In recent years, people have indulged in buying a lot of casual jewelry, thanks to lifestyle changes, increased purchasing power, and of course, the sheer love for sporting jewelry accessories. Some of them are longtime gemstone lovers, but some want to buy their first piece of jewelry.
CZ or cubic zirconia, in that regard, has become a really popular alternative to traditional diamond jewelry, thanks to its massive range of positive characteristics. While purchasing jewelry, you may wonder what the differences between Cubic Zirconia and diamond are and how you should choose between the two. Here’s understanding both stones and the key differences between them.
What is Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is a colorless, artificial gemstone made of the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. CZs can appear like diamonds, but they have very different mineral structures. CZ to the jewelry industry permanently altered how we think of and deal with diamonds.
Whether bought as a single retail piece or in the form of cubic zirconia wholesale jewelry, CZ was piloted as a cost-effective option for those who wanted the sparkle of a diamond without the relatively higher price point.
Cubic zirconia stones are available naturally in smallish amounts, but the vast majority of CZ stones used in jewelry is manufactured in a lab under controlled settings. Synthetic diamonds are also made in labs but have the same carbon structure as diamonds, whereas cubic zirconia stones do not.
Is Cubic Zirconia Real?
A cubic zirconia is not a natural or a real diamond. However, a few types of stones are used as diamond simulants, and CZ is by far the most common and realistic among all of them.
What is a Diamond?
The first thing you should know about diamonds is that they are really old! Most natural diamonds are between one billion and 3.5 billion years old. They have formed hundreds of miles beneath the earth’s surface. On a molecular level, a diamond is a gemstone composed of carbon atoms in a crystal lattice arrangement. Diamonds can form naturally or be grown in a laboratory setting.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Diamonds and Cubic Zirconia?
- Check it in the golden hour
The best way to tell cubic zirconia from a diamond is to look at both stones under natural light. A diamond gives off a white light brilliance. On the other hand, cubic zirconia gives off a noticeable rainbow of colored light. The excess light dispersion is a telling sign that the stone is not a diamond.
- Beauty and Brilliance
What most dramatically affects a diamond’s beauty is its cut, which impacts how much light reflects through the diamond’s to your eyes. White light reflection is called “brilliance” and colored light reflection is called “fire.”
Cubic zirconia contains no true brilliance or fire. It has a much lower refractive index when compared to diamonds. Light passes through CZ much more uniquely, offering less reflection. You can tell the immense difference in light review by looking at the two gemstones under a light. For example, a stunning minimal 0.9 carat diamond ring will radiate more brilliantly than any cubic zirconia stone, irrespective of its beauty and size.
As the hardest naturally-occurring mineral in the world, diamonds rate a perfect ten on Mohs hardness scale. Diamonds are incredibly durable and resilient, ideal for engagement rings and everyday wear. Diamonds preserve their sparkle and beauty even with minimal maintenance.
On the other hand, CZ ranks 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Even though it is a synthetic material, it offers superb durability. CZ is thus widely used all across the world, especially to craft everyday jewelry.
Cubic zirconia is also slightly denser than diamonds. An experienced jeweler or an expert gemologist can easily distinguish a CZ stone from a diamond by weighing it on their scale.
Cubic zirconia can cut or scratch glass, just like a diamond can. That is why scraping the stone against glass isn’t a good test to see if the stone is a diamond. Both faux diamonds and natural diamonds can scratch such surfaces. Some people used to think this was a good test, but you should opt for a valid method.
Since cubic zirconia is manufactured in a lab, it lacks a diamond’s natural imperfections. A flawless diamond is extremely rare and correspondingly very expensive, too. Depending on your preference, you can choose if you want a perfect or a next-to-perfect stone. If you are looking for a diamond, we recommend finding one that looks clean—meaning you can’t see blemishes and inclusions with the naked eye.
Based on your diamond shape and the type of setting you prefer, you can opt for a diamond in the G to I range.
Cubic zirconia is considered colorless because it is fabricated that way. These synthetic stones, however, often mirror an orange-tinted light, which is another evident indicator that it is not a diamond but has its own distinctive color.
One of the essential factors in the CZ vs. diamond discussion is how much these stones are worth. A simple and quick search online will show you that there is a tremendous price difference between the two stones. For instance, a one-carat cubic zirconia of any color will only cost you a few dollars, whereas a white one-carat natural diamond will cost thousands!
After understanding the key differences, it all comes down to the price, personal preference, and usage needs. Remember, CZ jewelry is immensely popular among younger age groups, thanks to its affordable price point.
P&K Jewelry offers varied types of diamonds, CZ, and silvery jewelry in NYC. With a reputation for certified jewelry, P&K Jewelry ensures complete customer satisfaction in terms of design, quality, and certification.