A little of the history of Cubic Zirconia
- Discovered in 1892, as a yellowish mineral baddeleyite (its natural form)
- It has an extremely high melting point of 2750 C (or 4976 F) making it difficult for production as there did not exist a crucible (container) which could meet this temperature. Early attempts were in about 1930.
- German pioneers Stackelberg and Chuboba discovered naturally occuring zirconia
- Production of synthetic zirconia was a result of scientists seeking materials for use in lasers. One of the most known, the YAG (yttrium aluminium garnet).
- The Frenchmen Roulin & Collongues did research in the 1960 for producing of zirconia.
- Soviet scientists in Moscow perfected the technique named skull crucible to begin commercial production which began in earnest about 1976.
- By 1980 the annual global production had reached about 50 million carats.
- How does it differ from a diamond - in laymen's terms?
- Hardness of a diamond is 10 (mohs) and for CZ 8
- Flaws: CZ if virtually flawless, whereas diamons have flaws
- Color: CZ is produced in many colors - diamonds have less colors
- Cost is the huge difference - it's affordable.
- In the 1980s Swarovski began producing CZ as well - making it a staple in the costume jewelry industry.
- Note that the colors of the CZ are different in daylight and in indoor lighting. (Another easy way to tell from a diamond!)
A Color Chart of the standard Cubic Zirconia colors. More are being produced and like the Swarovski, special colors are being applied after production.