Custom Shape / Custom Size Cubic Zirconia Stones (Custom Cutting Available) 0Yes, we can custom cut cubic zirconia stones for you in practically any shape or size you want. It will take a bit more time and cost more than a popular shape and size combination such as those we always have in stock ready to ship within 48 hours...but it is possible. Check out this blog post for details and instructions to purchase this custom stone cutting service. Buy one or wholesale lots in bulk with volume discount.
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Certified cubic zirconia: IGI - IFI - GIA - AGS - EGL - CIA (or whatever stone certification)...we’re not interested 0
We’ve seen what an IGI Certification looks like and, frankly, we believe it’s just a useless piece of paper designed to jack up the price of cubic zirconia stones being sold by other companies than ours.
As a customer, what information does an IGI Certification give you apart from the carat weight? You should have been told the specific dimensions of your stone in the first place before purchase-- so you should already know this information. You certainly know that when you buy our stones. Does this report tell you the cutting quality? Does it confirm the color or clarity? It doesn't even confirm the claim to be a certain quality.
So if you're asking why we don't provide this service, it doesn't seem like a necessary cost to pass along with each purchase. In fact, it’s not just IGI certification that deserves our disdain. IFI- GIA - AGS - EGL - CIA or whatever, we’re not interested.
We do not acknowledge any independent, industry-wide and international authority on the making of diamond-quality synthetic cubic zirconia stones. That means anyone out there claiming to make a better stone or a "certified" stone may as well be making that claim up from thin air as far as we are concerned. Certification schmertification. That whole industry gets nothing but our disdain.
The diamond industry, as a cartel, has an incentive in banding together to adopt generalized rules for grading of stones. The makers of cubic zirconia are much more informal, and not at all working together. Therefore, what other makers of cubic zirconia call certain grades of CZ, we can't control. We also can't help it if our competitors want to manufacture inferior stones to ours and call them "6A (AAAAAA)" when we call our best CZ stone "5A (AAAAA)" (see our FAQ's “What does “6A quality” or “6A quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” question for details).
Our expertise is all the assurance our customers need, and as for CubicZirconia.com, we make and sell 2 grades of cubic zirconia:
- 5A/AAAAA cubic zirconia (the best: sold wholesale, sold retail, and used in our retail finished jewelry product line; see our FAQ question “What does “5A quality” or “AAAAA quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” for more details) .
- 3A/AAA cubic zirconia (lesser grade: sold wholesale in bulk lots only and most often for use in cheaper ‘costume jewelry’; see our FAQ question “What does “3A quality” or “AAA quality” Cubic Zirconia mean?” for more details).
Our process to make 5A/AAAAA cubic zirconia is simply to use the absolute best formula for making cubic zirconia that we know of, consistent for producing perfect color and perfect clarity every time (see our FAQ question “How is cubic zirconia made?” for more details).
The 5A/AAAAA stones that make it through our quality control process are perfect, with zero internal inclusions or blemishes. The same stones we sell as 5A/AAAAA at retail prices on our website, are the same stones we use in our finished jewelry. To our knowledge, no better cubic zirconia stones exist.
We then carefully cut these stones to ideal diamond-weight carat proportions (see our FAQ answer to “How do your cubic zirconia stones compare with natural diamonds as far as cuts, shapes, facets, measurements are concerned?” question for full understanding of what that means).
Lastly, we get rid of any stones that aren't flawless, or have any issues with creation or cutting (these are set aside as 3A/AAA stones to be sold only in wholesale lots to other jewelers that want the absolute cheapest CZ stones they can get because they focus on making cheaper ‘costume jewelry’).
For these reasons, we can assure you that the 5A cubic zirconia stone(s) you're buying loose for setting yourself or already in our finished high-quality cubic zirconia jewelry is the very best cubic zirconia we at CubicZirconia.com can make, or have ever seen made.
With the longevity of our site (online since 1999), and the reputation we enjoy from having served thousands of satisfied customers...we think that ought to seal the deal! If need be, we’ll even send you a sample pack of stones at our cost and risk to 100% convince you. Just reference this answer and ask us!
Take a look and you’ll agree: certification schmertification.
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An Open Letter to CubicZirconia.com from Your Friendly Local Retail Jewelry Stores 0
B. Diamond IV
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
c/o Danny Welsh
Bedford, KY 40006
RE: Have you considered letting us have some of that money?
I write to you in the spirit of collegiality, and with all due respect for your company in the jewelry industry, from the law offices of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe on behalf of my clients, the Transatlantic United Retail Diamond Sellers. As the world's largest association of retail store jewelers, my client objects to your omission of such retailers from your low-price, quality jewelry sales business plan, and doubly objects to the use in your company’s man-made stone marketing of terms “diamond-quality”, “visually indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye”, or “diamond-equivalent” (terms which have not been approved for use by the self-elected governing body of this association, of which you have refused to become a member despite our repeated invitations).
My client hereby orders you to cease and desist! Or just cease. Or desist. We can discuss the options. See, that's a situation known as "negotiating." Something you apparently wouldn't know much about, CubicZirconia.com. Since you have not responded to our repeated previous inquiries about becoming a member of our august association, let me attempt to reason with you. Allow me first to explain the great number of ways in which my clients feel that your e-commerce business model offering diamond simulant cubic zirconia jewelry at so-called “fair” prices is not only misguided and short-sighted, having blindsided my client’s member jewelry companies, but even potentially un-American.
First of all, the prices offered on your website are a problem because they are simply too low to allow retail jewelers to resell your products and pay the considerable overhead costs of running brick-and-mortar jewelry stores, employing salespeople jewelry consultants that have families and timeshare vacations to think about, and building in-stock jewelry inventories so customers can walk in the door to browse and walk out the door with a financing agreement for jewelry they couldn’t quite afford to buy with cash in an arrangement that will earn the jewelry retailer a healthy interest over the next 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 or 72 months in addition to a the healthy profit on jewelry sold a diamond ring they’ll cherish until the time comes that we fervently wish for when they can trade in the diamond for a bigger more expensive one to start off their next marriage, doubling or tripling the store’s original profit while they think they got a deal because it’s our gimmick to “buy back” their traded diamond forever.
Secondly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because, as you know, by including the center stone for all engagement rings offered as a single purchase at a single price listed right on your website, you have violated the 100+ year-old secret jeweler agreement adhered to since the founders of our association took the first of sacred annual blood-oaths jeweler code of ethics not to publish pricing for diamond center stones because therein lies the greatest opportunity to maximize engagement ring sale profit by marking up the price on allowing unsuspecting inexperienced first-time customers the exciting opportunity to negotiate their own center stone price to be the best they can. I'm telling you, people love negotiating. Consumers hate having a clear, fixed price that everyone understands and you get everything you need and want to buy all for that one price. The retail jewelry store with fixed ring mounting prices and diamond prices revealed only during a customer’s intimidation by indoctrination by personal conversation with the store’s friendly salespeople jewelry consultants as a model lets customers feel as if they got a deal, while not really getting a deal. Everyone wins. Plus, to wit, everyone knows that haggling over prices is deeply ingrained in American culture so what you’re doing is un-American.
Thirdly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because the prices should not change so frequently. We said “fixed prices” that included the center stone cost for an engagement ring built right into the listed price were bad, and that is very bad. However, I must now call your attention to a business practice that is even worse in our educated and experienced opinion wisdom from having done this jewelry business many decades and even a century before there was an “internet” for you to disrupt the retail jewelry store business model offer your jewelry with a 60 day money-back guarantee worldwide to customers browsing on their computer or other device, and fulfill orders via made-to-order manufacturing and insured shipping carriers. My clients are of course referring to your misguided policy of decreasing the price for products you sell when your cost to purchase the gold, silver, palladium, or platinum precious metals used to manufacture the product(s) decreases.
Note: This practice is noted in Exhibit 43 here http://www.cubiczirconia.com/pages/faq-custom-designed-cz-jewelry#q5 (Q: What variables make up your price for a custom cubic zirconia jewelry piece?), and Exhibit 44 here http://www.cubiczirconia.com/pages/faq-custom-designed-cz-jewelry#q15 (Q: How long is the custom CZ jewelry price quote you’ll give me good for?).
If the cost of gold goes down after you set your gold jewelry sales price, in the jewelry business that’s supposed to just be extra profit for you! Hello, the rich get richer, and we in the jewelry industry have manipulated paid close attention to gold and other precious metal prices for centuries, and we deserve to keep that money! You’re leaving money on the table by educating customers about fluctuating metal markets costs, and making a huge mistake by discounting your customers’ jewelry prices to reflect your wholesale hard costs savings to manufacture the jewelry in their order. My client is deeply concerned that this practice is just not smart for the long-term viability of your business ,and besides none of its member retail jewelry companies wish to invest the money needed to create an e-commerce website or lose money by being forced to create digital-price in-store display cases capable of competing with such an absurd service anyway.
Fourthly, the prices offered on your website are a problem also because the prices are on a website, and the retail jewelry store members of my client’s association do not have that e-commerce capability with their brochure-style website because they just started on the internet a little later than in 1999 when your company’s first website went online my client feels you should reconsider having a “website” for your jewelry business at all. After all, for over 100 years, jewelry retailers among my client’s members have been selling rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and more without any need for that newfangled frivolity. Truly, we feel a responsibility as your jewelry industry brethren to share this obviously unknown business intelligence with you: our internal Academy for Diamond Studies (ADS) research shows that wholly 83.6 percent of jewelry shoppers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australia thoroughly love going to the local jewelry store, while 16.4 percent of these shoppers state in yes or no survey questioning that they love it so much that he/she would “live there if I could”. [Note: Respondents to ADS survey 8 years of age and under, jewelry store described as "Disney World" in a common metaphor we use in our marketing, said fact clearly disclosed in the fine print of Appendix 8c.] Surely you can understand that your CubicZirconia.com website, while it is functional and even kind of nice, simply cannot compare to the shopping experience of local jewelry stores where my client’s retail jeweler members provide an expensive-to-upkeep a wonderful atmosphere with gleaming gold-chased glass display cases, non-offensive soft Muzak, marble floors covered with elegant carpets, stylish wall coloring and functional décor accouterments. Seriously, online on a “website” how can you give your customers free cold water in paper cups or espresso available for 25 cents per Fabergé replica ceramic mug (drink as much as you like!)? You simply can’t.
Fifthly, my client’s member jewelry stores do in fact use your company’s cubic zirconia stones instead of actual diamonds as a cheaper alternative stone to set in store-displayed rings and other jewelry pieces (for insurance purposes). However, my client and its member retail jewelers feel it is slanderous in the extreme for your company to publicly disclose this fact to potential diamond jewelry buyers, when we don’t and have worked very hard never for them to know. After all, the super-friendly salespeople jewelry consultants at these stores have undergone extensive training to explain that cubic zirconia are in fact worthless, and these stores only use the cubic zirconia “diamond” rings and other jewelry pieces in the display cases as props to show customers before purchase. When they purchase the ring or other jewelry piece based on the model and the salesperson’s jewelry consultant’s expert guidance and knowledge about diamonds, of course before they leave the store our client’s member jewelry retailers would insist on the need to “give the jewelry a final polish before you take it home”. As you know, that’s when the salespeople jewelry consultant will send the piece in the back for a technician to un-set your cubic zirconia stones and switch to the real diamond the customer thought they already had bought now that money has changed hands. Again, we feel that you must stop educating disclosing these jewelry trade secrets to customers, who my clients have put so much time, money and effort into persuading that they don’t want ‘fake’ cubic zirconia and do want ‘real’ diamonds.
My clients know you see yourself as a disruptor, CubicZirconia.com, but I don't think you understand how many everyday people whose apple-carts you are upending. Jewelry stores are financial ecosystems in their own right, stimulating economic activity in a range of related sectors both in their local areas and throughout the region where they’re located. The black-velvet-padding industry depends on retail jewelers, as do the interior-glass-washing service providers, and for that matter the low-budget elder-statesman-voiceover radio-commercial business is absolutely co-dependent upon a thriving retail jewelry store landscape. Think about how you're missing out on that one by not working through retail stores like my client’s members to sell your jewelry. [Script: An obviously silver-haired older guy with a voice full of gravitas says, "Now you have a friend in the cubic zirconia business. Come on down to the store! Or go online to CubicZirconia.com"]. Seriously, talk about advertising that ROCKS!
Now, you may enjoy selling your cubic zirconia jewelry as a low-cost alternative “visually indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye”-- with no middlemen and no haggling, offering dynamic prices that change as your hard fulfillment costs to ensure you keep only the same “fair” profit on each sale of each piece of jewelry in your catalog -- and keeping all the money. But I ask on behalf of my clients, have you considered letting us have some of that money? It is our position that we would like some of the money.
In return, we offer our beautiful buildings with glass display cases, highly trained sales staff that are already experienced in selling your cubic zirconia jewelry product (while calling the pieces in the display cases “diamond” jewelry of course…wink, wink :) ), and let’s not forget the luxurious ambience and free coffee urns super-affordable espresso machines so your customers can sip while they shop.
I'm telling you, CubicZirconia.com, your customers need us. What happens when they're wearing their new engagement ring and the center stone falls out? Okay, yes, you'll email them a lifetime warranty request form to send back along with their engagement ring to have the free replacement CZ stone set for like 25 bucks and mailed back to them. But I digress.
I’m telling you CubicZirconia.com, we need you, the timing is perfect for you to consider a change in how you do business. Our relationship with the diamond cartel the diamond mining companies is complicated. It has been ever since the public found out about “blood diamonds” began demanding to know where the diamond stones we sell in our jewelry came from and how they were mined and we didn’t know and couldn’t have cared because of how much profit we were making our answers weren’t good enough to satisfy them. That humbling realization prompted us to create a robust ethics certification process with Diamonds University Professional Education. Salespeople Jewelry consultants certified under this course are courteous, professional, trained to say “our diamond stones are from Belgium and Canada” educate customers about my client’s member jewelry stores’ responsible diamond sourcing practices buying from sellers in non-conflict countries, and plus each is required by law to disclose how many felonies they've committed. Now, my client’s member jewelry retailers have taken charge of the problem and as an entire industry organized itself based on the notion that the miners and sellers must be trusted to do the right thing, every time, so long as they tell us they did and put it in writing where the diamonds we sell actually originated!
However, it appears that despite DUPE’s efforts, customers aren’t buying it. Increasing numbers of what were once our customers are now buying from your company and a handful other diamond simulant jewelry makers.
Honestly, we really do need you each other, CubicZirconia.com
We just need you to increase the prices on your website.
A lot. Maybe double, maybe triple.
The accountants will have to crunch the numbers and think of how to make it work along those lines, so the wholesale prices you give us are closer to what your retail prices on the website are now, and we can keep the difference as our own profit.
B. Diamond IV
Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe
Representing Transatlantic United Retail Diamond Sellers
- Danny Welsh
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Is Cubic Zirconia A Diamond? 1
Cubic Zirconia, commonly known in jewelry circles as “CZ”, has been the most popular more-affordable alternative to natural diamonds since the stone was first produced for commercial use in jewelry, industrial machinery, lasers and other applications almost 4 decades ago (1976). The highest-quality CZ stones are flawless, with brilliant sparkle, tremendous clarity, and radiant fire, good durability and hardness, and are visually indistinguishable from natural diamonds to the naked eye.
But is cubic zirconia actually in fact a diamond?
While cubic zirconia exists in nature (see Is Cubic Zirconia a mineral?), the mineral is rare enough that the CZ used in most commercially produced jewelry manufactured over the last 4 decades is of a man-made origin. If you want to get the scientific skinny, cubic zirconia is actually the cubic crystalline form of a physical compound made up of the elements Zirconium and Oxygen (ZrO2 to be precise) called Zirconium Dioxide.
ASIDE: No wonder we adopted name ‘Cubic Zirconia’, right? It’s got a pretty sexy sound, while ‘Zirconium Dioxide’ honestly sounds like a laundry detergent.
Natural diamonds are found in nature, and as such cannot be considered the same as cubic zirconia stones, the majority of which used in commercial jewelry are man-made.
There’s the short answer to your burning question about whether cubic zirconia are diamonds.
While the stone looks like a diamond and possesses many diamond-like qualities— to the degree that even jewelers with decades of experience cannot tell the difference between a high-quality CZ and a perfect diamond by simply comparing the two side by side with the naked eye alone— Cubic Zirconia is not a diamond.
However, the difference in cost between diamonds and diamond simulants such as cubic zirconia—and others that are somewhat deceptively sold under ‘diamond’ names—can be thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why perhaps a more important question to answer than if cubic zirconia is a diamond, is whether that DIAMOND you are thinking about purchasing is actually a real diamond?
Before you shake your head or walk away confused from this webpage, bear with me a moment…OK? The truth is: in order to FULLY answer your question if cubic zirconia is a diamond, really you first have to decide in your own mind what a ‘diamond’ is to you.
When you think of diamonds, you probably think of a handful of extremely rare and valuable gemstones mined with great cost and difficulty from deep in the earth, a finite resource that is dwindling in supply…am I right? What if I told you that a large percentage of diamonds sold as ‘diamonds’ today were in fact grown in a lab, created by combining various physical elements into compounds that mimic natural diamonds— very much like cubic zirconia are also manufactured?
What if continued down the rabbit hole and I told you that there was absolutely no limit on the number of these kinds of ‘diamonds’ that could be created in the lab?
That’s right! Those lab-grown diamonds are sold to unsuspecting customers at prices that are just a bit cheaper than natural diamonds mined with sweat and sacrifice (and innocent blood, too, but that’s another story) from the earth…but prices still high enough to be damned difficult to justify in this man’s opinion—an opinion shared by increasing numbers of savvy consumers who know what their money is worth—for a product that is limitless in supply, as opposed to more rare natural diamonds.
And these folks even have the nerve to give their lab-grown ‘diamonds’ an appraisal, and a report, and a certification just like real diamonds mined from the earth and limited in supply…as if they didn’t just whip up a batch in the back-room with a chemistry set.
So, maybe you won’t think it’s such a silly question anymore to ask “Is that DIAMOND really a diamond?”
Listen, natural diamonds have their place. Historically, there is a great tradition that links a diamond in the minds of women—and men—as a rock that symbolizes much more than just geology. And natural diamonds do have some intrinsic value, because they have uses in industry beyond just looking pretty, and a scarcity upon which much of the value of any natural resource is based.
Though, frankly, they’re not as rare as the diamond mining cartels would have you believe— they own full warehouses bursting with them, stones they intentionally keep off the market to inflate prices— natural diamonds still are a finite resource.
If the tradition concerns you and money is no object, by all means…purchase a diamond. We think the money can be much better spent in other ways, but that’s just our opinion and you came here for hard facts about cubic zirconia. After all, some people want to light cigars with $100 bills, too.
However, I want you to think very hard before you pay anything more than $200 USD for any ordinary-size and non-custom-cut substitute gemstone made in a lab, no matter what they call it or how many reports, certifications, or appraisals the faux diamond may receive as part of the proof provided to entice you to pay a bunch of money for something God didn’t have a hand in creating.
$5000 for a lab-grown diamond loose stone? It boggles the mind anyone would pay such high prices for a lab-grown diamond when natural diamonds of good size can be obtained for not much more, and high-quality 5A cubic zirconia for 1/100 or less of the cost.
I hope you’ve learned a few things in this post. No, cubic zirconia is not a diamond. But for that matter, a large percentage of ‘diamonds’ sold today aren’t diamonds either, not by this man’s definition.
What do you think?
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below/
P.S. Want to know more of the nitty-gritty about the differences between Diamonds vs Cubic Zirconia? We’ve got an ever-growing resource, with case studies and more, ready for your reading pleasure. Take a few minutes and read up, especially if you’re shopping for an engagement ring…after all, if everything goes right, you’ll only be buying ONE. And if what I’m telling you is true—and it is, and our company will prove it to you— you don’t need a diamond engagement ring, when you can get a cubic zirconia replica engagement ring with a lifetime guarantee, and have no one know the difference while you take the difference in price and spend for fun or invest for the future in ways that will satisfy you much more than a rock.
- Danny Welsh
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"Give Cubic Zirconia a Chance as Diamond Replacement for Bridal Jewelry" says Journalist 0
Here's an interesting article from TheFederalist.com author Rachel Lu: thefederalist.com/2014/08/08/give-cubic-zirconias-a-chance-to-replace-diamond-wedding-rings/
We are happy that Rachel is giving the idea of cubic zirconia for bridal jewelry a recommendation, but frankly some of her praise of the practice is a little back-handed-- and we know our customers deserve better, frankly!
Here's the message we sent to Rachel....
Yes, Rachel, I totally agree that "the social expectations placed on brides are genuinely onerous". However, the real social expectations are placed not just on the bride-- nor just on the groom-- but on the couple themselves. When did we as a culture ever allow the wedding—the events of a single DAY, and those leading up to it— to take on more importance than the entirety of two lives together bonded in marriage?
I am very happy you are giving the idea of cubic zirconia for bridal jewelry a recommendation… As you stated and I can do no better: “A man needn’t have thousands of dollars to spare in order to make a good husband. The cubic zirconia can supply what couples really need from an engagement ring—tradition, beauty, and a public symbol of their matrimonial intentions—at a fraction of the cost.”
However, I hope you’ll allow me to disagree with your word choice in a few areas, in the spirit of courtesy and goodwill.
You say: "Alchemists spent years trying to make artificial gold, but now that we can make artificial diamonds, almost nobody wants to wear one."
Ahh, but there you are somewhat generalizing a falsehood! In order to make the same statement true both to the industry statistics I have access to as well as my own anecdotal experience as Vice President for www.CubicZirconia.com, an online leader for cubic zirconia jewelry and gemstones, I'd amend the statement you made to read:
"Alchemists spent years trying to make artificial gold, but now that we can make artificial diamonds, almost nobody wants *admit* to wear*ing* one."
Many of our customers are like myself, proud to buy and wear cubic zirconia gemstones as an alternative to overpriced diamonds that are visually indistinguishable. However, many are also happy that the non-discernible difference of high-quality CZ such as that used by my company compared to diamond allows the couple to ‘pretend’ that their bridal jewelry is diamond, and secretly invest the difference in cost in things that actually bring them joy, pleasure, better financial standing, and/or advance their position in the world as a couple with a new and brighter future together.
You’d be amazed what an extra $2,000-30,000 can do for a couple starting out in their new life together, and that’s an average US dollar figure for savings our customers experience buying our jewelry versus the same thing crowned and set with diamonds instead of cubic zirconia.
I also have to respectfully disagree with this statement: "Very few can tell the difference with their naked eye." (speaking of telling the difference between CZ and diamond by visual look).
Listen, that is not true at all in my experience. In fact, I have a standing $10,000 wager at 10-1 odds for anyone who claims differently and is prepared to back It up under laboratory-controlled conditions at a local university, under video-taped and 3rd-party audited circumstances. Frankly, no one has ever taken me up on the wager and I’ve made it publicly through our website as well as individually to many highly-trained and certified jewelers and gemologists.
Here’s the truth diamond jewelers and the mining cartels don not want the public to know: Anyone who says they can tell the difference between diamond and the top-quality 5A Cubic Zirconia with a visual naked eye look only is lying, only giving anecdotal evidence based on flawed experiment set-up, or comparing diamonds to poor-quality CZ manufactured by companies trying to save money on quality. Or...they could be trying to sell you diamond jewelry!
Study after study and test after test with "blind" provisions where the testee has no pre-existing knowledge about the gemstones to be shown, and where multiple sets of gemstones are provided where one is highest-quality CZ and one is diamond, have proven that the highest quality cubic zirconia gemstones are *visually indistinguishable* from diamonds without certain tests.
That doesn’t mean no one can tell the difference between CZ and diamond, that’s not what I’m saying…Such tests that CAN tell the difference can include:
a) hardness tests (diamond is much harder mineral than synthetic CZ—which doesn't really make it better for jewelry if you think about it, though I guess it comes in handy if you get locked out of your house and need a handy cutting tool to cut the glass in your entry door to reach through and unlock it)
b) use of certain tools such as a jeweler's magnifier glass or a digital mineral scanner)...
…none of which lies under the original article’s definition to ask whether someone admiring her ring would be able to tell the difference!
If thousands of blind tests have 50% saying the diamond is CZ and 50% saying the CZ is diamond based on respondents' best visual guesses, you can safely say that "any random person who was admiring your ring" will NOT be able to say for sure whether your ring is set with diamond or CZ.
And my public challenge of $10,000 at 10:1 odds says no gemologist or jeweler can do it either, unaided, under the conditions of a true test such as those briefly outlined.
So what WILL make any random person think your cubic zirconia bridal jewelry is CZ rather than diamond?
First, CZ often comes in large sizes, larger than what people may see frequently in diamond jewelry. After all, who not a celebrity, heiress or billionaire/billionaire’s wife would wear a 4-5 carat diamond outside in public? This means that when you're looking at a HUGE "blingin-awesome" clear gemstone out in public, many people will assume it's a synthetic gemstone CZ rather than diamond...simply because a 4-5 carat diamond will run in the six figure dollars and some people can't fathom the risk of losing that investment or having it stolen.
Also, if you don't appear to be affluent, the tendency of people is to believe that you couldn't afford diamond so it “MUST be CZ”. The same goes doubly for friends and family, who know your financial situation. This is a reason for some CZ buyers electing for 1 carat or 1.5 carat center stones because they believe whether it's CZ or diamond is nobody's business but their own and they're saving tens of thousands of dollars buying CZ vs diamond on an engagement ring for instance-- while it remains "believable" for their financial situation that it COULD be diamond (something important to some buyers).
Second, many people have the assumption that cubic zirconia usually comes in inferior settings (that can be easily spotted). As an industry-wide assumption, it’s a safe one and very true. The internet and flea markets are filled with fifty dollar engagement rings that are brass plated with sterling silver or a thin crappy gold plating that will wear off quickly, and there's surely a market for that though these cheap products will turn your finger green and there is no metal value in them.
However, there's a large contingent of consumers that want the highest-quality metal settings commercially-possible paired not with diamond but CZ. These customers buy pure 950 Platinum rings with good-sized CZ center stones that would cost $30,000 or more for $1500-3000 set with CZ instead of diamond.
The market for hiqh-quality metal jewelry like 18K White and Yellow Gold, 14K White and Yellow Gold, 10K White and Yellow Gold, Palladium (more durable than gold, similar look to Platinum but cheaper), and pure .925 Sterling Silver are all expanding. These customers know the value is in the precious metal, because many of them believe that diamond costs are artificially inflated anyway-- though that's a story for another day!-- and purchase jewelry that has true resale value because of the purity of the precious metal chosen for manufacture (unlike plated brass metal which has essentially zero resale value).
So that was fun…I love the article, but in my experience the words we use to describe something can make more of an impact than the theme. The theme of your article is to let couples be in love, reduce stress, focus more on the marriage and life together than on the events of one day (wedding), and fulfill societal obligations balanced with what’s in the best interests of the couple. So I hope you don’t mind my wanting to more clearly define a couple of what I felt were generalizations!
As far as your statement that "most people see the synthetic diamond as a symbol of cheapness and inauthenticity."—that’s another story, entirely! What is this claim based upon? I'm sorry if I seem offended, but frankly I am.
What could be a more authentic gift for a newly engaged couple to give *themselves* than the secure knowledge that they bought their honeymoon for CASH, put a down payment on a home in CASH, or paid for their entire wedding with CASH not needing help from mom and dad-- all with the hard cash savings between the diamond ring and a high-quality CZ engagement ring none of their friends or family could tell the difference between anyway without being told?
If it’s inauthentic to snub traditions perpetuated by a consumer culture that causes couples to go into DEBT to live up to an impossible standard to please other people and receive a one-time ego boost for an expensive wedding and expensive engagement jewelry…then it’s the kind of inauthentic men and women I talk to daily are certainly happy to accept with increasing numbers.
All it takes is putting pencil to paper and seeing the difference, like our customers do who find the perfect diamond ring in Sterling Silver, Gold, or Platinum, and ask us to create an identical copy set with Cubic Zirconia as a custom quote. When you start thinking of what you can do with that extra $2000, $5000, $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more…it tends to make smart couples realize they have a choice.
They can choose to support consumer traditions fueled by hundreds of years of hard-core brain-wash advertising by some of the richest and most ruthless capitalists in the world (diamond mining concerns), go into debt for a fairytale and ignore the realities of life and marriage being more than one day, and be just another ‘me too’ story…or they can choose differently.
I really like your closing sentence: “Celebrate love. Give the bridal couple a good ‘welcome to adult life’ sendoff. Let’s give the cubic zirconia a second chance.”
That’s truly what a wedding ought to be about!
And if you can pay for the wedding, the honeymoon, AND the down-payment on the house with savings from diamond versus cubic zirconia—and have NO ONE know the difference but you two, unless you tell them— then…why not?
- Danny Welsh
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