A simulated diamond and an actual diamond are likely to be the two options you’ll consider when purchasing a wedding band. Several characteristics distinguish these two synthetic stones, ranging from their purity to their longevity. In addition to its appearance, a simulated diamond will be far less expensive than a natural diamond, so you should look for one similar in price. Before purchasing your new ring, it’s crucial to grasp the distinctions between the two types of materials available.
Let’s start by discussing the differences between simulated diamonds and genuine diamonds. Even though they appear to be the same, they are not. Even though they have the same characteristics as diamonds, cubic zirconias are significantly less expensive, and it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. Even though cubic zirconias are more rigid and lighter than diamonds, their refractive indices are different, which will impact the sparkle, brilliance, and fire that a diamond displays.
What Is A Simulated Diamond?
They are also known as diamond simulants, which are stones that were manufactured in a laboratory to duplicate (or simulate) the appearance and feel of a naturally occurring diamond. These can be produced from various materials, and in most cases, they do not have the same chemical makeup as a naturally occurring diamond does. Achieving the brightness and luster of a genuine natural diamond has been a long-standing goal for those trying to mimic diamonds, especially given the high cost of mined diamonds. As a result of this pursuit, a variety of simulated diamonds have emerged, classified as stones made in a laboratory and have the appearance of a natural diamond. In this regard, it is essential to clarify that diamond simulants are distinct from synthetic diamonds.
What Is Cubic Zirconia?
In 1969, jewelers began to use cubic zirconia to substitute diamonds in their creations. Since then, it has become one of the most popular diamond replacements available. Cubic zirconia is a gemstone that has been created synthetically. Instead of being mined from the soil, it can be created in a clean laboratory environment rather than being mined from the earth. Although zirconia can be found in nature, it is too uncommon and brittle to be utilized in jewelry.
Crystalline zirconium dioxide is used to create the gemstone’s appearance. Zirconium oxide — a form of gritty mineral powder – is heated to 5000 degrees Fahrenheit in the laboratory to begin the experiment. During the procedure, the laboratory incorporates various minerals to enhance the gemstone’s color and strengthen its resistance to breakage.
Difference Between Simulated Diamond Vs. Cubic Zirconia
Their distinct color, clarity, durability, and weight are the most significant differences between cubic zirconia and simulated diamond.
Color And Clarity
Although cubic zirconia has a stunning shine, it does not always retain its colors and clarity over time. Because the stone’s chemical makeup is porous, it is susceptible to contamination or contamination by contaminants in the environment. When this happens, the stone will cloud up and discolor, eventually fading from its bright whiteness to a muddy yellow or brown tint. A colorless and internally flawless diamond simulant, such as the Infinity Diamond alternatives, is made using advanced technology. Furthermore, they are constructed of a molecular structure that allows them to retain their characteristics indefinitely.
There is also a noticeable variation in durability and hardness between the two materials. Simulated Diamond alternatives are of heirloom quality, are guaranteed not to crack, and are built to endure a lifetime. According to the Mohs hardness scale, cubic zirconia is softer than Nexus Diamonds, whereas diamonds are more complex than cubic zirconia. As a result, even after a few months, it is susceptible to chipping due to wear and strain.
When compared to diamonds, cubic zirconia is 75 percent heavier. This makes it uncomfortable to wear, and you’ll need more robust, heavier metal settings to hold the gemstone in place when it’s on your finger.
A cubic zirconia diamond tends to have greater clarity than a natural diamond, and this is because it is artificial, which means that it does not have a large number of inclusions. CZs are far too flawless. This is a red flag if you’re searching for a diamond and want to ensure you’re getting a true, genuine diamond. When it comes to diamonds, clarity is the essential feature to look for, and you don’t care whether or not a diamond is genuine; cubic zirconia should be your go-to jewelry stone of choice. A CZ appears less than perfect after it has been in use for a lengthy period. Cubic zirconia can get discolored after years or even months of exposure to the sun. In other words, CZs can absorb pollutants from the surrounding environment. This is why it’s essential to store cubic zirconia in a sterile environment.
Cut And Facet
Because a cubic zirconia’s hardness is far higher than that of an actual or simulated diamond, you should expect the CZ stone to have chips and scratches due to normal wear. Despite this, the cut and facet are just as good as those of actual diamonds. Only when the faults and scratches are handled and stored improperly do, they become apparent and noticeable. The most visible distinction is that cubic zirconia (CZ) has bolder, round edges, whereas actual and simulated diamonds have sharper cutting.
When diamonds are exposed to a light source, they emit a burst of light, known as fire. The fire of a cubic zirconia stone and a genuine diamond is distinct (or dispersion). The fire of an actual or simulated diamond will have a rainbow spectrum of colors. However, the fire of cubic zirconia will not have a similar fire dispersion. You must exercise caution when working with dispersion, especially if you are a newbie. The dispersion of a CZ seems more brilliant and brighter than that of a natural diamond, making it appear more beautiful. This is why the cubic zirconia is preferred by the majority of individuals when a sparkling diamond is what they’re seeking.
While both natural and synthetic diamonds are composed primarily of carbon as the primary chemical element, cubic zirconia is composed primarily of zirconium dioxide. The hardness of actual and simulated diamonds is due to the same carbon element. Cubic zirconia has a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale, thanks to zirconia dioxide. Similarly, the zirconia dioxide found in cubic zirconia is responsible for its heaviness, which makes the cubic zirconia twice as heavy as an actual or simulated diamond. It is important to remember that some simulated diamonds (such as the Nexus Diamond) have a completely different composition than cubic zirconia, which should be considered. Whereas cubic zirconia contains zirconia dioxide, other types of imitation diamonds contain carbon components such as carbon monoxide. This means that synthetic diamonds such as the Nexus are equally as durable and precious as genuine diamonds.
Cost And Pricing
A natural diamond will always be more expensive than a cubic zirconia stone, without a doubt. Consider the following example: a 1 carat CZ on an engagement ring may be purchased for as little as $13.99, whereas a similar 1-carat genuine diamond costs an average of $3600. That is a significant difference. The significant price difference between actual diamonds and CZs is related to the rarity of natural diamonds and the fact that CZs are created in a laboratory. Therefore, CZ is less expensive than other synthetic diamonds, such as Nexus, and is more often used. This is because stimulants such as Nexus are more similar to genuine diamonds. In contrast to cubic zirconia, Nexus can retain its color for an extended period without losing its luster. Furthermore, Nexus Diamonds are protected by patent, which means that not every laboratory will be able to make a similar simulant – something that is conceivable with CZ diamonds.
According to expectations, a genuine diamond is more valuable than a synthetic or simulated diamond. The carat size, clarity, and durability of a diamond are all important factors determining its value, with durability being the most important. The more valuable a diamond is, the longer it will last in your possession. Unfortunately, cubic zirconia is not as long-lasting as diamond, and it darkens and becomes discolored over time. As a result, reselling becomes more difficult. Cubic zirconia isn’t particularly precious when compared to other diamond substitutes. Because of their longevity, diamonds such as Nexus Diamonds are significantly more valuable. The simulants are exactly like actual diamonds, which means that they have hardness and durability that are practically identical to those of the real thing.
Types Of Simulated Diamonds
Virtual diamonds are available in numerous varieties, each differing in content, quality, and look from the other forms. The following are some of the most commonly encountered stones.
- Aluminum and fluorine are used in the production of topaz. It has the same hardness as cubic zirconia. However, it has colorful crystals, which means it has a lower brilliance than cubic zirconia.
- Quartz, often known as rock crystal or Herkimer diamonds, is a mineral found in crusts. This is a widespread mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. It is available in a variety of hues and is frequently slightly hazy.
- Leaded glass or crystal are examples of this. This is an artificial material that exhibits exceptional clarity. However, breaking, chipping, or cracking this material is straightforward.
- Beryl is a natural gemstone that has been around for a long time. It is available in various colors, including a translucent white stone. However, it is commonly found to include natural imperfections and faults, which detract from the stone’s brilliance and depth of color.
- Scheelite can be found in both natural and manufactured forms. However, this diamond simulant is not as popular as other diamond simulants — and it can have faults such as clouds of tiny gas bubbles or lines in it.
- However, while sphalerite has a stunningly high sheen, it is incredibly soft and fragile.
- White zircon is chemically comparable to cubic zirconia in its composition and properties. It is available in various hues and has a crystal structure that is distinct from that of diamonds or cubic zirconia.
- Cubic zirconia is one of the most beautiful and widely used diamond alternatives. It is, however, less durable than a diamond and has the potential to tarnish over time.
- Diamond simulants made in a laboratory are a relatively breakthrough in the jewelry industry. They provide mined diamonds’ with purity, sparkle, and fire without the financial or ethical expenses of mining diamonds.
How Are Simulated Diamond Made?
A Diamond Simulant is created using a technique known as “skull melting,” which involves heating the materials from the inside out. The outside remains relatively calm as the inside melts, resulting in forming an outer crust or “skull” around the inner. The ” ideal cube form ” is achieved only by the use of intense heat can the “ideal cube form” be achieved, and a metal oxide stabilizer is added to the process to ensure that the crystals are isometric. As soon as the heat is turned off, the product begins to cool under strictly controlled conditions, during which it hardens.
Solid crystals are generated as a result of the hardening process. Because they are created in a controlled environment, the crystals have a precise structure, with no feathers or inclusions. Because they are solid and not constructed of layers, they are practically as hard as a genuine earth-mined diamond in terms of hardness and brittleness. Because of their hardness and clarity, the crystals may be cut using the same proportions as fine diamonds, which is advantageous for the environment.
Is Cubic Zirconia Real?
Cubic zirconia is a genuine gemstone that man has created. Hard and colorless, zirconium dioxide is a crystalline form of the element zirconium. However, both specialists and non-experts should agree that cubic zirconia should never be regarded as a diamond. The two stones are entirely different for various reasons, ranging from chemical qualities to brightness and color.
Diamonds are naturally occurring crystals made of the hardest substance known to man, and they are renowned for their unique beauty. Cubic zirconia is a synthetic material made in a laboratory, and the stones lack brightness and long-lasting appeal.
Is It Worthwhile To Buy Simulated Diamonds?
Simulated lab-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to mined diamonds, mainly because they are more economical and environmentally benign. However, not all lab-made diamonds are created equal, and there can be significant disparities in both quality and price within the range of alternatives available to consumers.
Simulated “diamonds” can be stunning, but because they lack the chemical and physical qualities of genuine diamonds, they sell for a fraction of the price of genuine diamonds.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Simulated Diamond?
Unlike natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are virtually indestructible, and there is nothing that can dim the sparkle or interfere with the brilliance of synthetic diamonds. That it’s impossible to tell the difference between a natural diamond and an artificial diamond isn’t just a cliche, though.
One of the primary reasons natural diamonds are given the ‘forever’ designation is that it is virtually difficult to harm a diamond; this is also true for lab-grown diamonds, as previously stated. Diamonds created in laboratories have the same chemical qualities as diamonds taken from the soil, which means they are just as hard as their natural counterparts.
Simulated diamonds are less expensive than actual diamonds. However, they are not the same as natural diamonds. Some are lower-cost imitations, while others, like cubic zirconia, are synthetically produced. A simulated diamond is not an exact substitute for a natural diamond, despite the similarities between the two types of diamonds. A natural diamond is more expensive than a simulated diamond, which is the opposite of the former.
A synthetic diamond weighs 75 percent more than a genuine diamond of the same size. As a result, employing a more robust metal setting for an imitation stone is often required because it can be harrowing to wear. On the other hand, a simulated diamond is typically more expensive than cubic zirconia. It is preferable to use synthetic diamonds when purchasing an engagement or wedding band. Furthermore, it is possible to select the appropriate type of ring.