Cubic Zirconia Jewelry
Diamonds have been in use for jewelry for thousands of years. It is judged that they were first used and actively mined 3,000 years ago in India, but there is also proof that it was used there around 6,000 years ago. In those days it was almost impossible to cut or polish the diamonds.
The recognition of diamonds as jewelry really rose in the Eighteenth Century, at which time more ‘contemporary’ techniques permitted the acts of cutting and polishing to be done more easily. Successful marketing ploys helped make diamonds more popular to the masses.
Cartels of diamond miners and sellers such as De Beers restricted the quantity of diamonds which has successfully held the price artificially high for decades. An instance of highly successful marketing is Argyle or brown diamonds in Australia
Brown diamonds were thought to be useless for jewelry because of their filthy colour. However, one mine in Australia produces 7,000 kg of brown diamonds a year, so initiated a campaign to make them desirable. These days, they may be worn as jewelry in Australia and sell nicely.
Because of the high price of diamonds and the restricted quantity, jewelers have sought a man-made, cheaper alternative. Cubic Zirconia is one of the best man-made diamond-like materials that they have come up with so far.
Some people would rather buy cubic zirconia than real diamonds because they do not like to be manipulated and ultimately cheated by the diamond companies. Surveys suggest that numerous diamonds have been improved to raise their apparent value and that much too many diamonds are too highly priced.
Some others are shying away from diamonds for factors of conscience. ‘Blood Diamonds’ and forced child labour have made the headlines. The conditions in these forced labour camps is horrendous and was accurately depicted in the film ‘Blood Diamond’ with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Cubic zirconia is a very decent reproduction of diamonds and is difficult to distinguish from the real thing without specialist tools and a thorough knowledge of gemstones. Many well-known rich people are refusing to wear diamonds, not because they cannot afford them, but because of their above associations.
There are a number of other alternatives to cubic zirconia including moissanite and nexus, but cubic zirconia remains the firm favourite. Russian cubic zirconia is among the leading forms of the ‘gemstone’.
It is worth stating here that cubic zirconia does not exist in nature, although its raw form zircon (zirconium silicate) and zirconium dioxide does. Russian cubic zirconia is manufactured to the specifications laid down by the Gemological Institute of America.
If you are content to wear cubic zirconia, you will be following the green path in jewelry and saving lots of money too. Cubic zirconia is approximately 25% of the price of diamonds, so you could afford to spend more on the setting rather than on the stone. Cubic zirconia looks fantastic in a solid platinum or pure gold mounting.