Friday, February 26, 2010
What is the difference between Swarovski crystals, rhinestone, and cubic zirconia?
★Rhinestone★ – The name is derived from the area in which these stones originated; a city along the Rhine river in Germany. A rhinestone is a clear artificial gem made of hard glass. To create sparkle, rhinestones are coated on their base with a silver mirror-like finish that reflects light. Usually rhinestones are found in vintage or antique jewelry. Innovations in manufacturing have advanced the production of simulated gemstones beyond the rhinestone.
★Crystal★: The diamond-like radiance of a glass crystal is generated by the quality of the stone’s cut, placement of its facets, and its lead content. Lead is the element in crystal that sparkles. Crystals can be clear like diamonds or colored to resemble precious gemstones.
★Swarovski crystals★-the finest… genuine Swarovski crystals are famous for their unmatched cutting techniques, the house of Swarovski is revered worldwide as the premier Austrian crystal manufacturer.
★Cubic Zirconia★: A “CZ” is considered a simulated diamond because of its realistic clarity and brilliance. A genuine diamond is formed in the earth as extreme pressure compresses carbon and other elements. A cubic zirconia is a man-made gem that is manufactured in a laboratory by applying pressure to carbon and other ingredients, simulating the process that takes nature eons to complete. During the process, dye can be injected to create different colored gems. Cubic zirconias are then cut and faceted by hand, just like a genuine diamond. Cubic zirconias, like diamonds, exude optimum sparkle when light is allowed to reflect and refract, therefore, usually CZs are mounted in open-back settings. When an item has an opening in the back of the mounting, a cubic zirconia is often used as the gemstone. Criteria similar to that used to rate a diamond is employed in evaluating a cubic zirconia; cut, clarity, and carat.