Lab Diamonds

Cubic Zirconia and lab-created diamonds are two of the most popular diamond alternatives today. Cubic Zirconia is a type of gemstone that is made from zirconium oxide. The crystals are fashioned into small cubes, giving the stone a unique look. 

Lab-created diamonds are a type of diamond that is created in a laboratory. These diamonds are made from carbon atoms that have been bonded together in specific ways to create a diamond structure. Keep reading to know more about these two diamond alternatives!

What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic Zirconia is considered a diamond simulant – it looks like natural diamonds but is made of a different material. Natural and lab-grown diamonds are composed of carbon, while Cubic Zirconia is composed of zirconium dioxide. This is due to the Cubic crystalline form of the stone. Like diamonds, Cubic Zirconia has a Cubic crystalline structure, so it’s a great diamond substitute.

Scientists used the material to experiment with synthetic materials to use in lasers. A technique for growing single Cubic Zirconia crystals was discovered in the 1970s by Russian scientists. In mass-produced jewellery, the crystals were used to create a sparkling effect. A popular diamond dupe today, Cubic Zirconia crystals are used in necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

What are Lab-Created Diamonds?

Diamonds grown in laboratories, also called lab-created diamonds, artificial diamonds, engineered diamonds, and cultured diamonds, are grown under highly controlled laboratory conditions using advanced technological processes that mimic the conditions under which diamonds naturally form in the mantle of the Earth. The carbon atoms in these lab-created diamonds form a distinctive diamond crystal structure. They exhibit the same optical and chemical properties as natural diamonds since they are made of the same material.

The Difference Between Cubic Zirconia & Lab Grown Diamonds

Lab Diamonds

Diamond Vs. Cubic Zirconia: Durability

It can be tempting to choose a Cubic Zirconia stone purely based on price when shopping for an engagement ring. Lab-made diamonds and natural diamonds are far more expensive than Cubic Zirconia rings, and at first glance, they appear the same. Despite its beauty, Cubic Zirconia only lasts two years before it begins to fade. Lab-made Diamonds and other gemstones are expensive, but they last a lifetime.

Lab-grown diamond is well known for its hardness, which ranks at ten on the Mohs scale. The durability of diamonds makes them resistant to scratch. On the hardness scale, Cubic Zirconia ranks 8.5. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is. Despite being scratch-resistant, Cubic Zirconia can easily be scratched by everyday wear and tear.

Furthermore, Cubic Zirconia absorbs oils from the skin and everyday products. Even the shiniest Cubic Zirconia will appear cloudy and scratched after a few years. While it is not a huge deal if you want to replace your ring every few years, it should be considered when comparing Cubic Zirconia to diamonds.

Diamond Vs. Cubic Zirconia: Price

Compared to lab-created diamonds, Cubic Zirconia simulants are much cheaper. An example is the price of a flawless 1-carat round colourless diamond graded D, which is around $12,000, whereas a 1-carat Cubic Zirconia is only worth $20. There is also an increase in the cost difference between Cubic Zirconia and diamond as the carat size increases.

Cubic Zirconia Vs. Diamond: Colour

Colour is used to classify diamonds. D is at the bottom of the grading scale, and Z is at the top. The D-coloured diamonds are clear. In contrast, Z-coloured diamonds are yellow. In between are stones that don’t have that amazing clear-diamond beauty but don’t have a clearly-defined colour like yellow. Generally, the less colour the stone has, the more valuable it is. There is no doubt that colourless diamonds are the most valuable stones in the world.

Like diamonds, Cubic Zirconia has clear varieties. Their ability to look like a D-colored diamond has made them affordable substitutes for diamonds. Colourless Cubic Zirconia is more commonly manufactured than coloured Cubic Zirconia. Because of this, they do not have a complicated colouring system. There is a difference in how the two reflect light. In contrast to the fire of diamonds, the fire of Zirconia is brighter and more colourful, which is why some people dislike it so much.

Diamonds Vs. Cubic Zirconia: Clarity

Cubic Zirconia and lab-created diamonds differ in their clarity. This is where Zirconia’s synthetic nature works to its advantage. Despite lab-created diamonds’ quality of the gemstone, they still contain inclusions, which means they include traces of other elements, which diminishes the clarity. Diamond clarity grades range from Included to Flawless. When it comes to clarity, Zirconia may be your best bet if you are looking for it. Nevertheless, flaws can make people endearing, and jewel stones are no different.

Cubic Zirconia Vs. Lab-Created Diamond: Diamonds Brilliance

A gem’s brightness, or brilliance, is another important factor. Instead of different colours, this refers to the intensity of their sparkle or brightness. Refraction or refractive index is the technical term for measuring brilliance. The refractive index of lab-created diamonds is 2.42, the highest of any gem except for Moissanite. In contrast, Cubic Zirconia is rated at 2.16. Diamonds are brighter than Cubic Zirconia, but not significantly. Price and brilliance can be traded; however, you wish.


There is a similarity between lab-created diamonds and Cubic Zirconia. Despite this, they differ in several major ways. These are origin, hardness, colour, clarity, dispersion, brilliance, and value. 

  • A diamond’s value is determined by weighing all these factors. While Cubic Zirconia engagement rings are all the rage now, diamond engagement rings are an investment that will last a lifetime. 
  • Diamonds symbolise luxury and style for women who adorn themselves with them. Cubic Zirconia offers convenience for the practical woman. 
  • There is no comparison to the beauty and price of Cubic Zirconia. Choose Cubic Zirconia if sustainability is important to you. The sentimentality we attach to our gemstone determines its value in the end. You are the only one who can decide what lab-created diamonds or Cubic Zirconia mean to you.

Was this article helpful? Let us know in the comments.


Can Cubic Zirconia pass a diamond tester?

Unfortunately, no. Due to its low thermal conductivity, Cubic Zirconia cannot pass thermal tests. Therefore, a CZ will not appear as a diamond on a diamond tester. Thermal conductivity pen testers are essential for distinguishing CZ from diamonds, among mined diamonds and real diamonds.

What stone is better than CZ?

Its romantic history and natural value make Moissanite a better resale stone than Cubic Zirconia. On average, the cost of Moissanite is approximately 90% less than that of diamonds.

Does Tiffany sell lab-created diamonds?

Yes, they do. The diamond industry is very complex, and it’s not unusual for a diamond to be manufactured from scratch. However, the process of manufacturing diamonds can be very time-consuming and expensive. Tiffany’s Diamonds are created using lab-created diamonds. They also use lasers to cut the diamond into different shapes, which is why Tiffany’s diamonds are so unique and beautiful.