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All About Cubic Zirconia

Jul 25, 2008
We've all heard about cubic zirconia; maybe you or a friend or family member even own a piece of jewelry containing the semi-yellowish, monoclinic mineral baddeleyite form of the cubic zirconia oxide. But do you really know about cubic zirconia and where it comes from?

Cubic zirconia (CZ) was found in 1892; however, CZ was rare and hard to find, so for a long time, it wasn't sought after and was considered to have little economic importance. It was simply an oxide that existed naturally on our planet.

In 1899, two German mineralogists discovered a different, naturally occurring form of CZ: microscopic grains. This was the point at which cubic zirconia began wider spread, but there was still only a limited amount of cubic zirconia for the ever-expanding market.

Decades later, in the 1960s, studies began regarding how to grow cubic zirconia in controlled situations. The earliest studies were in France, where two scientists performed studies trying to achieve single-crystal growth of the mineral.

Later, a team of Soviet scientists perfected the technique of growing single-crystal CZ in a controlled situation. This incredible breakthrough was published in the early 1970s, and the widespread production of CZ reached 10,000 kilograms by 1980.

Currently, the market's desire for cubic zirconia is as strong as ever. This could be attributed to the mineral's 8.5 hardness, or to the fact that CZ is very inexpensive yet beautiful.

One type of CZ, cubic zirconia AAAAA, has a quality that could easily match - or surpass - that of high quality, expensive diamonds! Due to this phenomenon, many who are in the market for engagement rings or other diamond jewelry turn to cubic zirconia for an equally gorgeous but less expensive solution.

There are many different colors, shapes and sizes of cubic zirconia, so the consumer is always able to find exactly what fits their taste and style.

CZ comes in many different colors including amethyst (purple), garnet (red), pink, aqua, lavender, tanzanite (blue), champagne, white, citrine yellow, and more. The most popular CZ is the white, which could easily be compared to a high quality diamond.

The consumer also has the opportunity to choose one of many different cuts of their cubic zirconia including shapes such as heart, octagon, oval, round, square, trillion (triangle), pear, and more.

If you are in the market for some beautiful yet inexpensive gems, give the mineral cubic zirconia a try. Your jewelry will be gorgeous, durable, and coveted by all of your friends!
About the Author
Wendy Moyer is an independent journalist. Pehnec Gems is a trusted resource that offers consumers the chance to purchase high quality cubic zirconia gems-further information can be found on the Pehnec Gems website.
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