Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). While cubic zirconia is a naturally occurring crystal, it is exceedingly rare, with all of the cubic zirconia used in jewelry lab-grown. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors.
Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important competitor for diamonds since commercial production began.
Originally, the process was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s and requires quite a bit of technical intricacy, including extremes of pressure and temperature. The instrument invented for the growing of cubic zirconia at the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow was called the skull crucible, and has since become standard in production of this very valuable material.
The cubic zirconia that we use in our jewelry currently is manufactured in Austria by the Swarovski company.
Here is a photo of silver ring with black and white CZ:
Check out more jewelry with cubic zirconia.