Cubic zirconia stones are the most popular variety of diamond substitutes. These are bright and brilliant like diamonds but are cheaper and heavier than the original one. This is a manufactured variety and is internally flawless. The quality of these lab created gemstones vary just like diamonds. Hence, while purchasing loose cubic zirconia stones you must look into the quality and not only the price.
How can its Quality be Measured?
Before buying cubic zirconia gemstones, one should definitely look into the quality of the stones meticulously. The same 4C scale for grading diamonds is used while making CZ stones also. The 4Cs include Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat.
Carat Weight of CZ
A Cubic Zirconia stone with the same dimensions as that of a diamond weighs 1.7 times heavier than the diamond. When the weight is referred to in case of a CZ, it is actually compared to an original diamond of the same size. This has been done so that the comparison can be made easy and accurate between both the gemstones. Sometimes, CZs are measured in terms of stone size instead of carat weight.
Clarity of CZ
Loose cubic zirconia stones are manufactured in the laboratory because the major component contained in the stone is not found naturally. Though these synthetic stones are internally flawless, sometimes manufacturing in poor conditions render imperfections within the stones. Colored variety of these gemstones have sometimes appeared in uneven tones or shades. Hence, the most evenly colored and clearest stones are most expensive.
The Third C of Cubic Zirconia
The third C is the cut of CZs. The stone can be either machine cut or hand-cut. The ones that feature clear and even facets are considered to be the best in quality. The standard cut is the brilliant cut which is also known as the round brilliant. However, the stones are available in other cuts like princess, marquise, oval and many more. The hand-cut gemstones have the highest quality because they are precise and polished nicely. They radiate the sparkle of a diamond.
4th C Stands for Color
The Cubic Zirconia is a clear stone when manufactured under controlled conditions in a good manufacturing facility. Oxides and elements are introduced into the stones during the manufacturing process. The best quality CZ has even tone and color. The colored variety is also available at a cheap price.
Grading Cubic Zirconia Stones
While buying these synthetic stones, you must judge by the parameters provided by the grading authority. These can also be graded according to another assessment system which provides 5 As in case the stone is of very high quality and in descending order thereafter. The lowest in terms of grade is denoted as AB. Majority of stones sold in the market belong to the AAA category which is basically medium in nature.
Thus, following the grading system for CZ can be beneficial for the buyer. You will know how to find the best quality gemstones and also know about the ‘A’ grading mechanism. This will help you in making an informed choice during purchase.