When is a Diamond not a Diamond?

by | Apr 11, 2014 | Jewelry

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We see a ring with a beautifully set clear stone in the center. It is a single set clear stone with almost perfect cut and flawless pattern and it looks amazing. It is a beautiful diamond that we have never seen the like of, and yet it is not a diamond but a cubic zirconia. Many people are of the opinion that a cubic zirconia is a sort of ‘wannabe’ diamond but not quite on the same class level. In many ways it is true and the cubic zirconia is and never will be as valuable as a diamond, but they are literally the next best thing.

Zirconium dioxide crystalizes to make cubic zirconia and the material is usually colorless, totally flawless and yet synthesized. You can make cubic zirconia in other colors, but clear is the most commonly created and used version. There is another similar material that many people confuse cubic zirconia with and that material is called zircon—zirconium silicate—otherwise called ‘cubic zirconium’. This material is nothing like its ‘counterpart’ and is a far lower costing material mainly used in imitation or costume jewelry.

Historical Context and Marketing

Cubic zirconia, however, is often used in high end jewelry such as cubic zirconia infinity rings, because it is durable bears a close resemblance to an actual real diamond. People may also be surprised to learn that despite its popularity, cubic zirconia is actually a relatively new material used for jewelry. Cubic zirconia was initially discovered in 1892 when it was found and named as a natural type of zirconium oxide, and slightly yellow in color. Cubic zirconia became the most popular form of grown ‘diamond substitute’ in the world.

Jewelers started making infinity rings many years ago, but they have become one of the popular styles of ring given as a gift to a loved one. The infinity symbol is supposed to represent everlasting love from one partner to another or one spouse to another. The infinity symbol resembles a number eight—8—on its side and depicts eternity or a never ending line or life, or something that will never die. People use the symbol to express their love for one another and in the form of a ring it will stay visible to the wearer.

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