Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BAKING Cubic Zirconia??

*** UPDATE:  See how my experiment worked out---pictures below!!! ***

I just read something I never heard of before----baking CZ jewelry, in a pan in the oven.  Say WHAT?  Apparently, people are taking their CZ rings and other jewelry, cleaning it, and putting it in an oven and baking it for a few hours.  Why?  Because they say this makes their CZ stones look MORE like diamonds.  They turn out "warmer" and "less white" I've read.

This seemed weird to me.  But maybe it's because everyone is so used to seeing diamonds that are NOT colorless (very rare and very expensive) and CZ are colorless, so this makes it look more "real".  A lady bought a gorgeous Tacori canary CZ ring from QVC in a cut I've never seen---a combination of emerald cut and cushion cut (!!!)---and baked that ring (which had to cost a LOT) and she feels it came out better, more diamond-like.  WHAT?  She posted pictures and somehow had two of these rings, one baked and one "raw", and HERE is a link to that QVC forum and her pictures.  Do you see any difference?  Here is one of her "after" pics.  The baked ring is on the bottom.   Here is her picture:



So, does the bottom ring look more like a diamond?  Does the top ring NOT look like a diamond?  If she baked the bottom ring, do the side stones look better?  She is very pleased with the baked ring.  And it is a really beautiful ring, either way!  This makes me want to buy it from QVC myself, but it's probably sold out or no longer available.

MELTING POINTS OF METALS

On various forums where baking jewelry is discussed, a lot of people wondered if the metals in the rings would be affected or melt or anything.  If you were wondering the same thing, I thought I'd post the melting point of various metals, so you can see that 400 degrees F will do nothing to your jewelry--even lead!
    • Sterling Silver     1,763° F
    • Gold                  1,948° F 
    • Rhodium            3,565° F
    • Platinum             3,215° F
    • Brass                 1,710° F
    • Copper              1,984° F
    • Nickel                2,651° F
    • Zinc                    787.2° F
    • Lead                   621.5° F

UPDATE:  My Experiment!
I have several sizes of a couple of different vintage vermeil CZ rings, such as a marquise-cut 9-stone band ring.  I decided to bake a few rings at 400 degrees for an hour or so, let them cool off (another hour or two) and then compare.

RESULTS:  To my SHOCK, the baked rings ALL look better somehow.  Is it my imagination?  Perhaps, but there is a DEFINITE change for the better in the marquise 9-stone band ring.  The stones do look more clear and are less "grey" than the unbaked ring, but that could be because...and this is the shocker...the gold vermeil looks better!  It's brighter, shinier and "more gold" looking!!  Now that is a surprise!!  So I can't be sure if the stones themselves look better in the baked ring, or if it's because the gold vermeil looks brighter.  Here are two pictures:

The baked ring is to the right on top of the unbaked ring on the left.  See how the gold is brighter?

Baked ring is on the bottom, unbaked on top.  The stones are clearer--or just the gold brighter?
I do think the ring that was baked looks a little prettier, brighter, shinier.  I don't have a genuine diamond ring to compare though---so I can't say for sure if a baked ring looks more "diamond like" but the baked rings definitely look beautiful, the stones clearer and warmer!!

I have now heat-treated several rings (about 10 rings!) and EVERY one has turned out looking more beautiful---some with a very subtle stone change, and some with dramatic results.  The CZ stones really do look warmer and clearer somehow, less "cold" stark white, and more like how a diamond or even a moissanite looks.  Since Moissanite is just a lab-created stone as well, but with ridiculous prices, I think the heat-treated CZ are a WAY better option!  Prettier too.







8 comments:

  1. And they still fitted as before? :O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the heat is nowhere near high enough to have any effect on the metal! The settings are unchanged.

      Delete
  2. Omg..I love rings..but can't afford diamonds,so I have many cz rings. I am going to bake them tomorrow! I am amazed at how much better they look baked. Lol,I wish I could find that canary one pictured above!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gabriella, just be sure to put your rings in the oven while it's cold, and then heat it up...and THEN let it cool with the rings still in the oven. Any quick change of temp might crack the stones---I've heard that can happen! Otherwise, have fun and enjoy your "new and improved" rings! Yes, the canary ring was GORGEOUS. Made by Tacori for QVC several years ago. Sometimes you can find one on ebay,

    Thank you for reading my blog!

    -Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you,Dawn! I will follow your directions for baking.I like your blog..it is very informative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your very kind words---I appreciate it!

      - Dawn

      Delete
  5. Question! When placing the ring in the baking dish do you add water to the baking dish? Or do you bake it dry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No water---just put the ring in a pan or dish in a cold oven, then bring it up to temp, and then let it cool down in the oven when you're done! That's it!

      Thanks for asking!

      Delete