Cubic Zirconia

What Is Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia is basically a lab grown diamond is the simplest answer one can get. However Cubic Zirconia, although lab grown, is not a diamond. In the late 1970s, Russian scientists devised a technique to produce single cubic zirconia crystals. These stunning crystals are used to mass produce jewelry.

Cubic zirconia (abbreviated CZ) is simulated diamond made from zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). The CZ stone bares many of the characteristics and looks similar to natural diamonds. Some have called it a lab grown diamond, but that is not really true. Diamonds, both natural and lab grown ones are made of carbon, cubic zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2).

Diamonds are the hardest stone known to man, cubic zirconia doesn't even come close. The compacted carbon that comprises a natural diamonds structure was created by eons of compaction and can not be replicated in a lab.

Although extremely rare, cubic zirconia is found in nature as tiny crystals within zircon and baddeleyite. All commercially available cubic zirconia however is manufactured in labs from high-purity zirconium oxide powders with magnesium and calcium as stabilizers.

Unlike natural diamonds cubic zirconia is colorless and completely clear. Most natural diamonds have a faint yellowish tint. Under natural light, diamonds give off a sparkling white light. Cubic zirconia does not emit the same brilliant light. Cubic zirconia can be treated to produce a spectrum of colorful effects. Treated cubic zirconia serves as an affordable alternative to gemstones such as rubies, emeralds and sapphire.

Natural diamonds have flaws not found in cubic zirconia. The flaws, small imperfections within diamonds are called inclusions. Cubic zirconia does not have these natural internal flaws but does show different imperfections that are signs of its lab-grown origin. The predominant flaw is tiny gas bubbles containing unmelted zirconium dioxide powder used in its creation.

Due to its visual similarity, affordability and durability cubic zirconia is the predominant competitor to natural diamonds. A fairly recently cultivated material, synthetic moissanite is giving CZ some competition in recent years.