an excellent choice for individuals looking for exquisite pieces without breaking the bank. Ultimately, cubic zirconia continues to uphold its position as a legitimate and valuable option in the world of fine jewelry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cubic Zirconia Look Cheap?

Cubic Zirconia can look cheap if it is of low quality or set in poorly designed jewelry. However, higher quality cubic zirconia that is well-cut and set in high-quality metal can look quite convincing and elegant.

Is It OK to Wear Cubic Zirconia in the Shower?

It is generally not recommended to wear cubic zirconia in the shower. The chemicals found in shampoos, soaps, and conditioners can potentially damage the stone or the metal setting over time. Additionally, hot water and steam can also affect the appearance of the stone.

Does Cubic Zirconia Wear Well?

Cubic Zirconia does wear relatively well compared to other gemstones. It is quite durable and resistant to scratching and chipping, particularly when compared to softer gemstones like pearls or opals. With proper care, cubic zirconia can maintain its sparkle and luster for a long time.