Cubic zirconia is a very popular alternative to a diamond. The reasons are twofold – they are as beautiful as diamonds, maybe more beautiful, and they come at a much lower price. Cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone manufactured in a laboratory. Because of similar sounding names, cubic zirconia is often confused with another gemstone called zircon. Normally it is colorless, and because it is synthetically manufactured, hence it usually doesn’t have any of the rays of color due to impurities. But when viewed at the correct angles, it gives out flashes of bright colors too.
Gemologists and jewelers use the 4C matrix to determine the worth of any gemstone. These 4 things are Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat. For cubic zircona, five tiers represent gradually increasing quality. Grade A refers to the lowest quality, whereas 5As (AAAAA) represent the best quality. You would encounter such grading more when you buy cubic zirconia from wholesalers.
Because of its beauty, cubic zirconia is commonly used as a gemstone in jewelry. But it has a lesser hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, therefore it can be slightly more prone to scratches than other gemstones. But people still prefer it because a scratched stone can be easily replaced owing to its lower price. Maintenance of a cubic zirconia encrusted piece of jewelry is also much easier. Home remedies include the use of mild dishwashing detergents which can restore the earlier shine which reduces due to age. For a more professional touch, many people use an ultrasonic cleaner. Because it is slightly more prone to scratches or other damage, it is better to store cubic zirconia jewelry in a small box rather than dump it with other metal and gemstone jewelry.
If you are able to take good care of it, a piece of cubic zirconia jewelry can be a cost effective yet attractive alternative to much costlier gemstone jewelry.
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