Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: What’s the Difference?

In 2015, the average price of a diamond was $29,650 US dollars. That price is ten times what it was in 1960-and it gets higher every year. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but at that price, most girls have to go without. Unless you opt for cubic zirconia that is. But what’s the difference between cubic zirconia and diamonds? As far as looks go they’re nearly identical, but in value, quality and many other factors, they differ greatly.

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between CZ diamonds and the real thing below!

1. What is Cubic Zirconia? 

Whereas diamonds are a naturally occurring gemstone, zirconia is a synthetic gemstone. It’s made in a laboratory using zirconium oxide powder, calcium and magnesium. The exact process varies lab to lab, but the result is the same: a colorless gemstone that’s sold as an affordable diamond alternative.

2. Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamond: How to Tell the Difference

To the untrained eye, a CZ diamond can look exactly like the real thing, but if you’re unsure be sure to take it to a professional who can point out differences in beauty, quality, cut and value, and you can determine which one is right for you-here are some other key points:

  • Flaws: Because diamonds are naturally-occurring, they have flaws. One of the major differences between lab created diamonds vs real diamonds is that cubic zirconia doesn’t have any marks or inclusions, which make them appear flawless.
  • Hardness: Diamonds are one of the strongest materials on earth, while Zirconia doesn’t come close to the hardness of a diamond. Because it’s not as hard, zirconia is also less durable. So while CZ diamonds may appear flawless, they do have a tendency to scratch and show signs of wear.
  • Shape: To identify the cubic zirconia vs diamond via shape, you’ll have to look through a 10x microscope or jewelers loupe. The facet junctions of zirconia have a rounded edge whereas a diamond will be very sharp. 
  • Color: Even a white diamond will have some yellow-brown tint to them. Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, doesn’t have any shades. These are completely colorless gemstones.
  • Weight: Holding a cubic zirconia gemstone and a diamond of the same size, the former will feel significantly heavier. CZ diamonds are at least twice as heavy as a diamond.

3. Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: Cost

Because it’s created in a laboratory and not mined from the earth, cubic zirconia is less rare and therefore, less expensive than real diamonds. And while a diamond may retain some of its market value, for potential resale purposes, cubic zirconia isn’t worth much as an investment.

Be sure that the cost of your diamond or cubic zirconia reflects this reality. If the cost of your diamond seems too good to be true, you might not be getting the gemstone you think you are! 

The main differences between cubic zirconia vs diamond lay in quality and value. Because CZ diamonds are created in a laboratory, they’re significantly more affordable than diamonds. That also means they are flawless in shape and color, but they’re not as durable as a diamond! check out our blog  #themoreyouknow #LAFMApproved 

River Callaway

Senior Fashion + Beauty Editor & Photographer

River Callaway is the Senior Fashion + Beauty Editor & Photographer for The LA Fashion Magazine covering all things fashion, beauty, celebrity, events, travel and entertainment.

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