About Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia (CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. It should not be confused with zircon, which is a zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4). It is sometimes erroneously called cubic zirconium.
Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important competitor for diamonds since commercial production began in 1976. Cubic zirconia, as a diamond substituent and jewel competitor, is seen as a potential solution against conflict diamonds and the controversy surrounding the rarity and value of diamonds.
Only the rarest of diamonds are truly colorless, most having a tinge of yellow or brown. A cubic zirconia is often entirely colorless: equivalent to a perfect "D" on diamond's color grading scale. Other desirable colors of cubic zirconia can be produced including near colorless, yellow, pink, purple, green, and even multicolored.
Cubic zirconia are not as hard as diamonds. In order to keep your cubic zirconia jewelry sparkling like a diamond, avoid abrasion. Cubic zirconia can be cleaned with a mild dish-soap solution and dried with a soft, lint-free cloth.