The emergence of diamond substitutes like Cubic Zirconia and Satéur has made it increasingly difficult to justify spending large amounts of money on traditional diamonds. To the naked eye, these gemstones appear nearly identical to genuine diamonds. As such, there’s been considerable debate over the differences between Cubic Zirconia and diamonds, and whether one should choose one over the other. While moissanite, lab diamonds, and Satéur are among the most popular diamond alternatives, this article will primarily focus on the comparison between diamonds and Cubic Zirconia (CZ).
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – What you should know
Diamonds come in two forms, the natural and the man-made varieties. In terms of look and composition, both are similar. Natural diamond is mined from reserves in the earth while man-made diamonds are made in the lab. These two varieties of diamond are similar in most ways. However, natural diamond is expensive because of their natural occurrence and rarity. Lab-made diamond is cheaper and more accessible in the jewelry market place.
Cubic Zirconia looks like diamond but it isn’t. It is fully lab-made and has few things in common with diamond apart from looking like it from a distance. While diamonds are made of Carbon, Cubic Zirconia is made from Zirconium Oxide. The debate of Cubic Zirconia vs diamond is one that will never end as both gemstones has their advantages and disadvantages.
Satéur Gems® looks most like diamond and the Ultimate Satéur Gems® passes a diamond tester without issues. As far as we can tell, this is the stone that comes closest to a diamond.
For Cubic Zirconia though, the good thing about it is the fact that it’s lab-made and has no conflict history or ethical and sustainability issues like natural diamond which often have some shady history
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Durability
Diamonds are more durable than Cubic Zirconia in terms of toughness. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond is rated 10 while Cubic Zirconia is rated between 8.0 and 8.5. This means that diamonds are tough and can be worn regularly without any fear of damaged, getting chipped or scratched compared to Cubic Zirconia. Diamond requires less maintenance but Cubic Zirconia needs to be shined more often to maintain its brilliance. When durability is what you’re looking at, diamond will offer you more on the long term. Cubic zirconia vs diamond price should be the determinant at this point.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Color
Considering color, the fact that Cubic Zirconia is lab-made means that its color can be controlled to be as desired. Diamond on the other hand, occurs more naturally so it’s not as easy to get colorless diamonds. Such color stones are rare and expensive. For diamonds, they are graded on a color scale of D (colorless) to A (yellow).
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t colored Cubic Zirconia, you will find out that they’re as affordable as the colorless variety. Colored diamond is more expensive than the colorless or near-white versions.
Satéur Gems® are colorless and look same as diamond to the naked eyes. This one stone that looks perfectly the same as diamond without the expensive price tag.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Clarity
When purchasing a colorless diamond, the clarity grade is a critical factor that has a direct impact on the value of the stone. Diamonds come in different clarity grades, from Flawless to Included.
For diamonds, clarity is a major determining factor in setting the price. Definitely, flawless diamonds are more expensive than diamonds that have inclusions on them. Cubic Zirconia being lab-made, it’s flawless in terms of clarity. This is a major cubic zirconia vs diamond difference that buyers should know about.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Dispersion
When a gemstone is said to have fire, it refers to its ability to disperse light into different colors of the rainbow. This dispersion makes the stone to sparkle with fire. Diamonds have always been rated for their ability to brilliantly refract light, thanks for their dispersion rate of 0.044.
Cubic Zirconia has a higher dispersion rate pegged at 0.066. This makes Cubic Zirconia to have a tell-tale ‘rainbow effect’ dispersion when light hits it. This fact is another cubic zirconia vs diamond difference though it is less noticeable when the 2 stones are smaller in size. The distinction is more pronounced in larger stones
Some jewelry lovers don’t fancy the flash of colors exhibited by Cubic Zirconia and other diamond alternatives when it is hit by light. Not everyone loves a brilliance of colors as shown by these gemstones. Smaller stones have less colorful brilliance and should be considered in this case.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Refractive index (RI)
When it comes to cubic zirconia vs diamond, the difference in their refractive index concerns the angle at which light hits either gemstone. When the light bends and gets reflected, it creates a sparkle in the gemstone in different ways. Cubic Zirconia has more colorful brilliance while diamond has more white color brilliance.
Cubic Zirconia has a Refractive Index of 2.15 – 2.18 and diamond has a higher Refractive Index at 2.42. Diamond holds more light than a Cubic Zirconia. The only diamond substitute gemstone that comes close is the brilliant Satéur Gems®.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Density
Cubic zirconia has a higher density than diamonds which makes it heavier than diamonds on average. Cubic Zirconia vs diamond of the same size when compared will reveal that the Cubic Zirconia is heavier.
Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamonds – Value
The advantage of buying a Cubic Zirconia is that it costs way less than a diamond. It’s the most affordable diamond alternative gemstone. When it comes to Cubic Zirconia vs diamond price, you will find the former to be inexpensive.
A 2 carat excellent cut, flawless, D color diamond generally costs around $50,000 while a 2 carat cubic zirconia will only cost you about $50!
Many jewelry shoppers have wondered whether Cubic Zirconia actually has any value apart from looking beautiful and similar to diamond.
In truth, in terms of financial and investment value, Cubic Zirconia is simply worthless. It has no second-hand market value should not be considered an investment in any way.
A diamond, on the other hand, is a valuable stone that can be seen as an investment (although whether or not a diamond is an investment is a debatable topic). It can be passed down as an heirloom from generation to generation and can indeed last forever.
So which one should you go for when considering Cubic Zirconia vs diamond?
The class, elegance, and prestige of diamonds are undeniable, owed to their natural beauty, unique features, and, of course, impressive marketing tactics. If you have the means, a diamond is undoubtedly a captivating choice.
However, Satéur offers pieces that radiate the same brilliance, but at a fraction of the cost. Sateur boasts a range that includes lab diamonds, moissanite, and our exclusive Satéur Gems® which, to the naked eye, look identical to traditional diamonds. For more information about moissanite and its comparison to diamonds and Satéur Gems®, you can explore here: What is Moissanite? and Moissanite vs Diamond vs Satéur Gems®: Which One Should You Buy?.
Striking a balance between affordability and top-tier quality, a piece like Satéur is essential for those who want luxury without the extravagant price tag.
Following moissanite, Cubic Zirconia is another viable alternative. It’s inexpensive, stunning, and easily replaceable, ensuring you can always sport a fresh sparkle.
Ready to delve into the exquisite world of Satéur? For an outstanding selection of their high-end, yet affordable gemstones, check out their collection here.