Cubic Zirconia Vs. Moissanite

These two metals look so much like the regular diamond. Thanks to these two, because if you want unique day jewels yet you don’t have enough money, you can use them. Though not very advisable, some people even use them for engagements. I mean, not everyone can buy real diamond rings. Right?

You must understand, though, that although they look almost the same as the diamond, they are different in every other aspect. The market has different simulants, but the most common ones are the Moissanite and cubic zirconia.

What is Moissanite?

Here you have another diamond simulant. It features the use of silicon carbide to make it in a lab. You can easily confuse it for diamonds. However, if you are keen, then you will quickly tell the difference. This is why most people use it as an alternative.

In 1893, there was a scientist called Henry Moissan invented the metal from meteor crater. At first, he thought that the crystals he had discovered were diamonds. To date, the natural Moissanite though a great alternative to diamonds, is quite rare. The ones you frequently see in the jewelry markets are lab-grown. Nonetheless, you will need 2-3 months to create the metal successfully.

The history

This piece was first founded by Henry Moissanite back in the meteor crater Arizona. The metal than was named after him. The ones they make in the lab use silicon carbide held by a strong covalent bond. These bonds will hold the crystalline structure together.

You will notice that the Moissanite can stand high pressure and temperatures because of the strong bonds holding it together. Notice that you will only find this metal in places like the upper mantle rock but also meteorites.

What is cubic zirconia?

This is a synthetic crystalline gem substance. It’s a humanmade metal that simulates diamonds. It remains colorless yet hard and flawless. This gem is popular because it looks so much like diamonds.

The history

It first came into the market in 1970, but two German mineralogists had already discovered it in 1937. As they were researching, they found that the zirconium oxide has some cube crystals. Of course, to them, then it didn’t look like anything important.

At the moment, they just ignored it, and this is the reason why the naming wasn’t after them. For years after, most people continued to ignore the mineral until many years later.

In 1960 scientists were looking for a cheaper metal that’s also less expensive to work on the industrial applications. They were looking for the metals to simulate diamonds. This is when they found a crystal of cubic zirconia. This was also the time when they put it to industrial use.

In 1973 during the Soviet Union, some Russian scientists made the ‘skull crucible,’ and minerals became valuable from then. By 1976 then the production of the mineral became commercial. By 1977 the scientist found ways to grow the synthetic cubic zirconia. But the name DJevalite wasn’t used so much in the jewelry industry.

In the 1980s, Swarovski company started to market its version of cubic zirconia. It’s also the brand that came up with the initials CZ. So it all took over 90 years for the jewels to become diamond substitutes finally.

The differences in the history and the composition

Moissanite was founded in 1893 in Arizona state, and then cubic zirconia was founded in 1930 and became popular in the past 1980s. Cubic zirconia is a mix of zirconium and oxygen. The Moissanite features the use of silicone and carbon. This then shows you that the Moissanite is much closer to diamond because it contains carbon.

They are both quite rare in their natural state; that’s why they are also lab made. The essence is for them to act as the diamond simulant.

What are the similarities?

Of course, despite their differences, you will find that they have some similarities too. Therefore, the main similarity is that they are simulants and today the most preferred option of ‘fake diamond.’

By simulants, we also mean that they are not like the natural gemstone that will appear naturally on the earth. They are mostly lab-created. Sometimes people like to call them synthetic, but the difference is that with the synthetic, they are grown in the lab and not man-made.

If you know jewels well, you will want to buy the one that’s at least grown in the lab and not created. This is because when you create, then you make room for alterations. They are, however, simulants and not the same as the synthetic diamond, for example.

They are both popular today.

In the past, everyone wanted only to buy the diamond. Today we know that if you can’t afford it, you can get either the CZ or Moissanite.

Affordability

People like them for being affordable. Even though the Moissanite is a little costly, it’s not as highly-priced as the diamond.

Quality

They maintain perfect quality. Remember, they give you almost the same great features as the diamond does. If you continue to read, you will understand why we say they are great options too.

They are easily accessible.

I know you can easily find a diamond too. But it’s even easier to find these simulants. They are cheap; thus, you can find them quicker, which makes it even more appealing.

How do they compare to the diamond?

Moissanite

When you look at the structured content, in comparison with diamond. You will find it to be a lot more similar to the Cubic Zirconia. The metals are made using the silicon and carbon, while diamond is made using the carbon atoms subjected to high heat pressure.

Notice that it has an even higher rainbow refractory ability. This then means that it will sparkle even more than the diamond does.

It further stands out for being at least 90% cheaper. You will find that Moissanite’s carat costs up to $700, but if you are using a diamond, a carat can cost you up to $3500.

Diamond is known for its hardness because it ranks at the 10 Moh scale. On the other hand, Moissanite is hard but not as hard as diamond. It will rank at 9.25Moh scale.

The Moissanite is lab created because it’s rare in natural occurrence. Diamond is not a rare gemstone as you will find it in most countries.

It’s safer to make Moissanite since it’s eco-friendly and sustainable. On the other hand, the diamond will cause eco pollution.

In the end, it appears to be a fake type of diamond, and for some, it doesn’t have the class that the diamond has. But it’s important to note that the Moissanite has very little difference that it’s almost unnoticeable. It, in fact, has sharper edges and angles. They also have almost the same colors as well as the perfect brilliance.

Cubic zirconia

Again the diamond is a natural gem while the cubic zirconia is a synthetic one, thus different. It simulates the diamonds, and it’s flawless. You don’t expect the diamond to be too flawless because it’s a naturally occurring gem.

They mostly look similar, but they aren’t all that similar. If you want to know the difference between these two, you should know that CZ is clear and colorless. You can only compare it with the rarest diamonds that are usually colorless.

They further give you a higher sparkle than the diamond does. Notice that they are both durable, with the diamond being utterly durable. Cubic zirconia has about 8.8Mohs.

Also, note that the cubic zirconia is more massive than the diamond, but it will scratch easier than the diamond.

The manufacturers make the CZ into the shapes of a diamond. It further has the perfect shine, but some people will still want the authentic diamond for the class it gives them. This one is, therefore, more different in appearance. It often has the smooth edges while diamond has sharper edges. This one is natural colorless to white, but the diamond comes with some yellow tint.

The difference by color

Both the Moissanite and the cubic zirconia are colorless, but the CZ is flawless and purely colorless. It’s clear and colorless, and they are mostly made to take the color grade D. It’s sparkly and with the richer colors.

Moissanite is not always transparent, but neither is it white, so it has a color that’s just in between. It’s not as flawless as the CZ is. It will contain some greenish grayish or even the yellowish tint. Of course, its production process is complicated, which is why it develops some structural color changes. They are never as perfect as the CZ is.

With that said, it’s safe to say that the CZ has the perfect color, and it’s further flawless. It gives you the perfect clarity too. But for this reason, it looks unrealistic, so most people tend to avoid it.

So Moissanite comes in the same colors as the real diamond. You will find it in pink, blue, purple, yellow clear brown, gray but also gold.

Cubic zirconia comes in a wide range of options. It sometimes even comes in colors you won’t find with your regular diamonds. Expect it in lilac-violet-blue, yellow, orange, red, green aqua, pink, brown, amber purple, and golden brown.

How about the light and refractions?

Notice that the RI measures the light that bends when it’s going through the gemstone. As you would expect, the diamond has a refractory index of 2.42, which is low, followed by the Moissanite with RI of 2.65 while the diamond has an RI of 2.15.

This, therefore, goes without saying that Moissanite always has a high level of brilliance. And among the three, then it has a way better light performance too. It will, therefore, give you the fire you need for the jewel.

It will give you the perfect flash of light under the sun, thus the perfect rainbow alert. Remember, some people feel like the rainbow alert is great while others don’t.

Notice that CZ equally has the perfect sparkle and brilliance; however, it’s not on Moissanite’s level. Most people say that it looks glassy, so too perfect to be true.

Your Moissanite has the best level of brilliance.

What of the clarity?

When they talk of clarity, they are referring to the level of transparency. It shows the types of metal that are not clouded. When it’s therefore cloudy, you can’t even see-through. So when the jewels are clear, it’s also attractive to most people.

Cubic zirconia

If you have been reading on this topic, then you probably already know the answer to this. The cubic zirconia has a high level of clarity, and even though it looks so much like a diamond, it’s more precise than a diamond.

Moissanite

It also has a high level of clarity even though; you can see the infractions when you check it under a microscope. It’s not as clear as CZ, but it’s clearer than the diamond. Its yellow tint is what makes it not as clear as the CZ.

Durability

We all would like to buy the jewels that promise durability, but not all of them do remember. Notice that you can’t just say the elements are durable because of a single factor you checked.

Hardness

When we are thinking of durability, the first thing that comes to mind is hardness. You see, the harder the jewel, the more durable it is as it’s resistant to scratching and abrasion.

Moissanite

When you check on the MOH scale, you will find that it rates at a 9.25 level of hardness. As you can see, it’s just a little bit below the regular diamond.

Cubic zirconia

This is softer than both diamond and Moissanite. Nonetheless, it’s not as soft as you would think it is. When you check on the Mohs, it will come at a grade 8.50.

The scratch resistance

Notice that the jewels are challenging, so you don’t expect them to scratch a lot. When you have a jewel that doesn’t scratch easily, you can be sure it’s durable. In this case, Moissanite is scratch resistant than diamond and cubic zirconia.

You will like the cubic zirconia’s glass-like feature, but it has a disadvantage where it chips easily.

Do they tarnish?

Here you will have a tie as both elements aren’t affected by the chemical effects.

Temperature reactions

Good metal is a type that can stand the different temperature changes.

Notice the Moissanite will stand the different temperature fluctuations but also extreme ones. It’s a type that can stand very high temperatures.

Cubic zirconia is also heat resistant. It’s not even affected by temperature changes.

It will never change as a result of the temperature difference.

Which one attracts dirt more?

This is one of the things about the cubic zirconia that it gets dirty quickly. For you to therefore maintain it, you have to clean it more often.

Generally, therefore the Moissanite is more durable than the cubic zirconia. But this doesn’t suggest that cubic zirconia is badly off when you are talking of durability. Nonetheless, the Moissanite wins here.

The famous cut

The other difference you are likely to notice is with the cuts. Notice that the cuts will determine its brilliance as it affects the refractory index.

Cubic zirconia

It has different cuts you will also see when you have the diamonds. You will have the pear, oval, emerald round, princess, marquise, triangle, heart, archer, among others.

Moissanite

It also has its unique cuts being oval, pear, cushion, radiant, emerald, square, heart, and cushion.

The value

If you compare these two, then one thing is true, they are cheaper than diamonds. Regardless the Moissanite is more expensive than the cubic zirconia. It has a resale value. It will cost hundreds of dollars, where the CZ only costs $40 – 90. Well, your regular cubic zirconia has no resale value, remember.

I know what you may think; since the stone is a simulant, how come it’s costly? The Moissanite is a real stone even though you like to refer to it as a fake diamond. To make it, you will need a real professional with advanced technology. In most cases, the Moissanite is 90% less expensive.

The pros and cons

Moissanite pros

We start here with this because it’s the closest to the natural and synthetic diamond. The closeness is based on the composition, brilliance, and durability too.

If you didn’t know this, then know it today, we say diamond is hard, but it’s not as hard as Moissanite.

  • It’s cheap

Like other synthetic metals, this one is a cheaper option when comparing it to diamonds. The fact that it gives you the same features as the high priced diamond is fantastic. Nonetheless, you are having it being cheap yet nicely durable.

  • You will like its brilliance and fire.

As we have previously discussed, you will like these pieces for their brilliance and high RI. It further has a high luster than that of the diamond. This is particularly common when you have its hexagonal cut because it will catch and refract the lights. We talk of the cut as it’s vital for the effect.

  • It’s sparkly

The one reason people like a diamond so much is that it’s nicely sparkly. Moissanite is not any different; you will notice that it even has a higher sparkle because of the high RI. This then means that if that’s what you want, then of the three Moissanite is the best choice to use.

  • Don’t worry; you won’t have the inclusions being visible.

If you buy the diamonds that don’t have the inclusions being visible, you should know that you will spend a lot more. Thanks to Moissanite that has the inclusions invisible, that then means that it’s not going to influence the price anyway.

Cons

  • It’s not as valuable as a diamond.

Well, yes, Moissanite is great, but the truth is that it’s not as valuable as the counterpart diamonds. For now, we all agree that theirs a swag in buying a diamond, and you attain a higher class. Basically, they want you to believe it’s like a diamond, but it’s not a diamond.

Cubic Zirconia

This is another one of the best options that have always taken the diamond’s place even though it’s not the same.

Pros

  • It’s affordable

When you want the diamond feel, but you don’t want to break the bank, you can choose to use cubic zirconia. The best part is that they will give you almost the same features as the diamond does; only it’s not your real diamond.

  • It’s easy to replace

When you have lost the diamond, though, you will feel like you have lost the most important thing. However, when you think of your cubic zirconia price, you would easily say I would get another tomorrow.

  • CZ is flawless, and you will like its clarity

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These jewels being handmade should give you the perfect jewels experience. This piece is sometimes too perfect; some people feel like it’s not a realistic one. But of course, it will give you the perfect glass shine.

Cons

  • It’s not diamond

Much as we want to say it’s a diamond, it isn’t. As much as you will want it to give you the perfect experience to stand out, it won’t do it.

Where will I buy the Moissanite and CZ jewels?

You can find them anywhere and in most jewel shops. But the most accessible place to find the best ones is on Amazon. You will find a variety, but you will also have the reviews to confirm whether the jewel is excellent or not.

To summarize, which one is better.

I like to leave you that choice to answer. This is because different people will prefer one over the other for different reasons.

However, I would generally say that they are both great, but Moissanite may give you better advantages. It’s more durable, and it looks much more like a diamond. You will further notice that it’s resistant to dirt, making it easy to maintain.

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