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Whether they’re set into sparkling earrings, an elegant tennis bracelet, or her dream engagement ring, there’s no denying that cubic zirconia jewellery has real wow-factor. Offering a dazzling alternative to diamonds, at a fraction of the price, it’s not hard to see why they have become so popular.

19 March 2021 EDITOR - H. SAMUEL

What is cubic zirconia?

Designed to match the appearance, beauty, and clarity of a diamond, cubic zirconia is the most popular synthetic gemstone in the world. With their flawless good looks and elegant appearance, telling a diamond and cubic zirconia apart is nearly impossible to the naked and untrained eye.

But what actually is cubic zirconia? The scientific answer is that cubic zirconia is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide, a synthetic gemstone created in a laboratory rather than mined from the earth. As cubic zirconia is manufactured, it can be created in an array of delicate colours and hues and, perhaps best of all, it’s possible to create cubic zirconia that is virtually colourless.

A flawless diamond is almost impossible to find and would be priced out of reach for many, but that’s not the case with cubic zirconia. In fact, one of the ways an expert can tell the two stones apart is that a natural diamond is never truly perfect, and will always have some tiny imperfections. In contrast, a cubic zirconia gem is usually completely flawless.

Whilst not quite as tough as diamonds, scoring an 8.5 on the Mohs scale versus a diamond’s 10, they are strong and durable enough for everyday wear and, with a little TLC, will offer years of enjoyment. Cubic zirconia is also very versatile so, when it comes to cuts, all of the popular diamond cuts are possible. So, whether you fancy a classic brilliant round, a stylish pear, or a feminine princess cut, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Choosing cubic zirconia jewellery allows you to add glamorous and eye-catching designs to your collection, but at a price that doesn’t put an uncomfortable dent in your wallet. From stylish drop pendants to glistening bracelets and fashion rings, cubic zirconia jewellery has a lot of offer.


When it comes to how these beautiful gemstones are made, each manufacturer has its own closely guarded secret methods. However, generally, they are formed when zirconium dioxide, mixed with a stabiliser, is melted at incredibly high temperatures of around 2750 °C for several hours to ensure all impurities evaporate. When it then cools, it crystallises, and gemstones are formed. The final process is to expertly cut and polish the cubic zirconia stone, which is then ready to be set into jewellery.

What is the value of cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia offers countless benefits, and other than its classic good looks, the biggest appeal has to be the price. The cost of cubic zirconia is far lower than diamonds, which is largely due to the value of diamonds reflecting their scarcity and natural beauty. The fact that cubic zirconia is manufactured means that its value is mostly determined by its setting, whether that be stylish sterling silver or luxurious 9ct gold. However, how we measure the value of precious items isn’t just in monetary value and, for many of us, it’s the sentiment that makes something special. All meaningful jewellery has a story behind it, whether it be a romantic memory of the moment it was given to you or the person it reminds you of. So, whilst cubic zirconia pieces won’t last for generations like diamonds, they do hold great sentimental value all the same.

How to tell a cubic zirconia from a diamond

Considering their price difference, how to tell the difference between diamond and cubic zirconia is actually not as obvious as you might have thought. Where cubic zirconia does noticeably differ from diamonds is in its density, which means that the same sized cubic zirconia stone would be much heavier than a diamond equivalent. However, without scales or fancy equipment, the easiest way to tell them apart is to look at how natural light passes through. A diamond will show dazzling white light, known as brilliance, whereas cubic zirconia will display much more coloured light, which is almost rainbow-like in appearance.

How to clean cubic zirconia

When it comes to how to clean cubic zirconia, we always recommend using a non-abrasive product. Putting a little washing up liquid into a bowl of warm water is a good bet, and you can tackle any stubborn marks or hard to reach places with a soft brush. Then, all you need to do is dry the jewellery with a lint-free cloth. Restoring your cubic zirconia to its brilliant best really is as simple as that!

Discover cubic zirconia jewellery at H.Samuel

Ultimately, cubic zirconia jewellery is an eye-catching and affordable alternative to diamond jewellery that makes the perfect treat for yourself or a gift for a loved one. From dazzling pendants to classic rings and stylish earrings, at H.Samuel you’ll find a stunning collection of cubic zirconia jewellery to suit all tastes and budgets. Browse the full collection online today, or pop in and see us at your local H.Samuel store.

Or, if you’d like a hand finding the perfect piece or would like to pick our brains in more detail, book a free virtual or in-store appointment with one of our expert team.