If you're shopping around for the perfect bridal jewellery and wedding headpieces for your big day, it's easy to become bamboozled with all the different materials and types of stones available. With each product description claiming the prettiest, shiniest, most sparkling stones are used, it is sometimes hard to know what to choose!
Are they all the same? Or is there are difference?
Here we explain the main differences between the two most common stones used in quality bridal jewellery: Swarovski Crystal, and Cubic Zirconia. We hope by the end of this article you'll be well on the way to choosing the right wedding jewellery for you!
1. What is Swarovski Crystal -
Swarovski Crystals are man-made gems manufactured in Austria. Swarovski Crystal is faceted lead glass that is known around the world for its brilliance (sparkle). Superior production, materials, cutting, and polishing are what set Swarovski crystals apart from other types of crystals.
Swarovski crystals come in many different shapes and sizes. The company has developed crystal shapes to mimic the most common shapes of diamonds, however Swarovski have also developed many eye-catching shapes of their own.
Swarovski has created stones in dozens of colours, from bright sparkling white, through all colours of the rainbow. In bridal jewellery, usually only the white/clear, and neutral colours are chosen. Likewise, usually only the most classic shaped Swarovski Crystal stones are used.
When to choose Swarovski Crystal bridal jewellery or hair accessories?
Swarovski Crystal jewellery and accessories tend to be bigger and bolder designs, created for 'effect'. Also often incorporating coloured stones, Swarovski Crystal jewellery is not generally designed to be a replica for real diamond jewellery. It is sometimes said that Swarovski Crystals have a 'softer' sparkle than Cubic Zirconia, having more of a 'vintage' feel to it.
We would recommend choosing Swarovski Crystal pieces if you like a bolder, very sparkly approach to jewellery, and/or if you are looking for coloured pieces to match a dress or outfit. A word of caution: Swarovski Crystals really are eye-catching, brides choosing these stones should prepare for lots of compliments!
Some of our favourite examples of Swarovski Crystal in our collection:
ABOVE: Bijoux Statement Earring: Swarovski Crystal - Champagne (BUY HERE)
ABOVE: Statement Swarovski Crystal Event Earring (BUY HERE)
ABOVE: Francesca Bridal Hair Comb: Glittering Swarovski Crystal Cluster (BUY HERE)
2. What is Cubic Zirconia -
Cubic Zirconia (also known as CZ) is similar to a diamond with its brilliance and perfect clarity, but it is a synthesized (man-made) product that is colourless, hard, and flawless. It looks so much like a diamond, it is an affordable alternative to diamonds.
Cubic zirconia is not real and is not a diamond, though it is difficult for the naked eye to tell the difference between a Cubic Zirconia and a diamond. It is a stone that is as brilliant as a diamond but much more affordable.
It is cut in the same shapes as designs as a diamond to replicate a diamond almost exactly, however it can made in different colours as well to simulate the different colours of a diamond. A Cubic Zirconia is a perfectly man-made, flawless stone that is free of inclusions.
When to choose Cubic Zirconia bridal jewellery or hair accessories?
If you love the look of real diamond jewellery, then opting for bridal earrings, bridal bracelets and bridal necklaces made out of Cubic Zirconia is the way to go! Because Cubic Zirconia stones are closely modelled on the shapes of real diamonds, and tend to be smaller just like a real diamond would be, they are an affordable solution if buying real diamonds isn't possible.
Not only are the stones themselves more like real diamonds, but the jewellery designs that use Cubic Zirconia are more closely modelled on real diamond jewellery as well. Whether it be a small pair of 'solitaire' studs, or a drop bridal earring, you'll find that the styles of jewellery using Cubic Zirconia is the most like what you might find in a high-end jeweller.
Some of our favourite examples of Cubic Zirconia in our collection:
ABOVE: Ariane Bridal Earring: Bold Teardrop with Baguette Frame (BUY HERE)
ABOVE: Sterling Silver & Cubic Zirconia Claw Stud Earring (BUY HERE)
ABOVE: Arabella Bridal Bracelet: Sterling Silver Tennis-Style (BUY HERE)
ABOVE: Evangeline Bridal Bracelet: Vintage Ovals (BUY HERE)