Women want to look and feel beautiful and they are willing to spend a lot of money to shine. But not every woman can afford to wear real diamonds. Besides that, when you are at a party and the lights are low, who will see the difference between a diamond, a zirconia, and a great Swarovski crystal? It is a matter of good, best and better: Swarovski, zirconia, and diamond.
Working for my ‘diamonds’
Although I am not a rich woman at all, I have some diamonds I inherited from my mother. My father was a jeweler, and I was very interested in jewelry and gemstones. When I was young I worked in the shop, that is I picked up the pearls of the strings that were broken, I polished the silver and my last job was to do the bookkeeping. I had to write down every item a client bought and after a certain amount of purchases, the client got a present. For that job, I got 10 cents an hour (in the seventies!). And when I wanted to buy something from the shop I got a discount of 50%.
Unnecessary to say that most of the times I bought a jewel from my father and I received many pieces for my birthdays and Christmas. I never got diamonds nor Swarovski, most of the time I got pieces of jewelry with semi-precious gemstones or zirconia. My father thought it was not appropriate to give a younger person very expensive jewelry.
My first real diamond
For my 21st birthday, I got a solitaire diamond ring from my parents. That was the first diamond I ever could call mine. And to be honest, I could not see the difference between the diamond set in a white gold ring and my zirconia equivalent. Now I can, but then… So my father explained it to me like this:
Best and better: Swarovski, zirconia, diamond!
A diamond is a mined (gem)stone, cut and polished in facets. It is the hardest gemstone in the world and with devices made of diamond you can cut everything you want. A zirconia is a manmade stone that looks exactly like a diamond. It is very hard to see the difference without a magnifier. But the zirconia is not that hard (8.5 instead of 10).
Crystal is glass with a certain amount of lead oxide in it. When there is over 30% lead oxide in a crystal then the quality is superb. The Swarovski crystals contain about 32% lead oxide and can be called the top of the crystals.
Hazards of owing diamonds
Back to the party. Did you know that a lot of rich people who owe beautiful and expensive pieces of jewelry made of diamonds, order to make an exact duplicate of that expensive jewel? But instead of diamonds, they use zirconia. Sometimes it is necessary for security reasons: they don’t want to hang around with those men in black with little devices in their ears. Or the insurance company doesn’t want to insure the jewelry when it is not in a safe. But what can you do with your beautiful diamonds then?
Luckily I don’t have those problems and I can wear my mother’s diamonds whenever I want, without being surrounded by safety guys. Talking about safe. There are some things you have to know when you want to buy a diamond to avoid buying a zirconia or Swarovski crystal by accident.
- Buy your diamonds in a certified, well-known jewel shop and ask for a certificate
- Diamonds are most of the time set in gold and zirconia in high-quality silver.
- Zirkonia is softer than diamonds.
Although diamonds are the best of the best, zirconia is a great second. In its field, the Swarovski crystals are top of the bill, but I should avoid the crystal, since they really look like glass (which they are of course) and the breaking of the light on crystals is less.
When you love jewelry and gemstones, you might be interested in my tips % secrets I publish every 2 weeks. There are free, so when you want me tos end them to you, leave your address and I will take care that you get them.
Hug, Florence from FlorenceJewelshop