Cubic Zirconia (CZ) versus Real Diamond, how do they compare?

Round Diamond Cut to show Dazzling Sparkle

You'll see the term 'CZ' everywhere on jewellery nowadays (and especially in our store!), but aside from knowing it's a diamond simulant, do you really have any idea what a cubic zirconia crystal is? It might surprise you to learn just how close to diamonds they really are!

Cubic Zirconia is an entirely man-made product renowned for its startling similarity to real diamond. It's almost as hard as diamond, brilliant in its radiance, can be cut to any shape like a diamond, and can even be produced in different diamond colours like pink, black, champagne etc. To the naked eye the cubic zirconia is indistinguishable from the real thing, making it a very popular choice for high-end fashion jewellery and costume jewellery.

The history of Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia was first discovered in 1892, and began to be produced commercially in 1976 as an affordable diamond alternative. The stones are made by melting powdered zirconium (a silvery white metal) with zirconium dioxide at a very high temperature. The end result is a gem with amazing clarity, flawless in every respect, that can only be determined from real diamond by an experienced jeweller with a special instrument.

What is a Diamond?

The diamond is naturally produced when carbon has been crushed under immense pressure over thousands of years. Only the very rarest have a pure clear colour, most have some 'inclusions' or a yellowish tinge. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth and are only found in small areas on the continents of Africa, Asia, North America and Australia. Their supposed rarity, and the dangers posed in their mining, are what make diamonds such a desirable and expensive gemstone.