As you head to the jeweler's to shop for your engagement and wedding rings, you’ll be with a lot of options in color, cut, and type of gemstone.

It may seem overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to decide on what material you want your gemstones cut from.

Do you want diamonds? What about cubic zirconia? What is the difference?

This handy guide will help you decide exactly what kind of ring you want to buy for your beloved.

Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond Rings: Know First About Cubic Zirconia

zirconia
diamond

Cubic Zirconia is a lab-created gemstone that looks very similar to real diamonds but is actually very different in its make-up and features.

It is the crystalline form of zirconium dioxide and is made entirely in a lab. The process for creating it in a lab setting was perfected in the 1970s, and it began to be sold worldwide as a popular substitute for diamonds in engagement rings and other jewelry.

To the untrained eye, it looks so similar that most cannot tell the difference between cubic zirconia and the real thing.

What are the Differences?

diamonds

Hardness

Density

Color

Dispersion and Refractivity

Price

Cut

Which One Should I Choose?

zirconias

It really depends on your personal preferences and the preferences of your partner. If you’re looking for a beautiful engagement ring that doesn’t run up into the thousands, then a ring with cubic zirconia is probably your best choice.

If you’re looking for something that won’t scratch as easily or is more durable in the long run and price isn’t an issue, then a real diamond is the right choice.

Putting a Price on Love

Conflict-Free Diamonds

What is the Kimberley Process?

Kimberley Process

The Kimberley Process was created in the early 2000s when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, to find a way to stop the trade in conflict diamonds.

They drafted a binding agreement for every participant with heavy requirements on the sale and trade of rough diamonds and certifies them as conflict-free.

Each participant in the agreement must meet a set of standards for the diamonds they trade and safeguard the transportation of rough diamonds worldwide.

According to their website, the Kimberley Process has helped to disrupt over 98% of the illegal conflict diamond trade and kept the money from that trade out of the hands of rebel factions seeking to undermine legitimate governments in Africa and on other continents.

By choosing a certified conflict-free diamond for your engagement ring, you’re helping to uphold the Kimberley Process in your own small way.

Still Can’t Decide? Try a Different Stone

If you’re still stuck at the jewelry counter and don’t know which side to take in the cubic zirconia vs diamond debate, then try checking out a few pieces that feature other gemstones.

Popular options for engagements rings have been opals (which are beautiful, but a very brittle stone, so tread carefully), rubies, emeralds, and even some sapphires.

Many of those stones have beautiful synthetic alternatives that will keep the price tag low and leave you a little wiggle room in the rest of your wedding planning.

Whatever you decide, at least you’ll be armed with some more facts to make the choices at ring counter seem a little less daunting.

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