Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond: The Facts
Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond
It is interesting to note the differences between cubic zirconia vs diamond as both look quite the same to the untrained eye. When we refer to diamond it is a carbon allotrope which is naturally found in mines, whereas cubic zirconia (CZ) is a lab created diamond consisting mainly of zirconium dioxide. This man made diamond looks very similar to a real diamond and even has a better sparkle. Here we will compare cubic zirconia vs diamond according to certain aspects so that they can be differentiated.
If you take a diamond and CZ of exactly the same size and compare their weights, you will find that CZ weighs around 1.7 times more.
Cubic zirconia is almost 500 times less hard than a naturally occurring diamond. Other man made diamonds like cultured diamonds and even other synthetic varieties are almost equally hard as diamonds. CZ is the only lab created diamond which has much lesser hardness.
Diamond is surprisingly much less prismatic compared to CZ. This means the light dispersive power of CZ is more, and that makes it sparkle much more than a diamond.
Most diamonds which are found in mines have a slight tinge of brown or yellow and only a few very rare diamonds are totally without any color. On the other hand CZ can be manufactured totally colorless. But CZ can also be made in certain colors by adding trace impurities of different metal oxides. You can get colors like red, orange, pink, purple, golden brown and green.
Cut and Flaws
Diamonds are usually cut only in a particular way, whereas CZ can have facet shaped cuts which are their main distinguishing characteristic to the naked eye. Almost all diamonds will have some kind of flaw, as it is occurring naturally. There are defects like a feathery shape inside the diamond, or combination of another crystal or even the crystalline shape of the former crystal which was formed. CZ on the other hand is a lab created diamond and hence can be manufactured without any flaw.
This is a major property which distinguishes cubic zirconia vs diamond. Diamonds are high thermal conductors whereas CZ has the opposite property of being a thermal insulator.
Production Cost and Pricing
Diamonds are rare and since they occur in mines, their excavating costs are very high. After that they have to be categorized and cut, which increases their cost still further. Considering all these costs, the price of 1 carat diamond can run into thousands of dollars whereas a similar cubic zirconia would cost within $20.
Comparing cubic zirconia vs diamond we can conclude that both look almost the same to the naked eye and CZ has certain characteristics like extra sparkle and color (or absence thereof) which makes it more appealing in jewelry. The other major advantage of CZ is of course the cost.
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