Cubic Zirconia engagement rings and wedding bands are a good choice for those with limited budgets.
They're also great for people who view an engagement ring as a symbol of commitment and understand that one's love isn't measured by its cost.
Cubic Zirconia, also known as CZ, is probably the best known diamond simulant (substitute) and to the untrained eye can look identical to a diamond.
Engaging Fact: Although CZ had been around for a while it wasn't until the 1980s that it became popular. That's when Swarovski began marketing and promoting it world-wide.
Because it looks so much like a diamond and has similar fire and brilliance it's almost impossible to identify a diamond ring from a beautiful CZ ring if you're not a gemologist or jeweler.
Beautiful CZ engagement rings come at all price levels and are suitable for every budget. Here are our top picks running from a few hundred dollars all the way up into the thousands.
You can click on each one of these to learn
more about them.
From left to right they are a brilliant round, heart-shaped and princess cut set in white or yellow gold and are simple, elegant and tasteful. They all run around $300 while their diamond equivalents would be more in the $3000+ range.
Check out these to-die-for Top quality Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings from Birkat Elyon who are known for producing the world's finest quality CZ jewelry. These are real show-stoppers!
Although these Birkat Elyon rings start around $500 or so, these beauties can run up to a couple of thousand dollars. It just goes to show that a CZ ring should never be thought of as cheap or less beautiful. The detailing and designs are equivalent to the best designer rings we've seen.
And speaking of top designer rings......
If you want even higher-end designer CZ rings & wedding bands look no further than Tacori. These striking and beautiful Cubic Zirconia pieces are showcased on our Tacori engagement rings page but be warned, they start at $1,500 and go way up from there.
CZ is heavier and softer than a real diamond and of course flawless since it has been grown in laboratories since the 1970's. A Cubic Zirconia will have slightly less brilliance and sparkle than a conventional diamond but more fire (those are the flashes of color you see when the stone catches light). Although not as hard as a diamond it will keep its sparkle and polish very well.
Today Cubic Zirconia engagement rings come in many colors. By adding different minerals to the mix, a virtual rainbow of colors can be produced.
For example, the addition of copper will produce yellow, amber and brown stones, while Cobalt will produce various shades of lilac to violet. The colorless or 'white' Cubic Zirconia is by far the most common and desired for its similarity to the coveted diamond.
The same care and attention should be given to a CZ ring as a diamond one, and can be cleaned with any conventional jeweler cleaner or mild detergent. Like all stones, it needs regular cleaning to remove oils from the skin which can dull it's brilliance over time.
There are two things we'd like you to keep in mind when looking at Cubic Zirconia engagement rings.
First, never try to pass of a CZ ring as a diamond ring—because it isn't a diamond ring—it's a Cubic Zirconia ring and there is nothing wrong with that. And secondly, enjoy the beautiful and precious stone for what it is and don't think about what it's not!
If the cost of a CZ ring is appealing but you're just not sure about owning one, consider a birthstone engagement ring or take a look at the Topaz rings we highlight on our cheaper engagement rings page.