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Anniversary Celebrations

An anniversary is commonly associated with weddings. Married persons who regard the date of their marriage as important may mark the yearly date of their wedding in some special way.

Broader groups in society, especially the families, and even more especially the children of such a couple, may help to celebrate such occasions; this is particularly common on the 40th, 50th, and 60th annivs.

Retailers (especially jewellers), sensing a profit opportunity, have encouraged gift-giving on such special days, and may often suggest a hierarchy of types of gifts to reflect the importance of longer years of marriage (and perhaps of greater ability to purchase more expensive gifts).

Cubic Zirconia Anniversary Ring vs Diamond Anniversary Ring

Buying a Cubic Zirconia Anniversary Ring vs Diamond Anniversary Ring

Choosing an anniversary ring to gift your wife or husband can be difficult when you want so much to give your loved one the best there is without hurting your finances. Now there are other choices besides choosing a diamond anniversary ring. One of these alternative choices for anniversary rings is the cubic zirconia anniversary ring.

Cubic zirconia (or CZ) is zirconium oxide (ZrO2), a mineral that is extremely rare in nature but is widely synthesized for use as a diamond simulant. 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).

Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important diamond simulant since 1976. Its main competition as a synthetic gemstone is the more recently cultivated material moissanite.

A cubic zirconia is so optically close to a diamond that only a trained eye can easily differentiate the two. There are a few key features of cubic zirconia which clearly distinguish it from diamond, some observable only under the microscope or loupe.

Cubic Zirconia anniversary ring versus Diamond anniversary ring

Dispersion.. With a dispersive power greater than diamond (0.060 vs. 0.044) the more prismatic fire of cubic zirconia can be considered excessive and is a relatively obvious give away to even an untrained eye.

Hardness. The inferior hardness of cubic zirconia (8.5 vs. 10 of diamond) manifests itself in the gem's lower luster, rounded facet edges and surface scratches.

Specific gravity. Cubic zirconias are heavyweights in comparison to diamonds; a cubic zirconia will weigh about 1.7 times more than a diamond of equivalent size. Obviously, this difference is only useful when examining loose stones.

Flaws. Contemporary production of cubic zirconia is virtually flawless. Whereas most diamonds have some sort of defect, be it a feather, included crystal, or perhaps a remnant of an original crystal face (e.g. trigons).

Refractive index. Cubic zirconia has a lower refractive index than diamond.

  • This allows more light to leak out of a cubic zirconia, especially when greasy or wet.
  • Cubic zirconia's lower refractive index causes it to have less luster than diamond.

Cut. Under close inspection with a loupe, the facet shapes of some cubic zirconia’s appear different from diamonds.

  • In theory, many gems (such as cubic zirconias and diamonds) look best when the star facet, crown main facets, and upper girdle facets do not quite meet. Diamond has such a high refractive index that having these facets meet at a single point does not cause much loss of fire or reflection. Diamonds normally have these facets meet at a point, because that is more symmetrical and reflects well on the cutter's precision. On the other hand, cubic zirconia has a considerably lower refractive index than diamond. Cubic zirconias are often cut with 6-sided crown main facets, so that the star facets do not touch the upper girdle facets. This optimizes the brilliance and fire of the cubic zirconias.
  • The optimum angle of the main crown facets is steeper for diamond than for cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconias are often cut so that the crown main facets do not touch the girdle. This allows the cubic zirconias to have a shallower crown angle, while still having the same crown height as the diamonds being simulated.

Color. More precisely, the lack of color: Only the rarest of diamonds are truly colorless, most having a tinge of yellow or brown to some extent. By comparison, cubic zirconia can be made entirely colorless: equivalent to a perfect "D" on diamond's color grading scale. Furthermore, the fancy colors of cubic zirconia in no way approximate the shades of fancy diamonds.

Thermal conductivity. This is probably the most important property of diamond from a jeweler's perspective: all they need do is apply the tip of a thermal probe to a suspect diamond. Cubic zirconias are thermal insulators whilst diamonds are among the most efficient thermal conductors, exceeding copper.

ZIRCONITE weighs 65% more than a real diamond. Therefore, the only way to tell the difference between the two is by weighing the unset stone. Once it is set, it is impossible for even a jeweler to tell the difference. A few years ago, ABC’s 20/20 news team took a high intensity cubic zirconia stone, as well as a perfect $50,000,000 mined diamond to the New York Diamond District. After careful examination of the two stones an expert claimed that they were both so perfect that they must both be counterfeit!

The only difference therefore between ZIRCONITE and a diamond lies in the price, and in the mind...



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