Cubic Zirconia

An affordable synthetic stone as brilliant as a diamond 

 

What is cubic zirconia (CZ)?

Cubic zirconia (also known as CZ) is similar to a diamond with its brilliance and crystal clarity, but it is a synthesized (man-made) crystalline material that is colorless, hard, and flawless. It looks so much like a diamond, it is an affordable alternative to diamonds. It can made in different colors to simulate the different colors of a diamond.

Cubic zirconia started being produced in 1976 because of its diamond-like qualities, low cost, and overall durability. Cubic zirconia is a mineral that is used as a diamond simulant and is widely synthesized.

Sometimes, people mistakenly call it cubic zirconium. Zirconium is a different chemical element that is a metal that is silvery white. This element in its powdered form is used with other elements to create a cubic zironcia.


How is cubic zirconia made?

Cubic zirconia crystals are made by melting powdered zirconium and zirconium dioxide together and heating them up to 2750ºC. A cubic zirconia is a perfectly man-made, flawless stone that is free of inclusions.


Is cubic zirconia real?

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 almost as hard as diamond on the Mohs scale of hardness. It is an 8.5 and a diamond is a 10. It is cut in the same shapes as designs as a diamond to replicate a diamond almost exactly.


Is cubic zirconia a diamond?

Cubic Zirconia is not a diamond however it looks like a diamond, and has many diamond-like qualities. Many people, unless they have a trained eye or a special instrument, cannot tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia.


Cubic zirconia vs. diamonds

Overall, cubic zirconia is less expensive jewelry and manufactured, where a diamond is a naturally occurring substance that is very expensive.

There are some ways to distinguish cubic zirconia from a diamond as follows:

  • Thermal conductivity: Diamonds are thermal conductors while cubic zirconia is a thermal insulator. This is what makes the diamond stand out next to the cubic zirconia with special instruments.
  • Hardness: Diamond has a rating of 10 and Cubic zirconia has an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale.
  • Density: Cubic zirconia is 1.7 times denser than a diamond.
  • Refractive index: Diamond has a refractive index of 2.42 vs. Cubic Zirconia has an index of 2.15-2.18
  • Cut: Diamonds are typically cut differently than cubic zirconia gemstones.
  • Dispersion: Diamond 0.044 vs. cubic zirconia 0.058-0.066
  • Color: Cubic zirconia is equivalent to the perfect “D” on diamond’s grading scale but it also comes in other colors as well, such as green, orange and pink, etc. Most diamonds on the other hand have a brown or yellow tinge to them, and only the rarest are truly colorless with diamonds.

What is the cubic zirconia price?

Compared to diamonds cubic zirconia is quite affordable. However, today 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. They are not priced nearly as high as diamonds, but they can be quite expensive. As with anything, some cubic zirconia stones are better than others, and the only real way that it can be distinguished is through a jeweler’s loupe (a magnifier).


Are there colored cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia comes in many different colors to simulate the different colors of a diamond. The colors are created by using different oxides in the creation process.