There are 5 easy ways to spot a cubic zirconia – and you likely encounter cz’s more often than you think. Our designer lines – A. Jaffe, Verragio, Uneek, and Gabriel & Co. – are all set with cubic zirconia center stones. The diamonds in the settings themselves, along with gemstones and accent stones, are all real.We do this so that all the rings are easily customizable to whatever size and shape diamond the customer wants.
With a few exceptions – like loose diamonds we know will just pop in those settings – we don’t place our own diamonds into our gorgeous designer settings until they’re sold. This is because a) there are literally too many gorgeous settings to choose from and we’d spend all of our time making new designer creations. b) we like the flexibility to remove the Cubic Zirconia center stones and show our customer what different size and shape diamonds would look like in that setting, roughly.
So when they arrive freshly wrapped from our wonderful vendors, they’re rocking fake rocks. Though most people can’t tell! Even with our Uneek rings, which are all set with branded “U” cubic zirconias, we still usually need to explain that they’re not set with a diamond just yet. And that’s in our showroom.
Because we love to be online, connecting with our fans and customers all over the world, we also explain that those settings are boasting CZ’s on a daily basis. And while it’s impossible to authenticate a diamond (or a Cartier bracelet) based only on a picture, there are certain ways you can spot a cubic zirconia in real life. The best way, of course, is to have it tested by a jeweler. But if you’re in a pinch and can’t visit our Boca Raton showroom, these 5 ways to spot a cubic zirconia can help.
– Text Test: If your stone is loose, start here. You can turn the stone upside down over any text. If you can read the text through your stone, it’s most likely a CZ. We asked our GIA Graduate Gemologist, Richard, to explain this one:
“They differ in both dispersion and the refractive index. So how light passes through affects legibility. Since light passes through a diamond the spectrum gets broken up into different wavelengths creating a prism effect. Light passes right through a CZ enabling one to read through it.”
– Fog Test: Diamonds are excellent heat conductors but don’t retain heat well (maybe that’s part of the term ice?), so if you breathe warm air onto a diamond’s surface, any fog will quickly fade. If you do the same to a cubic zirconia it will stay foggy for a few seconds longer. You may also notice some beads of moisture forming on the CZ’s surface, depending on how clean it is.
– Weight Test: This one only works if you’re comparing two loose stones. Or if you have an excellent memory of precisely how heavy diamond of varying sizes are. If it’s the latter, come work for us, you wizard. Anyway, a cubic zirconia is significantly heavier than a diamond, about 50%. If you alternate holding each, you’ll easily notice a difference.
– Rainbow Test: We love this image from Racked
You’d guess the real diamond was on the right, right? Left. We mean wrong. That’s a princess cut impostor, and it’s slightly more refractive than the actual diamond in the setting. A CZ will throw more rainbows around when it sparkles.
– Geometry Test: Don’t worry, this isn’t a hard one. When you look into a diamond, you’ll see clean, clear facets (57-58 in a round brilliant.) When you look into a CZ, you’ll see the same thing, but it will be almost too crisp, too clean. It’s as if the facets are digitized and look pixelated (again, check out the image above.) Cubic Zirconias look a smudge too perfect, especially given their absence of any inclusions. It’s possible for diamonds to be Internally Flawless, both those are exceedingly rare and ridiculously expensive.