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What costs more: cubic zirconia or zirconium?

Many jewelry connoisseurs probably already know firsthand, What is the difference between cubic zirconia and zirconium. But not everyone can easily distinguish laboratory-grown diamonds from each other. cubic zirconia or zirconium is zirconium dioxide, zirconium silicate, therefore in Western countries the mineral is known under a different name. cubic zirconia, or cubic zirconia, is the second name for zirconium in Europe. Natural zircon stones and the appearance of their analogues, cubic zirconia and zirconium, is shrouded in legends, and this is the story that has been preserved since the existence of the USSR about the birth of artificial precious stones. During the Cold War, the USA and the USSR competed with each other. Specialists from the USA and the USSR competed for primacy not only in the field of space exploration, but also in the invention of a precious stone that could be actively used in industrial activities. Of course, the USSR tried at any cost to get ahead of the Americans in this difficult task. Scientists from the Physical Institute of the Academy of Sciences (FIAN) had to invent zirconium stone in the name and in spite of. Although there is another opinion, because zirconiumit not exactly the development of Soviet scientists, but of one German chemist M. Klaproth. In 1789, he introduced the world to a new artificially produced gemstone after lengthy analysis of a natural gemstone known as zircon. Thus, long before Soviet scientists, work was underway to develop a stone with the structure of a diamond. Why did the name zirconium cube stick? The reason for this is the cubic crystal lattice of zirconium dioxide. cubic zirconia – these are artificially grown precious stones, they are also zirconium, but this name is used only in the territory of post-Soviet countries. Cubic zirconia and zirconiumIt is the same structure, but the name cubic zirconia contains the abbreviation FIAN, so that connoisseurs of precious stones of artificial origin understand where to look for information about the appearance of the stone in the countries that are part of the USSR. That’s why zirconium stone in jewelry found in American-made rings and bracelets, while cubic zirconia is produced by domestic companies. Although zirconium and cubic zirconiathe same, American zirconiumprecious stone, imported from the USA, is more valuable than its domestic counterparts, and the reason for this is its diamond shine. Perhaps this is the only thing what is the difference between zirconium and cubic zirconia, and why some jewelry manufacturers may prefer zirconium over cubic zirconia. Since we are talking about precious stones, they need to be properly cared for to maintain their natural shine. It is enough to wipe it from time to time stones soft cloth to zirconium or clean cubic zirconia from dust. In addition to soft cloth, they also use a soap solution with the addition of ammonia or ammonia. Zirconsit natural gems. Zircon stone used in healing because it has magical properties, ancient peoples believed, and used it to accumulate positive energy, for example. Zirconium – Not natural, and artificial stone. Zirconium or cubic zirconiawhich is more expensive? Zirconium will cost a higher price than cubic zirconia, but cubic zirconia is more affordable and can be used to make amazing jewelry in different price categories. On the website of the Golden Silver jewelry company you can find a bracelet with gold inserts and cubic zirconia, a silver ring with cubic zirconia and a ring with a zirconium cube. Zircon: what is known about the bright semi-precious stone Zircon is a mineral of natural origin with a density of 4,6–4,7 g/cm³ and a hardness on the MOOCA mineralogical scale of 6-8. Thanks to the hardness indicator, you can understand how quickly it scratches and loses its natural shine. On the MOOCA scale, an indicator of 10 is found in diamond, while 1 is given to talc. This is probably why zircon is sometimes called the younger brother of diamond in the East. Interestingly, there are different types of zircon. Stones that have a pale pink tint, bright red and even brown should be looked for under the name hyacinth. Jargon or yargon refers to stones of a bright yellow color, while the blue color is inherent in the so-called starlites. The color of zircon changes due to the presence of various impurities, including iron, calcium, aluminum, and hafnium. Therefore, stones of different colors are found. As for the peculiarities of obtaining stones of different colors, hyacinth, which is amenable to heat treatment, changes its color to blue. And by heating stones to a certain temperature, their color can be changed. Where is such valuable material obtained? Zircon is mined in Thailand, Sri Lanka, the USA, Canada, Australia, Norway, and Russia. Widely used for making fire retardant materials. Zircon was also used in jewelry to create uniquely beautiful jewelry, but it, of course, cannot compare with the durability of diamond. Despite the beauty of zircon, cubic zirconia or zirconium began to push it out of the jewelry market. You can find zircon not in modern jewelry models, but, most likely, in ancient jewelry that has been well cared for, so you can still enjoy the beauty of the diamond shine. Is it possible to distinguish cubic zirconia or cubic zirconia from natural zircon? Of course it is possible. First of all, you need to pay attention to the structure. Natural transparent stones are rare, but if they come across the path of a jewelry connoisseur, the products will be as transparent as a tear. If, when observing a stone, this is the feeling that is created, then the owner of the jewelry is dealing with cubic zirconia. Natural stone is distinguished by the presence of mineral inclusions. To distinguish cubic zirconia from natural stone, you need to pay attention to its weight. Cubic zirconia is slightly heavier than natural stone, despite the fact that the stones can be the same size. The reason for this is the difference in density, since the density of cubic zirconia is 6,5-10 g/cm3. There is no mysticism, only a difference in density indicators. And these are, perhaps, the important criteria for distinguishing cubic zirconia and zircon from each other. It is difficult to independently determine the radioactivity of natural stone without a device that is specifically used to measure radiation levels. But you should know that some uranium can be found in zircon, so it is considered radioactive, while cubic zirconia is not radioactive at all.

Zircon, zirconium or cubic zirconia: what’s better?

  • Zircon is not as safe as cubic zirconia or zirconium, the reason for this is small radioactive emissions. Green and brown jewelry should not be worn for a long time to avoid negative effects on the body. Although zircon is completely safe for humans, and even more so – in ancient times it was believed that it had a set of magical properties, the advantage of synthetic stones is the absence of radioactive radiation.
  • Despite the fact that zircon is truly a beautiful and unique stone in its properties, it is extremely fragile and delicate, so you need to not only take care of it, but also treat all jewelry with zircon inserts with care. At least one piece of jewelry with zircon can be found in the private collection of jewelry connoisseurs, but most of it is made of cubic zirconia or zirconium. Because jewelry with cubic zirconia or cubic zirconia is considered more practical.
  • Jewelry connoisseurs are likely to find diamond jewelry that suits the shape and design more than zircon jewelry. Rings and bracelets with clear zircons appear so rarely in jewelry collections that they can outperform diamond jewelry in price. It is better to buy beautiful jewelry with large stones with cubic zirconia or cubic zirconia, despite the fact that cubic zirconia is heavier than natural zircon stone.

If to answer the question, artificial stones cubic zirconia and zirconiumwhat is the difference, the diamond shine immediately comes to mind, which in a zirconium cube will be more pronounced than in cubic zirconia, what then to do with fake artificial stones? Although cubic zirconia and zirconium were developed as a result of zircon analysis to create a stronger and less radioactive artificial stone, cubic zirconia and zirconium are alternatively counterfeited to reduce the price of products. But fakes can be seen with the naked eye, since they differ markedly in workmanship.

Why is it important to distinguish between cubic zirconia and diamond? Since cubic zirconia has a brilliant shine, some jewelry connoisseurs who have not yet learned to distinguish different precious stones from each other and distinguish between fakes can purchase for a high price not jewelry with a diamond, but cubic zirconia or its fake. Therefore, you can always ask to see certificates and other evidence of the authenticity of the stone.

And the last thing that is important to say about cubic zirconia and zircons. Zircons are natural stones that could be used in rituals in ancient times, as they had some magical properties. Therefore, wearing zircon as a protective amulet was not surprising for ancient peoples. Cubic zirconias, which are also called empty vessels because they lack inclusions, do not have the same strength as zircons. But they can be filled with the desired content when purchased or worn, so cubic zirconia and zirconium can bring good luck if it is charged by the owner as a stone that brings this good luck.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between zircon, zirconium and cubic zirconia, or are these all names of the same stone? The average buyer is unlikely to notice the differences. But they exist, and they are significant.

October 19, 2021 256 0 –>

“Don’t buy artificial cubic zirconia, take better natural zirconium,” an unscrupulous seller may catch you. And all because most buyers do not know what the difference is between cubic zirconia, cubic zirconia and zircon. Some consider them jewelry glass, others consider them a semi-precious alternative to a diamond.

The confusion in concepts stems from the fact that visually the stones are very similar. Looking at them for the first time, few who are not experienced in gemology will see the differences. And they exist, and they are significant.

What are the differences between zircon, cubic zirconium and cubic zirconia, or are they all names for the same stone? How to avoid running into fakes and buy quality rings with cubic zirconia? Read about this and more in a new article from YK.

Cubic zirconia – an artificial counterpart of diamond

Cubic zirconia is the famous brother of the diamond, which was not born for jewelry purposes. Initially, they wanted to use it in laser equipment to replace diamonds. But the beauty of the stone surprised consumers so much that jewelers became interested in it.

Cubic zirconia received its proud name from the abbreviation of the USSR Physical Institute, where it was invented in the late 60s (FIAN). Two years later, referring to the developments of Soviet scientists, Switzerland began its production of cubic zirconia under the name “jevalite”.

The popularity of cubic zirconia grew at an unprecedented rate. What can we say, in the early 90s the volume of its production in the world reached 50 million carats!

Jewelers and buyers fell in love with cubic zirconia for its striking resemblance to a diamond, but at the same time its low cost. Not so expensive to produce, with excellent shine and high strength indicators – these characteristics of the stone have become the trump card of world manufacturers in offering an alternative to expensive diamonds.

Peculiarities of growing

Cubic zirconia is formed from zirconium oxide using a high-frequency melting technique. In order for the crystals to grow, the heating power is gradually reduced. Simply put, cubic zirconia grows in a shell of itself.

Stones can take on different shades depending on the added impurities. For example, copper colors transparent cubic zirconia yellow, chrome green, titanium golden and honey-colored.

Today there are 20 shades of cubic zirconia, which are used as an alternative to precious stones (from emeralds to sapphires). This is due to the fact that growing cubic zirconia is faster and cheaper than mining natural stones. In laboratories, cubic zirconia crystals grow at a rate of 1 cm per hour.

Main characteristics

From a chemical point of view, cubic zirconia is the dioxide of the metal zirconium.

Attention! Cubic zirconia is mistakenly called zirconium. The latter is a metal that is used in its pure form in metallurgy and energy, but not in jewelry.

Another frequently asked question: is cubic zirconia a semi-precious stone? Answer: No. This is an artificial analogue of a diamond, similar in beauty and physical properties. The stone has the same refractive index and even greater dispersion (the play of color within the mineral). Cubic zirconia has excellent shine (2.15-2.25) and high hardness (7,5-8 on the Mohs scale), which is as close as possible to the legendary ten of a diamond.

Standard cubic zirconia is a transparent stone (without solders, kinks, or irregularities).

Another important point. If somewhere you see earrings with the tag “CZ Diamond”, do not be fooled – this is cubic zirconia, not a diamond.

The name “cubic zirconia” is widespread mainly in the post-Soviet space and Eastern Europe. In the West and in the USA, the trade name of the stone is cubic zirconium (CZ), CZ Diamond, diamonesque.

Natural zircon

Natural zircon is a semi-precious mineral of volcanic origin. Thanks to its crystal transparency, zircon resembles a diamond. It was even nicknamed in the East the “little brother” of the diamond.

The stone can be colorless or golden brown. One of its most beautiful varieties, “jargon,” has a bright golden-yellow hue.

Externally, colorless zircons can be mistaken for diamonds. But with one correction – zircon is very fragile. This is one of the reasons why the emergence of cubic zirconia quickly reduced the popularity of zircon. It has become easier for jewelers to insert cubic zirconia into jewelry than to look for high-quality zircon.

Metal zirconium

Zirconium (Zr) is a chemical element in the periodic table at No. 40. This is a silver-colored metal that is used in industry, medicine, and energy. But zirconium is not directly related to jewelry. Only in combination with oxygen does zirconium dioxide form part of cubic zirconia.

Crystals Swarovski

Swarovski crystals are not diamonds or glass. This is artificially processed crystal of exceptional transparency. Swarovski crystals are made from more than 70 components, most of which are classified. All of them are exclusive, because they are cut by hand, and absolutely symmetrical. All edges of the stones are carefully polished. There is not a single micro scratch or crack on them!

In addition to crystal (Swarovski Crystall), the company is known for its cubic zirconia (Swarovski Zirconia), as well as topazes, sapphires, rubies, garnets, peridot, quartz, citrines, which occupy high positions in the world in terms of quality of processing.

Swarovski artificial cubic zirconia can be found in more than 20 colors. They are made in special laboratories in two ways:

  1. Up to 1400 carat is grown in a chamber at a temperature of 1600–1 °C for 5 days.
  2. It is obtained by chemical deposition using a mixture of methane + hydrogen gases.

For the fourth year now, Jewelry Karta has been collaborating with the world-famous supplier of jewelry inserts, Swarovski. We strive to use only the best materials for our collections, so we have launched a separate line of jewelry with Swarovski Zirconia cubic zirconia inserts, as well as natural stones from Swarovski Gems. Jewelers from South Caucasus inlay their products with white and colored stones. Depending on the processing method, stones in rings, earrings, pendants and pendants can take on a round, convex shape (cabochon), teardrop-shaped (in “paws” made of gold), or a heart shape.

What is the difference between zircon and cubic zirconia?

There is sometimes confusion in terminology and in marking cubic zirconia is called “zircon”, which is not entirely true. Cubic zirconia and zircon are two minerals with different origins and chemical compositions. The first is artificial, the second is natural. If you look closely, you can see small inclusions inside the zircon. Cubic zirconia, on the contrary, has a perfectly even structure, purity and transparency. In addition, the weight of an artificial crystal is greater than that of a natural one.

Different prices

Jewelry with the king of stones is consistently among the top products in the Luxury segment. For example, small stud earrings made of white gold weighing 2,32 grams with two white diamonds in the UK will cost about 15 thousand hryvnia. A similar model with cubic zirconia will cost about 3000 UAH. Price is one of the undeniable advantages of cubic zirconia, which makes it more accessible to buyers.

Cube zirconium is slightly more expensive than cubic zirconia. This is affected by its fragility and, consequently, the high cost of implementation. Massive red gold ring with cu. zirconium weighing 3,16 grams will cost about 7000 UAH. A similar product with cubic zirconia will cost from 4000 UAH.

Advantages and disadvantages of stones

Cubic zirconia is in demand among those buyers who are on a limited budget, but want to purchase a beautiful, wear-resistant piece of jewelry. Cubic zirconia compares favorably with Swarovski crystals in the play of light.

Among the weaknesses of the stone is its tendency to tarnish and scratch. The stone loses its original shine after the first 2-3 years of wear.

Due to its low cost, cubic zirconia is considered primarily a budget stone. Therefore, those for whom prestige plays a big role give preference to His Majesty the diamond.

Given its lower hardness than finite, cubic zirconium requires very careful care. Such products are not practical for everyday wear.

How to distinguish stones?

Despite their external similarity, cubic zirconia, diamonds and cubic zirconia have a number of differences. They can be systematized into the following 4 subgroups:

  1. Weight and hardness. Cubic zirconia is two to three times heavier than zircon and diamond, but is inferior to the latter in hardness.
  2. Cut shape. The edges of cubic zirconia are slightly rounded, while those of a diamond are smooth and sharp.
  3. Thermal conductivity. Unlike cubic zirconia, diamond has high thermal conductivity, which is why it practically does not fog up.
  4. Presence of inclusions. Natural diamonds have a slight yellowish tint, while artificial cubic zirconia, cubic zirconia and Swarovski crystals have impeccable transparency. They have no defects, clouding or chips.

Swarovski cubic zirconia is the easiest to distinguish from a fake. Each stone has a small engraving of SWAROVSKI ZIRCONIA, which can be seen under a magnifying glass.

Where to buy?

In order not to run into an unpleasant surprise, you should buy products with stones only from trusted manufacturers, such as Jewelry Card. All earrings with cubic zirconia, as well as other products with stones, have documents confirming their authenticity. Our jewelers pay careful attention to every detail, from the choice of metal, its design and the durability of the stones.

The catalog of the online jewelry store YUK presents a wide range of engagement rings with diamonds, as well as products with cubic zirconia. These can be minimalist jewelry with one stone or a scattering of small ones, or more complex compositions with patterns of stones. Rings/earrings with cubic zirconium and pearls, as well as tandems of transparent cubic zirconia and blue topaz, look very delicate. For romantic natures, there is a whole collection of jewelry with stones in the shape of flowers and petals.

There are favorable discounts on a number of items. This means that at a favorable price you can choose a ring as a gift in addition to gold earrings with cubic zirconia.

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