Monday, November 30, 2009

Cubic Zirconias from ArtBeads

I got a beautiful selection of cubic zirconia beads from Art Beads over the weekend. Rich and warm in color, these are truly amazing.

CZ-BOR-OV9 - 7x9mm Burnt Orange CZ Oval *
CZ-BOR-REC10 - 8x10mm Burnt Orange CZ Rectangle *
CZ-CRY-CN6 - 6mm Crystal CZ Coin *
CZ-YEL6 - 6mm Yellow CZ Round Bead *

I had never worked with CZ's before and did a bit of research on them to share with you.

What is a cubic zirconia? Cubic zirconia is a man-made, synthetic stone used as an inexpensive alternative to a diamond or other colored gemstone.

Is a CZ the same as Zircon? No. Zircon is not to be confused with cubic zirconia. Zircon is a natural occurring gem, not man made. It is a zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4) and cubic zirconia (or CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2).

Cubic zirconia beads are delicate, and it is advise the utmost care be taken when working with them. To keep their polish at an optimum, it is best to treat them gently taking care of possible wear and tear when a piece is being worn by teaming it with non abrasive beads to prevent scratching. I did notice there are a few small nicks on the beads that I have, and I am guessing it is from rolling about with the other beads in the packaging. A nice soft cotton cloth for polishing finished designs is a good way to bring up their shine and when possible the use of cotton gloves when working with them will also prevent dulling their finish.

When I think of a CZ, I immediately think of a diamond. I did not know they came in so many different colors. Metal oxides are added to the CZ manufacturing process to create the different colors. Here are a few examples of what metals are used to create different colors.

Cerium: yellow, orange. red
Chromium: green
Neodymium: purple
Erbium: pink
Titanium: golden brown

These beads are heavier than Swarovski or Czech glass beads, and more expensive. Depending on what you are wanting to make, you can use the CZ's as an accent or have an exquisite piece of just CZ's, the choices are endless!

Thank you Art Beads for giving me the chance to work with such beautiful beads!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Art Beads were provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blogging for Beaders Program. These items are for review or design purposes.


  1. Aren't they gorgeous...I'm still trying to decide what colors to choose.
    I know you will make something wonderful...I look forward to what you come up with!

    Thanks for the all the interesting info...

  2. Very interesting...I didn't know the zircon was natural and thought it was a ZC. I love the burnt orange rectangle ZC and hope to see how you use this jewels! Have a good day!