cubic zirconia vs. diamonds

Written by Daena
15.07.2019, 11:00

You’ve probably seen the term “CZ” floating around on your favourite jewellery retailer sites, but do you know what it means?

CZ stands for Cubic Zirconia, which is a synthesised material used to create diamond-like looking stones. They are hard and usually colourless, but they can easily be made coloured. Cubic Zirconia’s are generally used in more affordable jewellery as they mimic the look of genuine stones such as diamonds, without the hefty price tag.

It is quite common for people to purchase engagement rings with CZ’s rather than genuine diamonds to keep costs down, especially since they even mimic the dispersion effects that diamonds give.

So aside from their cost, what are the underlying differences between Cubic Zirconia’s and Diamonds?

  • Diamonds do not easily get scratched or chipped which is why they work well in engagement rings which tend to get a lot of wear. Although CZ is a hard and relatively hard-wearing stone, it can become cloudy if not regularly cleaned and is also prone to scratches.
  • The clarity of diamonds can vary, and if you read our guide to diamonds you will know that the clarity of a diamond does affect its price. CZ’s lack flaws and always have excellent clarity.
  • Inclusions within diamonds also affects their price, but with CZ’s they are nearly always perfect.
  • CZ’s can be made into any colour, you will often see sapphire cz products for example, whereby the CZ has been manufactured to mimic the colour of the birthstone. Coloured diamonds are generally very expensive, and a large number of birthstones are also pricey.
  • Diamonds have a greater depth of brilliance, which means that they reflect light better, therefore appearing more shiny and glistening than a CZ would – this is one of the reasons that diamonds are so popular!
  • CZ’s generally have a more obvious “rainbow effect” when caught by the light. This feature is known as dispersion, and diamonds actually have a lower level of dispersion than CZ’s do.