Cubic Zirconia Buying Guide

Learn how to find the right choice for you with our cubic zirconia buying guide. These stones are a popular and affordable alternative to pricier diamonds, and they give off a radiant sparkle. With this helpful cubic zirconia buying guide, find out more!


One of the biggest considerations when buying this stone is the overall color. While most people think of cubic zirconia as a clear stone, they are available in many different shades. Since they are man-made in a lab, they are easy to manipulate in terms of color. Most people looking for an option that more closely resembles a traditional diamond will opt for colorless cubic zirconia stones. When looking to imitate a particular gemstone, such as a ruby or an emerald, without the associated price, colored cubic zirconia is a great substitute at an affordable price. Cubic zirconia is available in a large variety of colors, from red and orange to blue and violet.

Grading and the Four C's

While you may be familiar with the grading used on diamonds, you might be unaware that there is a grading system in place for this stone as well. The four C's of diamond buying apply to cubic zirconia and help determine the grading so make sure you closely evaluate the cut, clarity, carat, and color. Stones can come in nearly any cut since this stone is easier to cut than harder stones. Clarity means the inclusions or see-thoroughness of the stone while carat is the overall weight of the piece. The color will vary depending on the stone you choose. These factors will directly result in the grading given to the cubic zirconia in question. An A grade stone is the lowest quality grading. They are rarely used in jewelry and are reserved for purposes such as embellishing clothing or fashion accessories. An AAA grading is what is most commonly used in jewelry. This grading is an affordable, mid-range option that shows up in a variety of accessories. A rating of AAAAA is the highest standard for cubic zirconia. This grading means the piece offers high marks in the four C's and is a more valuable and desirable piece than a lower grade piece.


While cubic zirconia is meant to be a more affordable alternative to diamonds, they can vary greatly in price. This has a lot to do with the grading of the stone, as well as any accompanying settings or other elements included in the piece of jewelry. For instance, a ring using a large cubic zirconia stone may still cost more than a ring made with a higher quality metal and smaller stone so make sure you evaluate the piece as a whole when buying this option.

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