Gemstone -What is Cubic Zirconia. Poor Mans- Man made Gemstone. Looks like a diamond.
Cubic zirconia is similar to a diamond with its brilliance and crystal clarity, but it is a synthesized (man-made) crystalline material that is colourless, hard, and flawless. It looks so much like a diamond, it is an affordable alternative to diamonds. It is made in different colours to simulate the different colours of a diamond.
Every one can afford Cubic Zirconia, It looks like a diamond, sparkles like a diamond, Pretty Like a diamond. But does not cost lots of money like a diamond does.
Cubic zirconia started being produced in 1976 because of its diamond-like qualities, low cost, and overall durability. Cubic zirconia is a mineral that is used as a diamond simulant and is widely synthesized.
How is Cubic Zirconia made?
Cubic zirconia crystals are made by melting powdered zirconium and zirconium dioxide together and heating them up to 4,982ºF. A cubic zirconia is a perfectly man-made, flawless stone that is free of inclusions
On the hardness scale for stones, the genuine diamond is a 10 compared to a hardness ranging from 8.5-9 for CZ. CZ has a refractive index (the ability to refract a ray of light into colors of red, orange, green, yellow, violet, and blue) of 2.15-2.18, compared to 2.42 for genuine diamond.
Annual production of U.S. synthetic and simulant gemstones is currently valued at around $20 million, with production of natural gemstones at about two and a half times that.
Cubic zirconia is made from a mixture of high purity zirconium oxide powders stabilized with magnesium and calcium. The amount of each ingredient is carefully controlled, with certain additives sometimes being used to achieve a similar appearance to genuine diamonds.
In the skull melt method to grow cubic zirconia, a hollow-walled copper cup is filled with powdered ingredients and heated by radio frequency induction until the powders melt. Circulating water within the hollow walls cool the inside wall of the skull. Because water cools the walls of the skull, the powdered materials next to the walls do not melt, and the molten material is contained within a shell of unmelted material. Therefore, the reactive or high-temperature melt is contained within itself. When the heat source is removed and the system is allowed to cool, crystals form by nucleation and grow until the entire melt solidifies. A single skull yields about 2.205 lb (1 kg) of cubic zirconia per cycle.