What Is the Difference Between Cubic Zirconia and Diamonds?


Quick Answer

The differences between cubic zirconias and diamonds include cost, color, hardness, material, density, dispersion and use. Cubic zirconia is commonly referred to as CZ, and it is a crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia is a synthesized material, whereas a diamond is the hardest natural material known to man. Although cubic zirconias and diamonds share adamantine luster, the characteristics of each stone are significantly different.

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Full Answer

The price of a cubic zirconia is low in comparison to the more expensive diamond. A cubic zirconia is synthetic and can be made colorless, while diamonds generally have a hint of brown or yellow. Colorless diamonds are rare. Cubic zirconia is used primarily as a gemstone, while diamonds have a number of uses, including in jewelry, for industrial purposes and as cutting tools.

Diamonds are much harder than CZ. Diamonds have a Mohs of 10, while CZ is an 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The dispersion of CZ is higher than that of a diamond. CZ dispersion is 0.060, whereas a diamond has a dispersion rate of 0.044. The crystal system of a cubic zirconia is tetragonal, and a diamond is hexoctahedral. The refractive index of CZ is 2.176, while diamonds have a refractive index of 2.147. This has a direct effect on how light reacts with the stone. Cubic zirconia is a thermal insulator, and diamonds are thermal conductors. The specific gravity of a cubic zirconia ranges between 5.6 and 6, which is about 1.7 times more than the specific gravity of a diamond.

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