Swarovski Crystal Vs. Cubic Zirconia

Anyone who knows me or my jewelry can tell you that I love things that sparkle. I’ve always love Swarovski Crystals and have offered some one of a kind pieces using them.

I just recently launched my Lotus Collection that includes an exclusive collection of one of a kind pieces using high quality semi precious stones and solid sterling silver findings. I’m so excited to be able to offer these special pieces and I very much wanted to incorporate high-end crystals into at least a few of the pieces. I was lucky enough to find a fabulous supplier who offers a great selection of the semi precious stones I needed. While I was there I noticed they carry Cubic Zirconia in a huge variety of colours and cuts. This was a store that only carries the best quality stones and findings so I was surprised to find Cubic Zirconia instead of Swarovski Crystals. I decided to do a little research before I decided if I would stick with my original plan to included Swarovski’s or if I would use Cubic Zirconia. Here is what I found after a little research.

If you’re like me you associate Cubic Zirconia with being a diamond substitute. While this is true they are so much more. Cubic Zirconia (commonly called CZ) is a high quality man-made gemstone and is usually made in a Lab. Cubic Zirconia is flawless and equivalent to a Grade F (the highest grade) on the diamond clarity chart and are offered in a large selection of cuts and colours. Cubic Zirconia can be cut with more facets offering more reflective surfaces than other crystals.  The other difference I found is that because of the process and material CZ is made from it is more durable than Swarovski Crystal. Also because of the process used to make Cubic Zirconia the cost to purchase them is higher than Swarovski Crystals.

Like CZ Swarovski Crystals are a man-made product and made using leaded glass. Because of the process and lead in the glass Swarovski Crystals have a luminous sparkle like nothing else. The process is registered to Swarovski so there with never be another crystal made using the same technique. This is what gives them much of their specialness. Like CZ Swarovski Crystals are also available in a large variety of cuts and colours. Because of the lead in the glass they are more delicate than Cubic Zirconia, however it’s unlikely wearing a pair of Swarovski earrings would cause enough wear to chip or damage the stone.

So which to choose? Well I was still a little stumped to be honest. I will always love the sparkle of Swarovski Crystals and they are less expensive than Cubic Zirconia. But I’m planning to use the gemstones in a bracelet alongside semi precious stones so the durability of Cubic Zirconia was what finally made my decision. The stones I chose are a beautiful olive green colour that will compliment the labradorite stones I am planning to use them with and the cut of the tiny briolette stones are full of facets giving tons of beautiful sparkle.

I would love to know what you think so I have a quick little poll to the right that just asks whether you think Swarovski Crystals or Cubic Zirconia are more special. I would love if you left a comment here letting me know why you voted how you did and if reading the above information changed how you felt about either stone. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say! ♥


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35 thoughts on “Swarovski Crystal Vs. Cubic Zirconia

  1. I think both are worth while, which is what I voted for. But it seems you have made the right decision to me for the pieces your working on. Thanks for the info!

  2. I love them all and think that they all work well together. I say, use anything that sparkles and that you appreciate.

  3. I never knew any of this about CZ. I will say though, that I voted and I voted that they were equal. The reason being, it has never really been about a “name” of something for me. If it is looks good…in this case, if it is sparkly and pretty….then I say who cares what it’s called. That’s just my two cents.

  4. REally interesting, thanks for share this information. I haven´t heard about CZ before. I haven´t see at hand but for description, I think is more special CZ because of gemstone nature. I will be impatient to see your creations.

  5. I really like Swarovski Crystals as well. I’ve used them for years in different designs I have done…I have never used CZ crystals, but I may have to try that in the future! Thanks for the info.

  6. I like both cz and crystals, I suppose it just depends on the piece as to which to choose. Your creations all really sparkle! wonderful work :o)

  7. Well, this definately changed my opinion of CZ. Like you I am a die hard Swarovski fan. But now that I know CZ’s really are quality items it does make me more apt to use them in the future. I always thought in the back of my mind that CZ’s were not much better than plastic. To know they are sturdy as well as beautiful is great.

  8. Thank you very much. I was looking for information on wedding jewellery. Since I won’t be able to afford a diamond jewellery set, I was looking for alternatives that would give the similar sparkle in the wedding. First, I thought Swarovski Crystals will be my only choice. Then, a friend of mine told me about CZ which I have never heard of before. Thanks to your info above, that gives me more confident on choosing CZ jewellery for my wedding.

    1. I’m so happy the information was helpful to you! Definitely cubic zironia is a great choice for beautiful sparkling jewelry. If you look at this pair of earrings I have made (I’m sure you’re not looking for green but it’s the only example I have to show you right now) you can see how nicely the cubic zirconia are faceted and how much they catch the light. Congratulations on your engagement and I’m sure you will have a lovely wedding!

  9. This is perfect explanation and exactly the conclusion I was coming to. Glad to hear your findings as well

  10. It has to be Swarovski for me and my customers, because I know the quality is always the same. I have been using both and with so many companies producing and getting access to CZ the market has found it difficult to manage the quality. It’s a shame however with Swarovski you know that a stringent QA process takes place.
    The refraction factor and ability to accurately facet the crystal is always at the forefront of my mind as this effects the overall finish.


  11. I thought Swarovski makes Zirconia. Do you know anything about that? It was introduced in Germany at a show in 2010 I believe. Brilliance Zirconia

  12. Both are wonderful to me. I wish CZ did not have such a bad rap, as it is a really nice stone in and of itself. I love CZ’s durability; it is about 8.25 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, just under Sapphire. The right quality CZ, cut well, can be amazing.

    Swarovski is Swarovski, and always = amazing. I believe they are somewhere around 5-6 on the Moh’s.

    Now, my absolute favourite synthetic is Moissanite, which is 9.25 on the Moh’s, and makes amazing rainbows in the light. The only thing is it is expensive :(

  13. I love both and ended up being swayed by the settings, opting for a brand of CZ jewellry because the setting was silver (easily buffed to bring back the shine) as opposed to a rodium plated metal chain with the Swarovski line, which requires periodic replating at a cost to bring back the shine. I was researching the difference in the stones and came up with this link and the information you have provided serves to confirm CZ as my choice.

  14. Swarovski is Swarovski, and always = amazingBy way of The late 1940’s any Habicht title was presented with in place for the sake of swarovski Optic. Nowadays, the contact lenses are usually the best anywhere in exactness optical applications. Subsequently, roughly century gone by. I believe they are somewhere around 5-6 on the Moh’s.

  15. I, too, bought a large supply of cubic zirconia, in several colors and cuts. I, too, wanted to design sparkle into my gemstone and pearl necklaces. Just now, I completed a stunning design of amethyst, charoite spears, purple freshwater pearls, and two shades of purple large cubic zirconia briolettes. I must market my necklace as cubic zirconia, since that’s the stone that is in the necklace. My customers, however, have a “thing” against cubic zirconia, thinking it a manmade, thus inferior, stone compared to Swarovski crystals. I guess I’ll have to educate them that Swarovski crystals are manmade too. What I get from your piece is that cubic zirconia has it over Swarovski crystals on the durability dimension (Mohs scale hardness).

  16. What is the difference between a swarovski crystal and a swarovski zirconia the process and lead in the glass?

  17. I had CZ put in my high school class ring instead of diamonds because the CZ came with the ring basically making them free. I think this caused me to see CZ as “worthless” when it came to value. Pages like these are helping me to see that there is more value in CZ than I originally thought, but I still see Swarovski crystals as more precious. I am highly considering a Swarovski ring in the near future!

  18. Been searching for info on CZ etc and have a clearer understanding. Thanks for the useful info given here. I also see the info that CZ is manufactured in a lab is what I have been searching for. Best with your design

  19. I saw a stunning ‘tennis bracelet’ made of Swarovski Zirconia….I was told by the sales person that the crystal stones are as durable as CZ’s. After doing some research, I found that under the Mohs scale, the Swarovski Zirconia is a 6-7 hardness, CZ’s are 8-9 and diamonds are 10 [the hardest]. I also found the Swarovski Zirconias to be considerable more expensive than CZ’s…at least at the store I found the bracelet in……….both are lovely but for a piece that has a strong potential to be knocked I would choose CZ over Swarovski. For earrings and necklaces the Swarovski would be perfect.

  20. I have recently purchased a cz ring, the compliments are abundant.I personally feel I have a more connection to cz vs. Swarovski because of the very real element (being zirconium) a natural chemical substance and other natural substances. The durability and sheer beauty has me completely sold.

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