Cubic Zirconia Vs. Diamond: What’s The Difference?

In the world of jewelry, cubic zirconia has emerged as a budget-friendly alternative to diamonds, captivating the attention of consumers seeking elegance without a high price. The growing popularity of cubic zirconia prompts questions like —what factors contribute to its widespread appeal, and how does it stack up against the timeless brilliance of diamonds? Join us as we explore the charm of cubic zirconia and diamond, to unravel the secrets behind this sparkling gem and their differences.

What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a synthetic gemstone that closely resembles a diamond in appearance. It is made from zirconium dioxide crystals and is created through a meticulous process in a lab. By melting zirconium dioxide with stabilizers, it can eventually create a crystalline structure similar to natural diamonds.

RELEVENT: Does Cubic Zirconia Change Color Easily?

What is a Diamond?

A diamond is a precious gemstone that is prized for its exceptional brilliance, hardness, and rarity. It is a naturally occurring crystalline form of carbon, formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under high pressure and temperature. Diamonds can form naturally or grow in a laboratory.

Diamonds vs. Cubic Zirconia: What Are the Differences?


-Natural diamonds are rare and can be expensive, with prices influenced by factors such as cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. 

-CZ is much more affordable than diamonds, making it a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly alternative.


-Diamonds come in various colors, with the most valuable ones being colorless. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamonds on a color scale from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown).

-CZ is often colorless, and it can be manufactured in different colors.


-Diamonds are recognized as the most resilient natural substance, diamonds attain a perfect score of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

-Although cubic zirconia is hard, it lacks the durability of diamonds and may be susceptible to scratches and abrasions.

4.Brilliance and Sparkle:

-Diamonds are valued for their outstanding brilliance and sparkle, showcasing unique optical properties.

-While cubic zirconia also displays brilliance and sparkle, some experts observe distinctions in the way light interacts compared to diamonds.


-Diamonds are renowned for their exceptional durability and hardness. They are the hardest known natural material. This hardness makes diamonds highly resistant to scratches and abrasions, contributing to their long-lasting quality.

-On the other hand, while Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is hard, it is not as durable as diamonds. CZ may be more prone to scratches and abrasions over time. CZ isn’t as durable as diamonds, and its hardness can vary.

Quick MethodsHow To Tell Diamonds From Cubic Zirconia?

  • Reflection Test:

-Hold the stone in good lighting and observe how it reflects light.

-Diamonds disperse light, creating a spectrum of colors (fire).

-CZ may show less fire and more flashes of colored light.

  • Hardness Test:

-Diamonds are the hardest natural material, so they can scratch glass.

-CZ is hard but may not scratch glass as diamonds do.

  • Thermal Conductivity Test:

-Diamonds conduct heat exceptionally well.

-Fog the stone with your breath and observe. A real diamond will clear quickly due to its heat conductivity, while CZ may stay foggy longer.

Why Cubic Zirconia Is A Good Alternative To Diamonds

Apart from its cost-effectiveness as a diamond alternative, cubic zirconia is favored by many due to its ease of maintenance. Additionally, with proper care, jewelry featuring CZ can maintain its appearance over time. And CZ can be easily cut into various shapes and sizes, offering versatility in jewelry design. Its wide range of available colors make it an attractive choice for individuals on a budget or those looking for creative and personalized jewelry options.

What Does AAA Cubic Zirconia Mean?

The term “AAA Cubic Zirconia” is often used to designate a high-quality grade of cubic zirconia. While not as hard as diamonds, AAA cubic zirconia is relatively durable and suitable for everyday wear. AAA cubic zirconia undergoes meticulous cutting and polishing processes to attain clearly defined angles and facets, enhancing its overall aesthetic allure. It’s crucial to emphasize that the AAA designation lacks a standardized grading system universally adopted by the industry. Sellers or manufacturers may employ variations of the AAA scale, leading to potential differences in interpretation.

By choosing cubic zirconia, you can enjoy the beauty of a sparkling gemstone with added benefits of affordability, variety and durability. Discover a variety of jewelry adorned with cubic zirconia stones, available in rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. These beautifully crafted pieces come in sterling silver, gold, and platinum settings. Explore different styles at Meideya Jewelry and enhance your collection with the timeless elegance of cubic zirconia.

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