Most often when people use the word "crystal" when talking about jewelry, they are referring to manmade crystals, though the word crystal can refer to the natural rock crystals we know as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc.
What Are 'Manmade' Crystals?
These are synthetic crystals created in laboratories. Rock crystals are natural resources that need to be mined & polished, while manmade crystals offer a more sustainable solution. The three most popular manmade crystals often used in jewelry designs of quality standards are Cubic Zirconia, Swarovski Crystals, and Czech Crystals.
Cubic Zirconia Vs. Swarovski & Czech
The biggest thing to note is that a Swarovski 'crystal' is a lead crystal from glass. What makes it Swarovski is simply the brand name from Daniel Swarovski's patented process of machine cutting & polishing. Czech crystals are also lead glass crystals but they come from manufactures in the Czech Republic.
Cubic Zirconia on the other hand doesn't have a brand name, but costs slightly more than Swarovski crystals for high quality grades which ranges from A - AAAAA.
Cubic Zirconia Vs. Diamond
Cubic Zirconia is the most popular substitute to a diamond because to an untrained eye they can look identical. A professional jeweler can tell by various characteristics: Cubic Zirconia is about 1.6 times the weight of a diamond and a diamond rates a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, compared to Cubic Zirconia's hardness of 8. Cubic Zirconia's hardness is still impressive, being equal to that of a Topaz, and harder than Swarovski which rates between 6-7.
Lastly, and most importantly, Cubic Zirconia can be colored by adding metal oxides in the production process to make a variety of beautiful & sustainable pieces.
What Gemandi Uses
If you haven't guessed yet, we use Cubic Zirconia! More importantly, we use AAAAA grade which truly makes a difference for our elite jewelers.
We treat each crystal like a diamond. Our knowledge of the crystals & our cutting techniques allows us to showcase each crystal to it's full potential, giving each ring shine & sparkle.
We get to work with beautiful colors that aren't always naturally found. This let's us push the envelope on modern styles.
Lastly, using manmade crystals is a more sustainable practice & is cost effective for more people to enjoy. Cubic Zirconia can get a bad reputation from the upper class calling the crystals out as "fakes" but these aren't aiming to fool anyone as being diamonds. They are just an alternative that more people can enjoy, varying in multiple styles and colors.