What we mean when we say "visually indistinguishable from a perfect, mined diamond to the naked eye"
If you've been a customer for a while, were referred to us by a customer (as many are), or have just spent some time checking us out online you've probably come across our use of the phrase "visually indistinguishable to the naked eye from a perfect, mined diamond" when describing our 5A (AAAAA) cubic zirconia.
Anyone who says they can tell the difference with the naked eye (i.e. looking unaided, with no special tools or props) between a perfect mined diamond and the top-quality 5A Cubic Zirconia such as that we make and use in our jewelry is:
- only giving anecdotal evidence based on a flawed experiment set-up
- comparing diamonds to poor-quality CZ manufactured by companies trying to save money on quality.(i.e. not CubicZirconia.com cubic zirconia)
- trying to sell you diamond jewelry
- or some combination of the above.
Study after study and test after test with "blind" provisions where the testee has no pre-existing knowledge about the gemstones or artificial stones to be shown, and where multiple sets of stones are provided where one is highest-quality CZ and one is diamond, have proven that the highest-quality cubic zirconia stones are *visually indistinguishable* from diamonds without special props, tests or tools.
Such tests that CAN tell the difference include:
- hardness tests (diamond is a harder mineral than synthetic CZ and most other materials on the planet...so you can use it to scratch glass or gold)
- a jeweler's magnifier glass
- a digital mineral scanner
- a scale (cubic zirconia weighs a bit more than diamond, which some experienced jewelers can tell just by holding both in the hand...but that's not using just the "naked eye" is it?)
There's also what jewelers call the "newspaper test" because you can read newspaper print through a cubic zirconia stone, but since most mined diamonds are flawed inside with "inclusions" you cannot read newsprint easily through it. This is a quick and dirty way for most jewelers to suspect that a stone is not real, before subjecting the stone to other more rigorous tests to be sure.
What's ironic is that they cannot tell from the "newspaper test" alone if the stone they are looking through is a perfectly clear and flawless cubic zirconia (< $100) or a perfectly clear and flawless mined natural diamond someone might have paid $100,000 for at retail. What does that tell you?But none of those "tests" answer our most common customer question before someone buys from us:
"Can someone admiring her/my ring tell the difference between your cubic zirconia stones and diamonds?"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.
So what WILL make any random person think your jewelry is set with cubic zirconia rather than diamond?
First, there's the size. Some people wear cubic zirconia jewelry set with really large sizes. Not many people will actually wear a 3 carat mined, natural diamond outside 'out-and-about', to work, or at the grocery store. This means that when you're looking at a HUGE "blingin-awesome" clear stone out in public, many people will assume it's a synthetic gemstone or CZ rather than diamond...simply because a 3 carat diamond will run in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars and some people can't fathom the risk of losing that investment or having it stolen.
Second, 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. That goes up exponentially the bigger the stone is; human beings just infer from your clothes, car, etc that everything will be of similar value. If you're driving a beat-up, 15 year-old-car, most people will look at a perfect 3 carat stone on that ring and assume it must be fake.
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).
That may even be the reason why 1.00-1.50 carat center stones make up almost 60% of our ring sales, even though we regularly set center stones up to 5 and 6 carats and the cost to get a bigger stone is just a few dollars extra instead of the tens of thousands it would be for natural, mined diamond. :)
Third, when we started selling cubic zirconia jewelry set with precious metals we were one of just a few companies. We sell a LOT of our stones to other jewelers through our wholesale loose cubic zirconia program (click here for up to 10,000 stones bulk pricing, click here for 50,000+ stones bulk pricing). Most of them, and indeed most jewelry manufacturers that set their products with cubic zirconia, use inferior settings (that can be easily spotted). 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 many of these cheap products will turn your finger green and there is no metal value in them. "Costume jewelry", so to speak, has its place. That's just not what we do with our own finished jewelry, nor is it a market to which we will ever sell retail products for customers.
However, there's a large contingent of consumers that want the highest-quality metal settings possible paired not with diamond but CZ.
That's who we serve. These customers buy pure 950 Platinum rings for $1000-3000 set with CubicZirconia.com cubic zirconia instead of diamonds that would cost $30,000 or more for diamond version. The market for high-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).
That's who we serve.
Is that you?
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- Danny Welsh