Gemologists and diamond-obsessed women and men can spot cubic zirconia with a naked eye, but for those who are untrained, it can take practice in learning how to detect a fake diamond amongst the real ones. When you put a diamond next to a cubic zirconia gemstone, you will be able to notice distinct differences, such as the diamond’s fire and brilliance. If you are in the market to purchase a piece of jewelry, make sure that you know how to recognize a cubic zirconia.
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Compare the prices. Cubic zirconia stones are not as expensive as diamonds because they are not rare like diamonds are. If a bargain on a piece of jewelry seems too good to be true, it probably is. A one carat diamond can cost thousands of dollars, so if you are looking at a stone that is one carat, but costs a couple hundred, it is safe to suspect a CZ.
Use a magnifying glass to check the facets of the stone in question. Diamonds have sharp facets that are cut at distinct angles. Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, have more rounded facets and cannot be made to appear as sharp as the ones that diamonds contain. Cubic zirconia stones give off the illusion of a worn diamond, but this is a giveaway that the stone is not really a diamond.
Pick up a cubic zirconia stone and a diamond of equal carat size. Hold one in each hand and weigh them by feeling how heavy they are. Notice the one that is heavier and assume that it is a cubic zirconia. CZs are heavier than diamonds of equal carat size.
Look for imperfections. Unless you are gazing into a flawless diamond, which are rare, you can notice slight inclusions that add a unique “flaw” to the diamond. These inclusions are not bad, although the more flawless the diamond is the more valuable it becomes. Cubic zirconias, upon close inspection, do not contain inclusions because they are synthetic.
Ask for the paperwork. Certified diamonds come with documents that detail the specific information on an exact diamond. The paperwork grades the diamond for cut, color, clarity and carat weight. Cubic zirconia stones do not come with official paperwork claiming their authenticity.
Take a sharp object to your stone and try to scratch it. A cubic zirconia is soft in comparison to a real diamond. It will scratch or chip, whereas a diamond will remain untouched.
Ask for an expert’s opinion if you are still unsure whether a gemstone is a cubic zirconia or a diamond. It would be unfortunate to make an expensive purchase and later find that your stone is a fake.