I’ve had guys come into the jewelry store looking for engagement rings.
The funny thing is, they ask for a cubic zirconia (a.k.a. CZ) in the center instead of a real diamond.
They’ll laugh and say something stupid like “She won’t know the difference!”
HA! Like heck she won’t.
Take a look for yourself at the CZ rings from Amazon!
See what I mean? They look pretty good??? :)
Women know diamonds
Trust me guys, Woman know diamonds, and women know costume jewelry.
They’ll know the difference between a fake diamond, (that CZ you want to buy) versus a genuine diamond.
You can’t fool women, after all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Plus, they’ve been looking at diamonds their entire lives, dreaming of the day they get a diamond engagement ring. They’ll know.
CZ’s are very popular
CZ’s are the most popular diamond substitute in the World. CZ’s are diamond look-a-likes that are man-made and created in labs. They come in grades A through AAAAA (that’s 5 A’s for 5 grades). All those A’s are crazy and confusing. When you hear you’re getting a grade A CZ, you’d automatically think you’re getting the top of the line, but grade A is the lowest grade. Grade A is the worst and the easiest to spot as a “fake” diamond. Grade AAAAA is the best. Read more about cubic zirconia grades here: CZ grades. Good CZ’s look better and last longer.
But will it fool your Fiancée? Maybe. But not for long…
Spot the differences
There are a couple of good ways to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia (zirconian, zirconium, lots of people call them different names) from a real diamond.
Here’s the breakdown:
CZ’s are colorful
The #1 way to tell a CZ from a diamond is also the quickest way… Jewelers can look at a stone and know if it’s a CZ in about 2 seconds. It’s because the flashes of color (see image).
CZ’s have less ‘white’ flashes of light (brilliance) and more ‘colorful‘ flashes of light (fire) than a diamond. That’s the easiest way to tell when you look at a questionable stone. Can you see tons of rainbow colors dancing out of the stone? If the stone looks too colorful it’s probably a CZ. CZ’s have a higher dispersion of prismatic light. Let’s move on…
CZ’s are colorless
Cubic zirconia is actually pure white. Their body tone is void of any color or off white like most diamonds. CZ’s are compared to a color rating of ‘D’ on the diamond color grading chart.
Most diamonds found on the market today have a near colorless rating, in the G-H-I-J range. A colorless diamond is rare, and a D colorless diamond (which is the best) is almost impossible to locate.
CZ’s are cut differently
CZ’s are normally cut and polished differently than a diamond to maximize the brilliance and fire a CZ gives off.
CZ’s are flawless
Big clue! If you use a 10x jewelers loupe, you shouldn’t be able to see any flaws in a CZ. They are perfectly clean.
Too perfect actually. Diamonds have flaws, CZ’s don’t.
And while you’re viewing it, look at the facets of a CZ versus that of a diamond. The edges of the cuts, where the facets meet, will differ. On a CZ the edges are smooth and rounded off. On a diamond, they will almost be a sharp edge, clean, very crisp.
But what about hardness, heat and size?
Now that you learned the quickest way to tell a CZ ring from a diamond, there’s more…
CZ’s are harder than most gemstones. On the MOHS scale of hardness, a CZ is rated 8.5, which is really good and durable. Diamonds rate a 10 out of 10.
A quick way to tell a CZ from a diamond is to take it to a jeweler and have them diamond test it. Diamond testers will test the hardness of the stone and determine whether it’s a diamond or not. Anything that makes that crazy “honking goose noise” is not a diamond. It won’t say whether it’s synthetic, CZ, moissanite or anything, but it will quickly say it’s not a diamond.
CZ’s are cheap
Very cheap. They sell for almost nothing compared to the price of diamonds. And because of their low cost, CZ’s are usually set in fake mountings like gold-plated base-metal jewelry. Costume jewelry. CZ’s are also commonly found in sterling silver mountings because of the cheap price of silver. It’s very unlikely that one would find a 14kt gold mounting with diamonds and a CZ as the center stone.
Cubic zirconia’s are brittle
Quite brittle. They will chip and break easily. They’ll dull up from normal wear and tear in just a couple months. When they dull up and show scratches and chips, it makes it even more obvious it’s fake.
CZ’s can’t take the heat
CZ’s don’t take heat like diamonds will. Which means, CZ rings are very hard to size. They can’t take the same heat that jeweler’s use to size gold rings. Putting a jewelers torch to a CZ stone will burn it and shatter the stone. If you don’t tell the jeweler sizing your ring that it’s a CZ stone, they’ll find out soon enough when they put the fire to it. “SNAP” “CRACK” “POP”
Large carat weights
Another dead give-away is that CZ’s generally come in larger carat sizes. Extra large. You’ll find cubic zirconium in 5, 6, 7, 8 carats and bigger. One glance at a stone that’s the size of a quarter will be a big clue.
CZ’s have crazy names
Some CZ’s have fun little tag names like “Diamonique” “Diamonelle” and “Diamond Cheap“. Don’t be fooled. A CZ is a CZ and not a diamond. What more do you need?
You can also get CZ’s in fun colors like: Pink, Violet, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, Brown and the common White. They also have curious names like “Pink Ice“, “Lavender Ice”, “Mystic Ice”, and my favorite “Dirty Diaper Ice“.
The bottom line:
If it’s 10 carats, if it’s not marked or sold as “diamond“, if it has big flashes of color, if it’s set in a cheap gold-filled mounting, if it dulls up quickly, if it scratches and chips, if it costs $6.99, then trust me…
It’s a CZ.
So why buy a CZ?
If you want a big look and a cheap price. CZ’s are good if you live in a bad neighborhood and worry about being robbed.
They’re good if you’re going on vacation and don’t want to wear your ‘real‘ jewelry. They’re good if you just want something sparkly and don’t care if it’s real or not.
But if you’re thinking about buying it to fool your Fiancée, then don’t do it. The only fool will be yourself. She’ll know if the ring is fake. If not, she’ll find out as soon as she takes it to the store for a sizing or cleaning.
And then she’ll also know one more thing…
She’ll know you’re a fake.
Buy a diamond instead.
If not, check out the great deals at Amazon for CZ rings here! :)
CZ or Diamond?
It’s all up to you.