Choosing The Most Realistic Cubic Zirconia Rings (Buyer’s Guide)

Beautiful. Sustainable. What if we told you that there was an affordable engagement ring that was also stunning and environmentally friendly? With cubic zirconia, that’s a real option! Marvel at the glittering beauty of a ring that won’t break the bank or the earth.

You might be reluctant to choose one of these stones for fear that it will be obviously manufactured, but our quick guide can walk you through finding a realistic cubic zirconia ring. 

When looking for the most realistic cubic zirconia rings, carat size, cut and setting, and color are essential. The most realistic carat size will be around ¾ct, although you can safely go up to 2ct. You should also ensure your ring has a simple setting and cut. Consider a solitaire in a crown setting. Finally, choose a stone with a high grade (AAAAA), and a colorless or white appearance.

While these are the hallmarks of a good imitation diamond, keep reading through our guide and let us make this process a breeze for you.

Good guides are all in the details. We will walk you through the history of cubic zirconia rings, reasons to purchase these stones over the real ones, and we will help you select the highest quality manufactured gem.

When you purchase a sustainable stone with our guide, you can proudly display an imitation diamond that looks as beautiful as the real deal without the environmental impact!

Why Purchase a Cubic Zirconia Ring?


Cubic zirconia rings that look real are highly affordable. Where diamond rings can cost thousands of dollars and can have serious ramifications for the environment and the laborers, a cubic zirconia ring offers an opportunity for a high-quality, sustainable choice that looks as good as an authentic stone.

While the price for a cubic zirconia ring increases based upon its grade and carat size, you can expect to pay for less than you would for an actual diamond. For instance, a grade AAAAA 5 carat cubic zirconia ring retails for only $24.99 on

Some factors that go into determining the value of one of these jewels includes grade, size, and color. However, it is important to select the highest quality materials in order to purchase a cubic zirconia ring that looks real.

For this reason, we recommend a gold, sterling silver, or platinum band to give your design a more elegant look. Check out this Brilliant Round Cut AAAAA Cubic Zirconia stone set on 925 sterling silver. From Always Be Charmed, this stunning design retails for only $79.99:

Aesthetically Beautiful

Cubic zirconia rings are eye-catching and as beautiful as the real thing. You will be just as dazzled by the marvelous display of these gems as you would be by an authentic diamond. As a synthetic gem, these stones are able to be cut to maximize the beauty of the piece and allow for the most dazzling display of brilliance and fire.

With the price point of cubic zirconia and the limitless setting possibilities, you won’t have to sacrifice beauty for quality when you select one of these stones for your engagement ring. 

Variety to choose from

One of the major draws to utilizing synthetic processes for gem creation is that cubic zirconia has limitless design possibilities. There is endless variety to be had in shape, size, color, and setting. These stones can be crafted to perfectly suit any engagement band, ring setting, or jewelry piece.

Plus, your cubic zirconia stone will almost always be perfect in shape and flawless in design. Real diamonds of this quality would be both extremely rare and expensive as most come with imperfections and blemishes.

Sustainable choice

Diamonds are finite. As a mineral taken from the earth, there are only so many diamonds available and the resources required to harvest them are expensive, time consuming, and often quite dangerous!

Workers face long term health impacts and in the short term live through danger every day as they work in potentially unsafe conditions and are at risk of being injured in a landslide or a mine collapse.

Even if workers had perfectly safe conditions, diamond mining still leads to serious destruction of the planet through deforestation, water pollution, and unsafe air emission.

Ethical choice

Cubic zirconia rings escape the troubles of the diamond mining industry. As a lab grown stone, there are no threats to human life when these gems are produced. No worries about landslides, cave-ins, or other long-term dangers of mining to human workers and the nearby population.

This means you can have a stone that looks real and requires no digging, needs far fewer fossil fuels, and will not pollute the water through dangerous run off. Cubic zirconia rings are the winners all around, but let’s walk through the selection process to make sure you are getting the highest quality synthetic diamond.

How to Choose a Realistic Cubic Zirconia Ring

Opt for a high grade cubic zirconia: Just like diamonds, cubic zirconia has its own rating scale that emphasizes cut, clarity, carat, and color.


Cubic zirconia stones can come in almost any cut. This is one of the major draws of having a synthetic diamond. They are easier to manipulate, craft, and form into any desired shape.


Where diamonds and other naturally occurring stones are often in possession of a few blemishes or inclusions (defects that form in the stone when it is undergoing the transformation process, while being polished, or from general wear and tear), cubic zirconia pieces are far easier to be free of defect.

This means you can enjoy a perfect clarity in your ring when you select a cubic zirconia piece.


The weight of your synthetic stone


This option is related to the color of the stone you select. Is it colorless, white, or yellow? Through the cut, clarity, carat, and color of your cubic zirconia, your stone will be given a rating from an A to an AAAAA.

A is the lowest quality rating for your stone and tends to indicate that your piece is one used as a fashion accessory or to adorn clothing. AAAAA ratings are reserved for the highest quality cubic zirconia pieces and indicate you have one of the most valuable synthetic stones with high marks in all categories of cut, clarity, color, and carat.

Cubic Zirconia rings can be offered in almost any cut or color. This makes them the perfect candidate for selecting the exact style for your engagement ring. If you are looking for a more traditional setting, opt for a clear imitation diamond. This will be most suitable for mirroring a classic wedding band.

AAAAA rated cubic zirconia

Interested in adorning your band with an emerald or sapphire look-a-like? Search for cubic zirconia pieces that hold color.

Important Tips When Selecting A Cubic Zirconia Ring

Moderate Size

To ensure you have a cubic zirconia ring that looks real, make sure you select an appropriately sized stone. We recommend ¾ ct as an ideal size and nothing bigger than 2ct. Moderate size is best as the bigger the stone, the more obvious it may be that it is imitation.

Opt for rings that embody the most traditional carat sizes of engagement settings and you should be set to wear your synthetic gem in style.

Avoid Rings With Too Many Stones

Everything is better in moderation! Just as you want to limit the carat size of your cubic zirconia, you will also want to limit the number of stones you use on your wedding band. This will help maximize the effect of the imitation piece.

The more stones you place on the band, the less authentic the setting will appear. Stay away from overly large or ornate bands. Band sizing and setting is important as well. While some bands are embellished with elegant rows of diamonds, you may want to avoid this setting unless you select the highest grade of cubic zirconia.

Invest in a good quality metal for the band.

While we highly encourage the use of synthetic stones on your rings, the band should be of the highest quality. Aim to avoid easily tarnished metals or thin gold plating as either of these will signal that the rest of your ring is also an imitation.

Consider opting for a full 14k gold band or a high quality sterling silver.

Whatever material you choose to use for your band, be sure to have it polished regularly to help preserve the life and beauty of your piece.

Don’t choose a piece where the stone sits too high

Finally, be sure that your setting displays your cubic zirconia in the most flattering manner. Pieces that have the stone sitting too high can cause the ring to appear of a low quality. Now that you know what to look for when selecting a cubic zirconia ring that looks real, what can you do to maximize the life of your synthetic wedding band?

How to Maximize the Life of and Make the Most of Your Cubic Zirconia Ring

Cubic zirconia rings are the perfect addition to any engagement set. To make the most of these sustainable gems, check out some of these useful tips:

Clean your ring regularly

Just as you would with a naturally occurring stone, you should always clean your ring regularly with the right solutions.

Liquid soap and warm water are the perfect cleaning solutions for most cubic zirconia stones. Simply add a small amount of soap and water to a piece of cloth and gently work it over the setting for an easy restoration. 

Protect these gems from scratching

While cubic zirconia is the perfect imitation to diamonds, they aren’t as resilient as the real deal and need to be protected from scratching. This means you should avoid wearing your gem during strenuous activities or while doing something that could result in it becoming scuffed or blemished.

Don’t expose these synthetic jewels to harsh chemicals

Avoid exposing your synthetic jewel to harsh chemicals as these can lower the lifespan of the ring.

Do wear these rings with complementary pieces

Finally, enjoy your cubic zirconia ring just as you would enjoy a naturally occurring stone! With a brilliant fire, these imitation diamonds pair perfectly with any style and are designed to be shown off.

History of Cubic Zirconia

This may be surprising to learn, but there is a naturally occurring zircon stone that serves as the inspiration for cubic zirconia.

A diamond look-a-like, some of these gems are estimated to be at least 4 billion years old and were valued in the middle-age as bringers of wealth, wisdom, and sleep. The name “zircon” derives from Persia and has carried forward into the modern day with its imitation counterpart.

By the 1970s a synthetic cubic zirconia was perfected for the masses and its rise to popularity has steadily increased ever since. Composed of zirconium oxide alongside other minerals, including calcium oxide, this imitation diamond cemented its place as a jewelry staple when Swarovski introduced it into their designs.

With sustainable production practices, this diamond look-a-like is the practical choice. Let us look at some of the numerous reasons you should consider cubic zirconia for your next ring. 


When selecting a sustainable and environmentally friendly ring, cubic zirconia is the obvious choice. Inspired by naturally occurring zircon, these synthetic gems dazzle with brilliant fire and are available in a limitless range of sizes, cuts, and colors.

For the most realistic cubic zirconia rings, we recommend focusing on high-quality materials, low stone settings, moderate carat sizes, and durable band materials. Consider purchasing a clear stone in a simple solitaire on a 14k gold band for an effortless elegance that will fool most observers.

Finally, be sure to enjoy the beauty of your ring and relax in the knowledge that you have made a sustainable and ethical decision when picking cubic zirconia as your center stone.