Is There A Cure For Dull Cloudy Cubic Zirconia ?

Married Couple Wedding RingsHas your lovely cubic zirconia engagement ring turned from brilliant and sparkling to dull and cloudy? When you are in love with a particular piece of jewelry, it can be heartbreaking to notice anything wrong with it. I can understand your frustration. I’ve had many jewelry dilemmas as well. As ring wearers, there are several nightmare scenarios that we hope will never happen, but sometimes do.

The Heartbreak Of A Missing Stone

One day as you are going about your daily business, you glance down at your hand and notice an empty hole where your ring stone used to be.  You start the frantic search for your beloved stone with mind racing as you backtrack your steps hoping to find it. Even if the missing stone isn’t a $5000.00 flawless diamond, it means something to you, to your heart, and to your feelings.

Newly Discovered Scratches Or Nicks

Finding tiny nicks or scratches along your engagement ring band is bad enough. Noticing that your gemstones have surface scratches is very disappointing indeed. When the entire stone looks dull and milky it loses its appeal. It’s very sad when your engagement ring bling isn’t blingy anymore.

Bling. What an interesting word in the world of jewelry jargon. Bling means sparkle, glitter, or  shine. It attracts attention. It feels special to wear. Bling has that marvelous celebratory quality that just makes us feel happy and pampered. It lights up our world and makes us feel rich even if we aren’t.

Should We Simply Expect Cloudiness From All Cubic Zirconia?

Sad Cloud
What happened to my bling?

Some people believe that eventual cloudiness is something we should expect with all CZ gemstones. Many people compare the brilliant light refraction of a flawless diamond to that of a low quality cubic zirconia and get very disappointed. No, I don’t think we should expect cloudiness, but we should be realistic about the nature of cubic zirconia.

It isn’t as hard as a diamond. If you purchased your CZ decades ago, it may have been on the market when standards of clarity and cut were much lower. Women were used to Rhinestone baubles that would turn milky after awhile.

Today’s jewelry customer demands more quality, more value, and a lot more longevity when it comes to diamond alternatives; especially for engagement ring stones. As luck would have it, there is so much competition in the diamond alternative market, manufacturers are knocking themselves out to make CZ bridal rings of better quality and clarity.

This is a wonderful video for seeing the difference quality makes.

 

Although there are better quality CZ brands available on the market, as jewelry owners, we have to take a look at how our daily activities can beat the shine out of our gemstone rings. Even the shape and profile of a ring can impact how often it accidentally bumps into things. Simple activities like digging in our purses, makeup bags, and cabinets can add scratches over time.

No Matter How Top-Quality The Stone, A CZ Will Always Behave Like A CZ

The largest challenge to maintaining the luster of a cubic zirconia for as long as possible is self awareness. We get so busy in our lives that it’s easy to forget our engagement ring stone or stones needs a bit of preventative care.

A Cubic Zirconia engagement ring wants to be treated as though it were a valuable jewel.”

Ring Settings That Protect Gemstones

After suffering the heartbreak and frustration of  wearing or replacing scratched gemstones, some women choose to wear all their rings with protective settings. Protective settings have pros and cons. On the plus side, the design forms a barrier around the stone much like a car bumper. On the negative side, the stone will lose some refraction because less light can get through. The  most protective design is that of the Bezel.

The Bezel Set Can Dim Refraction, But Offers A Protective Side Bumper
Although engagement rings with bezel settings are popular when a ring is fully loaded with expensive genuine diamonds, it’s harder to find when the stones are cubic zirconia.

This Sterling Silver CZ Vintage Style Bridal Ring by Palm Beach Jewelry is a good example of the security border that bezel settings provide. However, see those beautiful facets at the top of the stone? That area will always be a tender spot for a CZ.

Risky Things Women Try To Add Shine To Their Cubic Zirconia Rings

Dull, cloudy gemstones call for desperate measures, right? It is interesting to see what lengths some are willing to go through to revive a dying engagement ring or wedding band. You-tube is a great example.Wedding advice forums are another.

People are  turning  to self-help methods like baking and boiling their rings.They are gathering on social media to share “miracle” cures and trade recipes for cloud dissolving formulas. As interesting as it is to read about, are these methods worth the risk?

After doing a little research and reading, one observation became clear. Baking a cubic zirconia has its risks. It may add a brown tint to the stone, shatter it, or do nothing at all to remove cloudiness. I couldn’t recommend baking your ring, but I am chicken-hearted that way.

A Reputable Jewelry Store Can Help You Explore Your Options

If you enjoy going to the mall, it can’t hurt to pop in to a jewelry store and have an associate look at your ring. Because fake diamond jewelry is so popular, they won’t faint if you ask for advice about your cloudy CZ. If your stone is beyond help, you might have to replace it. Once you have a brand new, sparkling CZ in place of your old cloudy one, consider doing what many women do to protect their expensive diamond engagement rings; wear some type of silicone ring cover to stop  daily activities from beating up your precious ring .

This company, Ringwrapper.com, is an interesting site to look through. It’s nice that they offer a clear version to customers. Not everyone wants to wear hot pink or purple silicon tubes over their engagement ring.

Silicone Ring Covers-Pros And Cons

  • The Cons– They aren’t very pretty are they? Technically, it’s like putting your ring into a rubber dog house, so the “show off my ring” enjoyment is lost.
  • The Pros– A good quality cover lets you be free to do what you love to do ( or have to do at work) without so many worries.

The Real Truth About Those CZ Clouds

Those of us who love the value and appeal of fake diamond options like cubic zirconia also appreciate the realistic truth about their projected lifespan. Technically, the two enemies of CZ brilliance are built-in. One before you put the ring on, and one after you put the ring on.

  • Cubic Zirconia stones cannot be created with sharp, linear facets like diamonds. CZ’s have to be faceted with “rounded” edges because of their composition. The more you wear them, the rounder the facet edges get. The rounder they get , the less sparkle they can produce.
  • Our natural skin oils, dirt from daily life, and tiny little surface nicks from normal activity can take a toll on shine.

The truth is, a well-worn and un-pampered CZ engagement ring isn’t likely to stay diamond-bright after 60 years of marriage, but then again, neither will the bride or groom.

There is good news, however. There are options you can consider to keep your CZ engagement ring as brilliant as possible for the duration of your marriage:

  • If your budget allows, pick a durable metal with a protective setting.
  • Consider a custom prong design that makes it easier for a jeweler to replace a damaged stone with a new one.
  • Research silicone covers or ring protectors. Most are incredibly low-priced.
  • If you haven’t decided on an engagement ring yet, there is a brilliant idea ( no pun intended) brewing out there in cubic zirconia land for the sparkle-loving crowd; adding  extra facets.

A company called Diamonbella offers simulated diamond/ CZ engagement rings with stones cut with  101 facets for maximum light refraction. You can view this listing of Diamonbella 101 facet engagement rings to see what you think.

Is There A Cure For Dull Cloudy Cubic Zirconia?

Unfortunately, it depends. If the clouds come from a build-up of dirt, oil, hand lotion, e.t.c., a simple cleaning should restore the shine. If the clouds result from a poor quality stone that has worn facets and deep scratches from decades of wear and tear, I’m afraid the prognosis means I have to ask you to sit down as I give you the news.

 

 

Image Credits

Pixabay.com, Marriage Hands, Public Domain Free, No Modifications, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

Piq.codeus.net, Sad Cloud by Firzoidian, No Modifications, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/