Warning: file_get_contents(https://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIR3UXPU7Y7GQQPAQ&AssociateTag=wolvid-20&IdType=ASIN&ItemId=B002DWQG7O&Operation=ItemLookup&ResponseGroup=ItemAttributes%2CImages%2COffers%2CReviews&Service=AWSECommerceService&Timestamp=2013-06-19T08%3A11%3A05Z&Version=2011-08-01&Signature=TOC1PMjirJ64H2s8H5lGnwZwR2yb%2FTYcRdc%2B8Zw%2Fx3I%3D) [function.file-get-contents]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home/angeleye/public_html/girl-gets-ring.net/wp-content/plugins/amazon-product-in-a-post-plugin/inc/aws_signed_request.php on line 376
The best time to learn about engagement rings is before you’re starry-eyed and so deeply in love, practical matters don’t interest you.
If you’re on a budget — and sometimes, even if you’re not — a CZ can be better than a diamond.
What’s a CZ? A “CZ” is a cubic zirconia stone. It can also be called cubic zirconium or (rarely) a cubic zirconian stone. Most people just call them “CZs.”
A CZ could be called a fake diamond. That’s not the right way to describe them. A cubic zirconia stone more like a clone of a diamond. It’s man-made and it’s grown in a laboratory, and it has most (not all) of the same features as a diamond.
CZs come in five grades, A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. If someone tries to sell you a “number 1, Grade A cubic zirconia ring” and make it sound like it’s the ultimate grade, run in the opposite direction. Either the seller hasn’t a clue, or he’s conning you.
Generally, you’ll want a 4A or a 5A (that’s AAAAA) cubic zirconium stone. That’s what reputable dealers use.
The better the quality, the prettier and more durable the stone will be.
CZs are scratch resistant.
Most CZ stones have a hardness of 8.5. Diamonds are at the top of the scale, with a hardness of 10. This means that CZs are scratch resistant, but they’re not as hard as a diamond, which can be almost impossible to scratch or break.
An object generally can’t be scratched by anything softer than it is. Gold has a hardness of about 3, the same as most silvers. Tooth enamel is around 5, and a knife is usually around 6. A steel file can have a hardness around 8, and tungsten carbide (the hardest) is about 8.5 to 9 in hardness.
So, unless you’re handling diamonds, tungsten carbide, or gemstones like sapphires and emeralds, few objects will damage your CZ stone. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to take off your ring if you’re doing anything where you’ll be hitting the ring against hard surfaces.
CZs are flawless but brittle.
CZs are flawless. Diamonds almost always have a flaw. That means: If you hit a diamond “just so,” it can shatter into pieces. (You’ve probably seen this in movies where the thief is asking a diamond expert to cut a stolen diamond so it’ll look different, and to get away with the theft.)
However, CZs are brittle. They can chip and, even if they’re just micro-chips you can barely see without a magnifying glass, a CZ can lose its sparkle after a few months of careless handling. CZs are also heat-sensitive. Don’t wear your CZ ring if you’re cooking and something hot — even a fleck of oil — might spatter on it.
And, if you need to get your engagement ring resized, be sure to tell the jeweler that the stone is a CZ. (He probably won’t be able to tell the difference between a CZ and a diamond, just by looking at it.)
CZs have more color (“fire”) than many diamonds do.
Diamonds are usually pure white or blue-white, unless you choose a colored diamond.
CZs have more color in them — more “fire” — than most diamonds. In fact, if you put a high-quality, brilliant CZ next to a high-quality, brilliant diamond, many people will prefer the CZ. It catches the light in different ways, and sparkles differently from a diamond. Because a CZ is man-made, jewelers are able to design and cut CZs so they are absolutely dazzling.
So, your new CZ is likely to look prettier than a diamond, in sunlight and most artificial light. (However, if you’re in a club with ultraviolet lights, your CZ will look yellow, green or beige; diamonds look blue under ultraviolet light.
CZs cost about one-tenth as much as diamonds.
One of the most important things to remember is: CZs cost about 1/10 as much as a comparable diamond.
This means you can buy a larger, prettier CZ for less than you’d spend on a small diamond… but don’t get one that’s too big. Remember that CZs can weigh almost twice as much as diamonds of the same size. So, don’t get a stone that’s so heavy, it’s going to keep twisting so the stone is on the palm-side of your hand.
You can buy CZ rings for under $60. However, they’re usually set in inexpensive metals. That’s fine if you’re on a strict budget, or if the ring is just for fun.
For a better CZ ring made with genuine (not plated) precious metals, expect to spend about $200 and possibly more.
The best engagement ring strategy if you’re on a budget: CZ now, diamond later.
If you want the most beautiful ring for the smallest amount of money, here’s what I recommend: Buy a lovely CZ stone set in a good-quality 14k ring. Later, when you can afford it, replace the CZ with a real diamond that’s the same size.
Here’s the top-rated CZ engagement ring at Amazon.com. It’s white gold, not plated, and it’s a beautiful design that brides absolutely love.