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Jewellery Advice

Cubic Zirconia VS Diamond: What’s The Difference?

When looking for the perfect piece of jewellery, whether that be a necklace, bracelet or a ring, there may be particular qualities you look for. It could be the metal, the statement it makes, or it could be the stone type.

In today’s article, we’re going to be comparing the two main stone types that we see in every kind of engagement ring: cubic zirconia vs diamond. Now, you may think that there isn’t much difference between the two, but you’re mistaken unless you match them up next to each other. And here’s why.

Diamond Ring On A Bed Of Diamonds

Cubic Zirconia Jewellery

Before we compare the two stones, let’s get to know what each can offer. Cubic Zirconia is one of the jewellery industry’s number one alternatives to the one and only diamond. It’s an affordable option, and in many ways, stunning.

What’s more, it can also be indistinguishable from diamonds unless you decide to put cubic zirconia vs diamond side by side. They’re made from a manufactured mineral called zirconium dioxide and have a very sparkly appearance.

What’s often misinterpreted is that CZ is a “fake” diamond. When in fact, they’re both unique gemstones that can be fabricated.

Diamond Jewellery

When it comes to diamonds, you’ll rarely find jewellery pieces using this stone at budget prices. It was thought that diamonds were first discovered nearly 3,000 years ago in India. They were, of course, seen as rare and prized possessions just like today. However, they stayed in their natural form due to cutting and polishing not yet being grasped.

They’re completely made out of carbon, giving them that glistening sheen that turns every head. Now, let’s compare cubic zirconia vs. diamonds.

Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond


First up, we have their origins. Cubic Zirconia is completely synthesised, whereas diamonds are naturally mined from the ground. Small amounts of CZ have been identified in nature, but unlike the ever-growing diamond industry, they’re not yet mined. Instead, they’re completely man-made.


The brilliance of a stone refers to the amount of light that is reflected back to the viewer. Diamonds reflect an intense, crisp white light that can be seen from a distance. However, a CZ stone may give off a more colourful reflection, which is another way to tell the two apart.

In actual fact, Cubic Zirconia has 0 true brilliance. With its 2.15-2.18 refractive index, it doesn’t come close to the 2.42 from a diamond. Therefore, the reflection won’t be as impactful, but still very pretty.


Clarity is the term given to the number of flaws on a gemstone. Diamonds, as they’re natural born, will offer several more imperfections as opposed to a CZ stone. However, the more clarity (or, the more perfect) also bumps up the price, which we will be discussing later on in this article.

If you didn’t know, there are an abundance of diamonds that are actually deemed as unfit to be used in jewellery due to their raw and imperfect appearance. This could mean a yellow-toned or tarnished look, whereas the highest-graded diamonds are the purest white and the rarest.

On the other hand, CZ is often seen as ‘too perfect’. As they’re manufactured artificially, chances are they will come out flawless. In the grand scheme of diamond vs cubic zirconia, it is entirely down to personal preference.


When it comes to cubic zirconia vs diamond engagement rings, durability is paramount. For a ring that you’re going to wear every day, you want it be hard-wearing and robust. Well, when it comes to a diamond, you’ll get just that. They rate a perfect ten on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Compared to the resilient diamond, Cubic Zirconia only ranks at 8.5, making them much softer. While this still offers some durability, the longevity compared to a diamond is slimmer.


The prestige of a gemstone is the amount of administration and desire one feels towards it. Diamonds on one hand have a considerably larger reputation for being nothing but naturally beautiful. This is seen in their price and value which is determined by the 4 C’s (Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat). Cubic Zirconia is still a popular stone, but not to the extent of the luxurious diamond.


Last but not least, we have the price. You may receive some of the value back from a CZ stone; however, they carry little market value. Opposingly, a diamond will retain some of its market value, and they are often made into family heirlooms and treasured items. A diamond is much more of an investment, although a lifelong one.

When initially purchasing, however, a Cubic Zirconia jewellery item is a lot more affordable, and for their gorgeous aesthetic, it makes it all the more worth it. Because of this, CZ is often used in placeholder rings- a temporary engagement ring before you buy the real deal. Read more about placeholder rings in our previous blog.

Cubic Zirconia Vs Diamond

We hope we’ve helped you figure out Cubic Zirconia vs Diamonds. We have a wide selection of beautiful jewellery pieces that use some of the world’s most prestigious and alluring gemstones. No matter your budget, here at Joshua James, you will find a jewellery piece to suit your wants and needs.

If you’re on the hunt for an engagement ring, shop Cubic Zirconia rings & Diamond rings to find the perfect item.