American Diamond Jewelry

 

 

No longer are diamonds the exclusive preserve of the super-rich. American diamond jewelry--with its inexpensive price tag and expensive looks-has made a flashy debut in the jewelry market.

The Love of Jewelry

Jewelry and women go together and when the jewelry is made from stones like diamonds then no woman will refuse a chance of wearing it. In today's fast paced world, however, real jewelry can be quite expensive. Yet, a woman can satisfy her desires to adorn herself with equally sparkling diamonds that do not necessarily have to be real. The success of cubic zirconia or American diamond as it is nicknamed because of its origin of development, has made it very easy for the modern Indian woman to dazzle without getting unduly worried about the price or the risk factors.

The Origin

To replace the real diamond several alternatives have been tried, for example lead crystals, highly compressed graphite and carborundum. But the cubic zirconia produced initially in the former Soviet Union received the most approval. Later in the 70s, a US company perfected it by discarding as many impurities as possible to bring it

closest to the original gem. In India, the raw material for its manufacture has to be imported since the process has not yet been perfected. The price of the cubic zirconia is only a few thousand rupees per kilo and that is what makes it so attractive vis-à-vis the real diamond.

Yet, the smaller the stone the higher the price while for a real diamond it is the other way round. The cubic zirconia after cutting and polishing is re-exported to the West. As with real diamonds, it is also based on the rough and if the rough is inferior then the end product will be of the same level. At times, the end result is so good that it is hard to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia and a real diamond.

THE 4Cs

The 4Cs, cut, color, clarity and carat, apply to cubic zirconia too. The carat is different since the specific gravity is higher as it is heavier. Besides, zirconia is not as hard as a real diamond and so cannot be used for industrial purposes. On the G scale, it measures approximately 6 while diamond is hardest measuring 10. As an item of investment, the zirconia has no resale value. It is purely for aesthetic purposes and only when set in jewelry can it be sold. There are delicate bracelets, dazzling necklaces and glittering sets that will catch the eye of many a fashion-conscious woman.

In fact, the cubic zirconia has been so indistinguishable from a real diamond that it has at times even confused jewelers. The only foolproof way to tell the difference is by the thermal conductivity method, which is used at international airports and customs sections. As far as the durability of this diamond is concerned, it is comparable to the real thing. The normal standard precautions applicable to a real diamond are followed. The zirconia is more brilliant than the real diamond and in addition to other colors has flashes of red and yellow. The stone does not blacken nor does it wear away.


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