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Is that sparkly bling on your finger the real thing or an inexpensive imitation? When you can tell the difference between cubic zirconia and diamond jewelry, you can make sure you get what you pay for when you buy jewelry. Don't be the victim of a swindle -- make sure you know what the real thing looks like before you make a purchase.
Find out the price of the jewelry, if possible. If the stone is huge and the price is low, this should tell you that the stone is probably not a genuine diamond. Cubic zirconia stones often have sterling silver mountings instead of 14-carat gold mountings because silver is relatively inexpensive compared to gold. Cubic zirconia jewelry is frequently gold-plated metal as well.
Look at the color of the gem. Compared to diamonds, CZ stones have a rainbow of colors emanating from the stones, whereas diamonds sparkle a white color. CZ stones generally sparkle less brilliantly than a genuine diamond.
Compare the weight of a cubic zirconia stone to a diamond. CZ stones are heavier than diamonds, making it necessary to measure them in millimeters, measuring the diameter, instead of carats, which is a unit of weight. Some jewelers estimate that CZ stones weigh almost twice what genuine diamonds weigh, and others claim that a cubic zirconia weighs about 75 percent more than a diamond of equal size.
Watch for chips and scratches. If you have a CZ stone in your jewelry instead of a diamond, expect it to chip and scratch more easily. While a diamond has a hardness rating of 10, a CZ has a hardness rating of 8.5.
Try the fog test to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia and a diamond. If you breathe on a diamond in the same way you would breathe on a mirror, it would stay clear without fogging at all. Do the same to a CZ and it will fog up. This is because a diamond will not retain heat and a CZ will.
Take your jewelry to a professional jeweler for a definitive answer. A jeweler has special magnifying glasses and lights that he can use to look at the gem. Some cubic zirconia stones are of such high quality that even a professional cannot make a definite conclusion without special tools.