Cubic Zirconia or CZ, is a simulated diamond. Making their way to the jewelry market in the mid 1970s, they were used as inexpensive substitutes for real diamonds. Cubic Zirconia jewelry is now mainstream, offering high end looks at affordable prices. When first developed, CZs were available only in clear. Today, Cubic Zirconias are available in a wide range of beautiful colors.
A Cubic Zirconia is the closest material matching the characteristics of a natural diamond. To the un-trained eye, Cubic Zirconias are virtually impossible to tell apart from highly expensive, naturally occurring diamonds. However, there are subtle differences that set the two apart. Cubic Zirconias are slightly softer than natural diamonds. Diamonds register 10.0 on the Mohs scale, and CZs register only 8.5 (Glass registers 6.5). They have less brilliance (sparkle), but contain more fire (rainbows) than natural diamonds. Cubic zirconias are machine cut to the same exacting tolerances as natural diamonds. Like a diamond, CZs can be cut to a variety of shapes and sizes shown here.