You can buy cubic zirconia rings in any major department store, including Macy's and Kohl's, or through reliable online retailers. Cubic zirconia, a laboratory-created gemstone, first debuted in the late 70s and is still largely seen as the most popular diamond substitute. Cubic zirconia can be cut and colored similar to diamonds and other gemstones.
- Find out the basics
As with any ring shopping, know the basics, such as the ring size, budget and preference for colored stones versus colorless stones. Consider the setting of the ring and your preference for white gold, rose gold, sterling silver or gold over silver.
- Evaluate your options
Check online selections of cubic zirconia through reliable vendors such as the Home Shopping Network, and browse in department stores and jewelry outlets. This helps you compare prices and quality, and also gives you an idea about popular cuts and shapes. Some options include princess cut, square cut, marquise, baguette, three-stone rings and eternity bands.
- Check the quality
Once you've decided what pattern you'd like, check the quality using the same criteria as diamond selections: color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Cubic zirconias are heavier than the same-sized diamonds, and stores may list a carat weight for the ring. Clarity is another important yardstick for measuring quality. Ask the jeweller about the "4 Cs", and read the descriptions carefully before purchasing.