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Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: A Comprehensive Comparison

Jewelry is something that can quickly elevate any look, and you might be wondering which type of stone to choose when it comes to looking your best: diamond or cubic zirconia. Whether searching for the perfect engagement ring or just a statement piece, this comparison between diamond and cubic zirconia will provide you with all the information needed to make an educated purchase decision. With the help of this article, we’ll break down their differences in appearance, cost, durability, and more so you can decide if a natural diamond or man-made cubic Zirconia is right for you. Let’s dive in!

What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is an artificial gemstone often used as a diamond simulant in jewelry. It is a popular diamond alternative. Through the form of zirconium dioxide and made through synthesizing with advanced technologies. CZ shares many similarities with natural diamonds; however, it has double refractive properties compared to the single refraction of diamonds which gives it a higher level of brilliance. In addition, cubic Zirconia also features greater internal clarity than real diamonds due to its tighter molecular structure.

Cubic Zirconia is a lab-created material widely used in jewelry and other products due to its hardness, durability, and affordability compared to diamonds. Its appearance and optical properties are nearly identical to diamonds; it is slightly more durable but less dense than diamonds.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide on Simulated Diamonds

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What is a Diamond?

Diamond is a one-of-a-kind gemstone that has captivated people for centuries. It is the hardest known natural material, composed of carbon atoms arranged in an incredibly strong lattice structure.

It’s also the most valuable of all gems due to its rarity, durability, and mesmerizing sparkle when it catches the light. Diamonds come in many shapes, including round, square, and marquise cuts. They are formed deep within the Earth over millions of years under intense pressure and heat – usually around 100 miles below the surface.

Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamond

In the world of engagement rings and jewelry, Cubic Zirconia (CZ) and Diamonds are two popular options that many people consider when buying.

When choosing between the two, it’s important to understand their differences. It’s also important to ensure you get exactly what you want from your purchase since both come at different price points. A brief overview of each can help you decide which will better suit your needs:

Physical Properties


Diamonds and cubic Zirconia may appear similar; however, their composition tells a different story. Diamonds are crafted from the strongest form of carbon atoms; it allows them to shine brightly and be resilient against scratches or marks when tested for hardness – tests that determine if a gemstone is truly diamond or CZ at its core.


When assessing a diamond, you can use the stone’s weight to differentiate it from other precious stones. For example, though they might appear similar in size on the surface, molecularly speaking, Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is denser than carbon and thus weighs slightly more than a true diamond of identical dimensions – showcasing an exciting contrast between these highly prized gemstones!

Refractive Index

Regarding refractive index, cubic Zirconia and diamonds are quite different. Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic material with a refractive index of around 2.17 at 600 nm. On the other hand, diamond has a much higher refractive index of 2.42 at visible light frequencies between 400-500nm range and can go up to around 2.65 in the infrared region above 700 nm wavelength.


When shopping for the perfect symbol of engagement, it is important to consider more than appearance and budget flexibility. Cubic Zirconia rings are often chosen due to their affordability. Still, they can be a false economy, with only two years before their beauty begins to fade away compared to timelessly elegant diamonds or other gemstones that last forever.

Diamonds are renowned for their extreme durability, clocking in at a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes it resilient to everyday wear, and tear-no amount of dust or oil can cause damage. In comparison, cubic zirconia gemstone ranks just slightly lower at 8.5, which means that its surface is much more susceptible; even common household items like dust particles may leave lasting marks. Over time these blemishes build up, leading to an overall cloudy and scratched appearance – so unless you’re prepared for frequent replacements, diamonds should be your go-to choice!



Choosing a diamond can be daunting, as subtle differences in color and microscopic inclusions are the primary ways to distinguish true diamonds from CZ. While even the highest quality of real diamonds has natural off-white tones – such as yellow or grayish hues – it should appear white when set. On the other hand, synthetic diamonds possess an unmistakable orange hue that reflects light which makes them easily identifiable from their true counterparts.


Diamonds and CZ diamonds may appear incredibly similar, but they actually offer quite distinct visual qualities when inspected in natural light. Natural diamonds have a brilliant white light quality that radiates across the facets of their cut edges, while cubic zirconia stones demonstrate an excess level of light dispersion; its dispersion of light makes rainbow tints upon inspection. Ultimately it is up to personal preference as to which type one prefers for their jewelry needs.


The quality and value of mined diamonds are primarily determined by their clarity. Tiny flaws, mineral inclusions, or even a subtle yellow tint can significantly impact the diamond’s grade as undesired traits decrease its desirability for jewelry-making purposes. Flawless and natural diamonds are incredibly rare finds that often come with hefty price tags due to their unmatched beauty and rarity.

On the other hand, CZ diamonds are an excellent choice for those looking for the perfect clarity of a flawless diamond. Since these are lab-grown diamonds, these stones offer no natural imperfections and can appear too perfect to be real. With CZ diamonds, you can avoid detracting from their exceptional luster!


With a significantly lower price point than that of genuine diamonds, lab-created diamonds offer an attractive alternative for shoppers looking to obtain classic beauty and sparkle without breaking the bank. However, it is important to note that while these cubic zirconias have no resale value, diamond jewelry can typically still be sold at 50% or more of its original cost – allowing you to recoup some, if not all, your initial investment.


When it comes to valuation; however, it’s important to note that Cubic Zirconia stones lack investment potential because they simply don’t retain any value like diamonds do over time; thus, CZs are often perceived as being valued much lower than their “diamond” counterpart despite having similar physical properties. Additionally, its low cost in comparison further contributes to its synonymousness with being ‘cheap ‘whilst Diamonds often command high prices due not only because of their scarcity but also for their lasting sentimental meanings & long-term investment potential as handed down from generation to generation.

Zirconia vs. Diamond Frequently Asked Questions

Does Zirconia sparkle like a diamond?

In short, no. Zirconia (also known as cubic Zirconia or CZ) sparkles differently than diamonds and is often used to imitate diamonds in commercial jewelry settings. It has a distinct luster and sparkle that lacks the brilliance of a true diamond.

While both natural diamonds and synthetic cubic zirconias can feature beautiful brilliance under certain conditions if given proper cut & polishing techniques – only real natural diamonds exhibit such a characteristic play of colorful lights having incomparable beauty!

Are zirconia diamonds worth anything?

Zirconia diamonds are considered faux diamonds created from zirconium oxide. They have become popular among jewelry aficionados due to their strong resemblance to traditional diamonds, which makes them a much cheaper alternative for those looking for diamond-like accessories without spending thousands of dollars.

While it can be an attractive stand-in for more expensive jewels in certain circumstances and suit individual tastes perfectly fine. Under no circumstance can they compete with the value a genuine high-grade diamond offers in terms of beauty and price tag.

Is cubic Zirconia worth buying?

The answer to this question depends on your use of Cubic Zirconia and your personal preferences. On the one hand, Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is an affordable alternative to diamond jewelry. It has a similar look and sparkle but at a fraction of the cost. On the other hand, the most significant advantage of CZs is that they are resistant to scratches, meaning they won’t lose their shine like other gemstones such as diamonds or sapphires — making them ideal for everyday jewelry wear. Also, since they come in various colors (including white), sizes and shapes — many opt to buy CZs rather than natural diamonds due to their versatility and affordability.

Reach out to W. Villarica Jewelry

Regarding bling, cubic zirconia and diamond are two popular choices for their sparkle and shine. One of these stones may be preferable depending on your budget, lifestyle, and personal style. Though synthetic diamonds may not have the same cache as true diamonds in some circles, they have proven to be a viable alternative when money or conflict diamonds are of concern. Whatever decision you make, rest assured that cubic zirconia and diamond will make a lasting impression on anyone who sees it.

Willyn Villarica is your trusted partner for jewelry consultation services, catering to clients around the globe. Our expertise and commitment to excellence ensure accurate and reliable assessments of your precious gemstones. It’s important to note that while we offer our services worldwide, clients are responsible for covering all travel expenses. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have your diamonds expertly graded by Willyn Villarica.

Feel free to contact us via email at admin@willynvillaricajewelry.com for inquiries or to schedule appointments. You can also connect with us through our official Facebook (Willyn Villarica Jewelry) and Instagram (@willynvillarica_jewelry) accounts. If you require further assistance, we are also reachable directly at +63279497547.

  • Willyn Villarica

    Willyn Villarica, a third-generation jeweler from the Philippines, brings a wealth of expertise to the world of gemology and jewelry appraisal. As a licensed Graduate Gemologist, accredited by the prestigious Gemological Institute of America, she is not only a master of her craft but also holds the distinction of being the first Filipino member of the National Associ...

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