Lab Created Diamonds vs Cubic Zirconia


Cubic zirconia looks similar to mined and lab created diamonds. Although CZs are made of completely different chemical composition. There are many differences between lab-grown diamonds and CZs. Today we will discuss in detail of cubic zirconia and a lab created diamond.

What is Lab-Grown Diamond?


The lab-grown diamonds are also referred by different names like a synthetic diamond, lab-created diamond, man-made diamond, cultured diamond, etc. The lab-grown diamonds are different but are created by a geological process. That is identical to the formation of natural diamonds.

The two-process of growing lab-grown diamonds are CVD (Chemical Vapor Depositions) & HPHT (High-Pressure High-Temperature). These two processes of growing lab-grown diamonds have properties like thermal conductivity, hardness, and electron mobility. That are higher-ranked to those of most formation of natural diamonds.

What Is Cubic Zirconia (CZ)?


Cubic Zirconia or CZ is a colorless synthetic gemstone. That is created by the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide or ZrO2. CZ can also be found extremely rare in nature within the mineral baddeleyite. These synthesized materials are hard and usually colorless. But can also be found in other different colors and are exclusively lab-grown.

Cubic Zirconium appears like the diamonds but cheap, durable, and are gemmological and economically competitor for diamonds since 1976. The synthetic moissanite and cultivated material are the more recent competitors of the synthetic gemstone.

Cubic Zirconium is produce by melting zirconium dioxide powder in 4,982⁰F with stabilizers like calcium and magnesium. Then it is stabilized in crystallized form after removing it from hours of heat, then it is cut and polished. 

Cubic Zirconia Are Identical To The Lab-Grown Diamonds?


Well, Cubic Zirconia and lab-grown diamonds are the two different materials. The Cubic Zirconium is form by Zirconium Dioxide. Which is the cheap alternative to the mined diamonds. However, Cubic Zirconia is not created by pure carbon as it just appears to be like the mined diamonds or the lab-created diamonds.

Whereas, the lab-created diamonds are 100% physically, chemically, and optically identical to the mined diamonds. As the formation of the lab-grown diamonds are form by 100% pure crystallized carbon in a controlled environment laboratory.

What is the difference between lab created diamonds and cubic zirconia?

There is a lot of difference between the lab-created diamonds and the cubic zirconia are as follows:

1: The Appearance


Lab-grown diamond is a diamond, which is produce by pure crystallized carbon in the controlled laboratory environment and also identical to the mined diamonds. The only difference between a lab-created diamond and the mined diamond is its origin.

Cubic zirconia is also known as CZ, it is a diamond simulant. Cubic zirconia has no amount of pure crystallized carbon present. But it mimics the look of the natural diamonds, but it’s not a real diamond.

2: Properties

The lab-grown diamonds are identical to the mined diamonds. The formation of the lab-grown diamonds has the same chemical composition, physical and optical properties as the mined diamonds.

CZ or cubic zirconia is form by cubic crystalline which is the form of zirconium dioxide. CZ is not similar to the mined diamonds or the lab-grown diamonds. As it is a diamond simulant that looks exactly like the diamonds but has different chemical & physical properties.

3: Durability


In durability, the lab-grown diamonds are ranked in the 10th position in Moh’s scale of the hardness like the natural diamonds. They are incredibly durable, strong and won’t scratch or chip or don’t appears to be cloudy like the CZ.

On the other hand, Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is the diamond simulants. That are ranked in the 8.5th position in the Moh’s scale of hardness. They are durable but can be easily scratch and become cloudy over time. They have better color and transparency than moissanite but not longevity like the diamonds.

4: Density 


The density of a lab-grown diamond is 3.52-3.53 this leads the weight of the lab-grown diamond less than the diamond simulants like the CZ. The losing of weight will be noticeable to most of the diamonds and cubic zirconia. For example, depending on the shape of the gemstones. If you are purchasing 1-carat diamonds ring then it will be appearing slightly larger than 1-carat cubic zirconia.

Whereas, the cubic zirconia is 5.5-5.9 denser than the diamonds. Compared to the diamonds, cubic zirconia will be adding slightly noticeable weight. For example, if you are purchasing 1 carat or larger cubic zirconia gemstones compare to diamonds. Then still it will be a small amount than larger carat gemstone rings.

5: Clarity 


A flawless lab-created diamond is incredibly expensive but cheaper than the mined diamonds as they are form in the labs. A flawless lab-grown diamond will not make the inclusions or the blemishes visible to the naked eye. By selecting the higher clarity of a lab-grown diamond will look perfect in the naked eye.

On the other hand, the cubic zirconia or CZ are produce in the labs. Which lack the imperfections that a diamond has. The cubic zirconia will be considered to be flawless as they are consider as the fake-looking compare to diamond.

6: Color


When it comes to the color of a diamond we search for the diamond. Which appears colorless or white based on the shape and the type of the setting of a diamond. You may find it in many different colors ranges like yellow, blues, pink, grey, black, and champagne.

Conversely, the cubic zirconia is manufacture as colorless synthetic gemstones. They often reflect an orange tint which gives us a clear indicator. That the cubic zirconia is not a real diamond.

7: Brilliancy & Beauty


The quality of a diamond depends on its cut. As the cut of the diamond impacts on the light which reflects and travels through the stone to your eyes. The brilliancy is refer to as the white light reflection and the fire is refer to as the colored light reflection. The refractive of a diamond is 2.417-2.419 which brings the beauty and the brilliancy in diamonds.

Contrarily, cubic zirconia contains no true brilliancy or fire as the refractive index of CZ is different compare to the diamonds. It has a 2.15-2.18 refractive index which is much lower than the refractive index of the diamonds. Which offers less reflection back to the eye. The CZ gemstone reflects too much color. Which gives a rainbow effect to the gemstone under the light. That makes it easier to differ it as a fake diamond in front of the diamonds.

8: The Value


Lab-grown diamonds do retain some value in the market but because of their shorter supply chain. They are less expensive than the mined diamonds. The diamonds are consider to pass down through the generation as keepsake and family heirloom. But overall the value and the price of a diamond depends on the brilliancy and the 4 C’s. Which are cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.

On the other hand, the market value of CZ is lesser depending on the size of the gemstone. CZ is a less expensive and good alternative placeholder for the mined diamond and the lab-grown diamond if you are extremely frugal. The cubic zirconia gemstone is like the other diamond simulants so it doesn’t carry any market value.

Although, it’s important to know the value and the importance of two different gemstones. Since it’s okay to purchase as long as you know about what you are purchasing.