Cubic zirconia and diamond almost resemble each other on a closer look. Diamond, for instance, is found in both natural and man-made forms. Mined diamonds are of high quality and are always very expensive.
Synthetic or man-made diamonds are similar to the natural mined diamonds, with the difference being that it is made in the laboratory.
On the other hand, Cubic zirconia is engineered in the lab to resemble a diamond’s nature. Its qualities and values are relatively lower than that of a natural diamond. It is made from calcium, zirconium oxide, and magnesium.
Cubic zirconia has replaced diamonds and is used for engagement because they are cheaper, and optically they seem like real diamonds.
What is cubic zirconia?
It is a very familiar substitute to diamond formed from zirconium dioxide—the limitation of the natural diamond-paved way for the development of cubic zirconia crystals.
The stones produced by these crystals are colorless, they are man-made and resemble diamonds, but its mineral structures are different.
Simulant cubic zirconia is flawless, slightly hard, and very affordable. It is abbreviated as Cz. It is important to note that a diamond simulant is a stone that looks like a diamond, but it is not a diamond, while synthetic diamonds are diamonds.
Differences between cubic zirconia and diamonds
Price and value.
The price of diamonds is high because it is made from very expensive metals composition. Based on the gems’ color, cut, and clarity, diamond stones will cost more expensive than Cz.
On the other hand, zirconia is affordable even of the highest quality.
The prices also vary with an increase in carat. One carat of cubic zirconia, for example, goes for about $20 while that of a good quality diamond goes for over $10,000.
Diamond prices will increase with how fancy it is. A colored diamond would increase the price by twice the amount of its original price. Cz prices will remain constant even with the color changes, not unless the carat increases.
Dispersion of light
Diamonds are always glaring. Shining and glaring are caused by how light strikes the stones, getting scattered and reflecting the light forming rainbow colors. The colors produced by the stones is referred to as the diamond’s fire.
Cubic zirconia has a high dispersion effect compared to that of diamonds—their dispersion level rates at 0.060, which means that their light reflection levels are extremely pronounced.
However, diamonds have a slightly lower dispersion factor of 0.44; this means that diamonds can reflect light into producing brilliant sparks of fire.
Due to taste and preference, some people do not like the colors produced by Cz when struck by light due to its loud pronunciation of light flashes.
Durability and hardness of the stones
Diamonds are known to be hard substances. On the scale of mineral hardness and the resistance of scratch, diamond has a rating of 10. It simply means that diamonds are not easily scratched unless they are scratched against other diamonds.
Therefore, it makes excellent jewelry in which you can wear daily without requiring much maintenance. While polishing the gems, the Cz stone leaves traits and marks on the stone; however, this does not happen with the diamonds.
Cz has a rating of between 8.0-8.5 on the hardness scale. They are prone to scratching and clouding, and cleaning it is required often. It tends to absorb oil, thus making it cloudy over time. Generally, Cz will require a lot of caring and maintenance to retain its sparkle.
The density of the gems
It is the ratio of volume and mass regardless of the substance size. The density of diamonds is generally lower as compared to that of Cz. Density is a crucial factor used in determining the legibility of a gemstone.
The density of Cz is 5.5g/cm3, and that of a diamond is 1.7g/cm3. It illustrates that the weight of the diamond is lower. For instance, when you sink the two gemstones regardless of size in a heavy liquid, Cz will sink faster than a diamond, which will take a while.
In short, a carat of a diamond is a little bit larger than that of Cz as long as all other factors are at equilibrium. This is the main reason why Cz and diamond will never share the same mass.
It is important to note that not all diamonds are colorless. The color of diamonds is graded on a scale from D to Z, from colorless to yellow. Colorless diamonds cost a lot higher than the other colors, primarily because of their stunning look and because they are limited.
However, cubic zirconia is manufactured, which means that the producer can alter the gemstone’s look to fit the market’s demand. They are generally colorless, imitating the best grade of diamonds, which is also colorless.
The Cz also has a variety of colors. Their colors are absolutely remarkable and very impressive than that of a diamond, but they cost less than those of diamonds.
Colored diamond stones like champagne, red, pink, and blue diamonds are the most expensive diamonds while the yellow diamond is cheap. Cubic zirconia gemstones are all affordable regardless of the color.
It is the inclination to which light reaches the stone. The index number demonstrates how light penetrates through a substance. When diamond and Cz are hit by light, the light bends, creating a diamond fire in the stone.
Cz has a refractive index of between 2.15 to 2.18, while that of a diamond is 2.42. The brilliance of diamonds is incomparable to that of Cz because of the greater refractive index.
The Refractive index will also help determine the gemstones’ authenticity because Cz tends to sparkle brilliantly compared to the diamond in which their sparkle is not hugely pronounced.
Diamonds are found in both synthetic and natural forms. Natural mined diamonds are the most expensive as compared to the Cz. Synthetic diamonds are also called simulants; this means that they share very little in common.
Synthetic diamonds are chemically and optically manufactured in a way that they resemble the real diamonds. The only difference is the place of creation of these gemstones.
Cz’s best thing is that it’s free from conflicts, and it is enduring and long-lasting because of the place of creation, which is the lab. It is impossible with diamonds to make assurances that it is from a conflict-free zone because most diamonds are taken to India from different places to be polished.
Cz gemstones are characteristically perfect because of their place of creation. It is made to look flashy with different colors that are generally appealing to the consumer. Almost all diamonds contain inclusions, it is not common to find perfect diamonds.
Flawless diamonds are costly because they are not readily available. The brilliance in diamonds is instead not appealing compared to that of Cz. It is a fundamental characteristic used to determine the authenticity of the stones.
Cz stones are considered fake by many consumers because they always seem perfect, considering it is not easy to find ideal diamonds. It is essential to know that the grading of gemstones is from flawless to include.
Diamonds are good thermal conductors of heat, while Cz is an excellent thermal insulator. When exposed to intense temperatures, diamonds can withstand because they are hard substances. Cz breaks after a while because they are not as hard as diamonds.
To confirm if you are dealing with simulants or real diamonds, breathe on both gemstones. The fog will varnish immediately on diamond stones because they are good conductors. The mist formed on Cz gem will stay on it for quite a long time.
Cubic zirconia pros
- Cubic zirconia stones are perfect with no inclusions; this is because they are created in the lab.
- They are manufactured in the labs, which means they are made in various colors and fit the consumer’s preference.
- They don’t have sharp division, which is prone to cracks.
- Cubic zirconia is conflict-free because it is manufactured in the labs. With Cz, its source is guaranteed.
- They are affordable and can be replaced should they get lost. It also does not attract attention to thieves.
Cubic zirconia cons.
- Over time, these stones become cloudy and are easily scratched when exposed to water and worn frequently.
- They are not as hard as diamonds; though they don’t have cleavages, they are susceptible to damage.
- Their value and demand are not that high because they are easily accessible compared to the rare gems of diamonds that are scarce and in need.
- They lose their sparkle over time and begin to wear and tear.
- Are naturally costly, and mining them is very difficult. The prices appreciate over time because of the scarceness in natural diamonds.
- It requires a high understanding of the diamonds 4Cs (color, clarity, cut, carat)
- They do not need replacing over time; thus, the phrase “diamonds are forever.”
- They are hard minerals. They are durable and resistant to scratch.
- The quality cut brings about sparkle and fire in diamonds, making them very beautiful and getting an excellent light performance.
- Its value and worth are maintained because they are minimal compared to Cz, which has no great value.