Sunday, March 09, 2008

Why Your CZ Earrings Look Like Diamonds

There are countless types of earrings and wearing earrings is a personal choice; whether you have one piercing on each ear or five you will want to choose your earrings to match your personal taste. One type of earring that remains popular are cubic zirconia earrings, better known as CZ earrings. CZ earrings are popular for many reasons, the top ones being that CZ can look amazingly close to a diamond; in many cases only a diamond expert would be able to know the difference. Learn what CZ is and what to know if you are thinking about CZ Earrings.

CZ earrings are earrings that are made with cubic zirconia which is a diamond look-a-like. You may be wondering just what cubic zirconia is. It is the crystalline form of a mineral called zirconium dioxide which looks very similar to diamond especially when set jewelry like CZ earrings. This mineral is harder than almost any other gem except for the diamond; it is flawless to the naked human eye and the majority of it is a clear color.

Diamonds are of course very popular but also very expensive. People may not think it is such a great idea to have an engagement ring made of CZ, but CZ earrings are very acceptable and if you purchase a quality pair, they only person who needs to know that you have CZ earrings and not diamond ones, is you.

The history of CZ earrings begins in the year 1892 when the mineral called baddeleyite was discovered. Baddeleyite is the natural form of CZ. Years later in 1899, natural CZ was discovered; at the time the men who made the discovery did not even think that it was important enough to give it a name. Experiments were done in the 1960 by researchers who were trying to discover different melting points and see if they could create crystals. A Russian scientist later worked on different techniques and perfected it enough that he named the gem the Fianit; however it was only used in jewelry in Russia. In the year 1973 the news of this was told to other countries; this lead to production of the CZ gem across the globe beginning in 1976.

Now, the process that is used to make CZ earrings is that zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide are mixed together and then heated; this creates what we know as cubic zirconia. While doing this process, the gems that are created can be as big as five centimeters long; they are then cut into smaller gems that would fit perfectly into CZ earrings. If the crafters choose to make gems of different colors, they do so by adding other elements. They can create colors ranging from yellow to red, pink to brown.

Since 1976 jewelry makers have been seeking ways to make the cubic zirconia look even more like diamonds. One method that they invented is to coat the CZ with what is called a DLC which stands for diamond like carbon. It makes the CZ harder, shinier and look just like a diamond to the human eye. Antoher method which involves spraying an extremely thin layer of gold to the finished CZ gem works just as well. It is because of these methods that CZ earrings appear to be diamond earrings.