The Diamond Alternative

Cubic zirconia, unlike some of its predecessors in the lookalike game, has now been around for almost three decades. Despite some bumpy times, it has continued to grow in popularity. That kind of staying power can provide insights that can be applied to a jeweler’s business. We recently had the opportunity to speak with a number of mass merchants around the country about their CZ business. While all their businesses were different, some telling parallels emerged that indicate a maturing and strengthening product. CZ jewelry is becoming a real category. At the outset, CZ was used almost entirely to put on an unreal show – big stones set in cheap mountings – all aimed at producing a lot of “flash.” There was little pretense that it was a diamond or that it replaced the real thing. The last great experiment in “flash” was the pink CZ boom and crash, which highlighted the t

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