Many asked me what is the difference between Cubic Zirconia VS Natural Diamonds. And to answer this question, we have made this post to help our customers and reader in understanding what is cubic zirconia.
Is Cubic zirconia (CZ) real?
Cubic zirconia (CZ) does not occur in nature and is perfectly man-made, it is a flawless stone that is free of inclusions. CZ is not a natural diamond but a simulated diamond. You can read more about Cubic Zirconia in our Jewelry 101 articles here.
How to tell cubic zirconia from diamond?
Even though cubic zirconia (CZ) is not a diamond, it is difficult for the naked eye to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia and a diamond. It is a stone that gives the same high level of brilliance as a diamond but much more affordable.
Furthermore, CZ is almost as hard as diamond on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Diamonds have a Mohs scale of hardness of 10 and a CZ is an 8.5. When it is cut in the same shapes as designs as a diamond to replicate a diamond almost exactly.
As CZ is a simulated diamond, unlike diamonds that have inclusions or imperfections, CZ is flawless.
One thing to take note is that the weight of a CZ crystal is about 75 percent more than that of a diamond. This means if you compare one-carat diamond to a similar sized CZ, the CZ comes in weighing around 1.75 carats.
Unlike diamonds that have inclusions or imperfections, Cubic Zirconia Simulated Diamond is flawless.
CZ has two main things that prevent it from having an identical appearance to diamonds.
- CZ has more fire than a diamond and sparkles in rainbow colors.
- Lower refractive index than a diamond
But these gaps of difference can easily be closed with coating that contain properties that make CZ more diamond-like by dulling the fire and improving the refractive index.
The amorphous coating, when applied to CZ, will give a false positive diamond reading when placed under a Raman spectroscope that's used to authenticate diamonds. This property can sometime fool the less experience jeweler, who may judge the simulated stone to be a natural diamond.
Below is a table that tells the difference between a Simulated Diamond and a Natural Diamond
Cubic Zirconia has many diamond-like qualities. Thus many professionals, unless they have a trained eye or a special instrument, many cannot tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia.
How much does Cubic Zirconia cost?
Compared to diamonds cubic zirconia is much more affordable. However, these stones can come in exceptionally high quality and be priced rather high. To determine the price of cubic zirconia, you would have to know what the carat weight is. Although they are not priced nearly as high as diamonds, CZ can be quite expensive dependent on the quality of the CZ.
Some cubic zirconia stones give more brilliance than others, and are graded accordingly. The only real way that it can be distinguished between the CZ is through a jeweler’s loupe (a magnifier).
Cubic zirconia is equivalent to the perfect “D” on diamond’s grading scale. Prefect “D” is the highest of the colours grade of Diamond and only the rarest of diamond with the highest quality are graded as “D”.
In additional, cubic zirconia produces more flashes of color (fire) than a diamond. This is one of the main reasons that some people choose CZ over a natural diamond.
There is an interesting article by Forbes.com where it talks about why smart people will choose to buy Cubic Zicronia ring over Diamond ring. You can also read more about Cubic Zirconia in our Jewelry 101 articles here.
How to clean cubic zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is easy to care for and requires little effort to maintain. Avoid rough handling and store items of jewelry separately to avoid scratches. Wash gently in warm water.
Since cubic zirconia mimics a diamond but is not the same material, it is referred to as imitation, and simulant. However, cubic zirconia is beautiful in its own right and only becomes a problem purchase when it is misrepresented as a diamond or other gemstone.