Comparing Cubic Zirconia With Diamonds Side by Side

Comparing diamonds and cubic zirconias is a crucial decision to make. Despite their similarities, each gem has unique performance and style. For example, diamonds are clear, whereas cubic zirconias are cloudy and have an orange tint. However, both gems are inexpensive and manufactured in a lab rather than a natural gemstone. This fact should help you choose which one to buy.

Generally, a diamond has more facets than cubic zirconia. Therefore, a CZ will have a rounded appearance. Moreover, cubic zirconias are more likely to have polishing marks that will make them appear less sparkling. This means that diamonds are more durable than cubic zirconias, especially their cheaper counterparts. The best way to choose which one to buy depends on your budget and personal taste. In this article, we will discuss how comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side works.

What Is Cubic Zirconia?

CZ is just another diamond simulator. It was first identified in the late 1800s and gained appeal as a diamond substitute after 1970. It’s zirconium dioxide in its crystalline form. Cubic Zirconia Crystals are created when zirconium and zirconium dioxide are heated together at 4,982oF. CZ crystals are then cut and polished in the same way round brilliant cut diamonds are. As a result, it has a similar appearance to genuine diamonds. As a result, distinguishing a genuine diamond from stimulants is difficult.

Cubic Zirconia is a diamond emulation material. As a result, it’s critical to understand comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side facts and information. When comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds, you will find that they are relatively cheap. However, purchasing a CZ that looks like a diamond will only be temporary – it will not last forever. In this case, a diamond is the better choice if you want to purchase a unique piece of jewelry. While both gemstones are relatively affordable, CZs can still be better for rings or earrings.

Cubic zirconia is a man-made substance predominantly composed of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) that can be mass-produced at inexpensive costs. As a result, CZ is the most popular diamond stimulant on the market because of its close aesthetic resemblance to actual diamonds and affordable cost. It’s worth noting that cubic zirconia is sometimes referred to as a fake, imitation, or faux diamond because it resembles a diamond. However, it is also regularly advertised as a genuine diamond on unregulated sites such as eBay or Craigslist, posing a risk to unwary buyers.

What Is The Difference Between CZs & Diamonds?

When viewed in natural light, diamonds emit bright white light (the “fire” or “brilliance”). In contrast, cubic zirconia emits far more colored light (the “rainbow effect”) due to its lower refractive index and higher dispersion rare than diamonds. We will try to understand the difference while comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side-by-side works.


Diamonds are available in both natural and synthetic forms. Diamonds mined from the earth are more expensive, while synthetic diamonds are less expensive. Synthetic diamonds are lab-created diamonds that chemically, optically, and aesthetically resemble mined diamonds. They are natural diamonds, except that they were made in a laboratory.

CZ, like synthetic diamonds, is manufactured in a lab. They are, however, diamond stimulants, which means that aside from the fact that they appear like diamonds, they have very little in common. Diamonds, for instance, are formed of carbon, but CZ is comprised of zirconium oxide. One of the best things about CZ over mined diamonds is that it is a more environmentally friendly gemstone grown in a lab. As a result, you can trust the CZ to be conflict-free, ethical, and long-lasting. This is typically tricky ground when it comes to mined diamonds.


As is commonly known, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring material on the planet, having a Mohs hardness rating of 10. CZ, on the other hand, is rated between 8.0 and 8.5.

So, what does this imply for your precious metals? First, diamonds are difficult to scratch or chip. They are very hard, and only another diamond can harm them. This makes it ideal for jewelry worn daily, such as engagement or wedding rings, and requires minimal upkeep to keep the stone gleaming.

CZ is also a hard stone, although it is far more readily scratched and damaged than diamonds. CZ can grow clouded with time and must be cleaned and cared for regularly to keep its luster. You may need to take the stone to a jeweler from time to time to have it cleaned and finally replaced. If durability is a top priority, diamonds are unquestionably the best choice. Diamond jewelry will, without a doubt, last considerably longer than CZ jewelry.


Colorless diamonds are the most valuable due to their rarity and aesthetic appeal. Diamond color is graded on a scale of D (colorless) to Z (colorful) (yellow). Diamonds in every grade from D to Z are available on the market. In terms of hue, D-colored diamonds are the most precious. Typically, each grade above the preceding one will cost much more.

Because CZ is made in a lab, manufacturers have much control over the final product. CZ stones are almost invariably colorless, similar to a diamond’s D grade. Every CZ stone has the same brilliant colorless appearance as the finest diamonds.

Colored diamonds and CZ are also available. Colored diamonds, on the other hand, are typically quite expensive (mainly red, pink, green, and blue stones) and are often beyond reach for most people. Colored CZ, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive.

When comparing the two rings below, you’ll see that the CZ ring appears to be a D color diamond at first glance. Colored diamonds and CZ are also available if you’re looking for a colored stone. Colored diamonds, on the other hand, are typically quite expensive (mainly red, pink, green, and blue stones) and are often beyond reach for most people. Colored CZ, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive. These points are essential in understanding ‘comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side.’


When buying a colorless diamond, the clarity grade is an important consideration that directly impacts the stone’s value. Diamonds are graded according to their clarity, ranging from Flawless to Included.

Flawless diamonds, of course, are the most expensive because they are more challenging to come by and much sought after. Inclusions can be found in almost all diamonds. Even flawless diamonds might include minute imperfections.

On the other hand, Cubic zirconia is perfect and has excellent clarity. The lack of faults in CZ is one of the fundamental ways jewelers distinguish CZ from diamonds. Because no diamond is perfect, the tiniest flaws can be used to determine its legitimacy.


Dispersion refers to the stone’s ‘fire’ level, which is determined by how it breaks down light into the rainbow’s spectrum of colors. This causes the stone to gleam and emit its trademark brilliance.

Diamonds have traditionally been prized for their ability to play with light beautifully. They have a 0.044 dispersion rate. On the other hand, Cubic zirconia has a higher level of dispersion than other materials, with a value of 0.066. When light strikes CZ, it produces a strong ‘rainbow effect.’ Another noticeable distinction between diamonds and CZ is this. This increased dispersion in CZ is noticeable as the carat size of the CZ grows, even if it is scarcely discernible in smaller stones.

The flash of colors puts off some customers that the CZ produces when exposed to light. They are overwhelmed by the vibrant colors. If this describes you, a diamond is a way to go. If not, go for smaller CZ stones, which don’t have as many color flashes and look similar to diamonds.

Refractive index (RI)

The slant at which light hits a stone is referred to as the refractive index. The gemstone takes on brilliance when the light bends and reflects. When we talk about RI, we refer to how light reflects off of the stone.

The RI of a CZ is 2.15–2.18, whereas the RI of a diamond is 2.42. Even though both stones sparkle, a diamond has a greater depth of brightness than a CZ. A CZ does not have the same ability to hold the light as a diamond.

The brilliance of a diamond is unmistakably one-of-a-kind, which adds to its eternal charm.


Cubic zirconia is heavier than diamonds because it has a more significant density. As a result, a CZ and a diamond of equal size will not have the same carat weight. A 1 carat CZ will be smaller than a 1-carat diamond, to put it another way.


The wonderful thing about CZ is that it is significantly less expensive than diamonds. A 1-carat superb cut, flawless, D color diamond typically costs around $10,000, but a 1-carat cubic zirconia costs only $20! CZ and diamonds have such disparities in price per carat that making a comparison seems meaningless. For example, this 1-carat diamond costs almost $11,000 on the James Allen website, but the cubic zirconia below costs only $10.

These points are essential in understanding ‘comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side.’

What Is The Difference Between Lab-Grown Diamonds Vs. Cubic Zirconia?

A common misunderstanding is that lab-grown diamonds and cubic zirconia are the same stone. Although they may appear identical to the untrained eye, their chemical constituents and physical properties are vastly different. Let’s look at how to discern the distinction between lab-grown diamonds versus cubic zirconia in more depth.

Lab-Grown diamonds vs cubic zirconia composition

Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic, man-made, cultured, or cultivated diamonds, are identical to natural/mined diamonds in crystal structure and chemical content (100 percent carbon). Synthetic diamonds have the same physical and optical features as genuine diamonds, including hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale and a refractive index of 2.417 – 2.419. Natural diamonds are mined from the earth, whereas lab-grown diamonds are made synthetically in laboratories.

Cubic zirconia is a synthetically manufactured stone with a completely different crystal structure and chemical composition. Cubic zirconia, often known as CZ, is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide and contains no carbon, unlike lab-grown diamonds. Although CZ is not a diamond, it is one of the most common jewels used as a diamond substitute due to its low cost.

The hue of lab-grown diamonds is rated in a range of D to Z, with D denoting a perfectly colorless stone and Z denoting a yellow or brown tint that is easily discernible. Unlike most synthetic diamonds, which range in color from F to J, cubic zirconia is colorless and exhibits colorful flashes of light comparable to moissanite

Although lab-grown diamonds are graded on the GIA’s FL to I3 clarity scale, metal inclusions such as iron, nickel, and cobalt are standard in HPHT synthetic diamonds. In contrast, graphite or other mineral inclusions are standard in CVD diamonds. In addition, cubic zirconia is typically internally immaculate, making it very appealing to purchasers worldwide. 

However, because no diamond is perfect, this is one of the most important ways to distinguish CZ from diamond.

There is no difference in cut quality between lab-created and natural diamonds. The cut quality of a diamond is assessed on a scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor based on the precision of angles, proportions, and symmetry. The A rating system is used to measure the cut quality of cubic zirconia, and it only applies to mass-produced machine cut stones. Machine-cut CZ is graded from A or 1A to AAAAA or 5A, with 1A the lowest quality and 5A the highest. These points are essential in understanding ‘comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side.’


Diamonds exude a sense of prestige and class that is difficult to match (even though this is primarily due to clever marketing strategies). Therefore, no matter how well a CZ works or how practical a decision is, it will never have the same status as a diamond.

However, whether or not you should choose a CZ is determined by your values. A CZ is for you if you value affordability and long-term sustainability. Get a diamond if you want something that will last a lifetime, has class, and gives you bragging rights. These points are essential in understanding ‘comparing cubic zirconia with diamonds side by side.’