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What is Cubic Zirconia?

Synthetic gemstones manufactured in laboratories mimic the real thing in terms of aesthetic, optical, physical, and chemical characteristics. One of the stones people think of as a possible diamond substitute is the man-made stone, popularly called cubic zirconia.

Since the start of its production in 1976, cubic zirconia gemstones have been a significant economic rival to diamonds due to their low price, durability, and visual resemblance to genuine diamond pieces.

What is Cubic Zirconia and How is it Made? 

Cubic zirconia is a synthetic gemstone. It is a crystalline cubic form of zirconium dioxide. Although extremely rare, cubic zirconia can be found in nature as tiny crystals within baddeleyite and zircon. All cubic zirconia stones on the market today are man-made, which means they are only made in labs.

They are created from high-purity zirconium oxide powders stabilized with magnesium and calcium. Zirconium oxide is heated in a metal chamber while calcium and magnesium are added to create cubic zirconia. The temperature is then raised to approximately 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of each element is carefully regulated, and occasionally additional ingredients are added to create results that resemble genuine diamonds. The product leaves the metal chamber and cubic zirconia crystals start to grow. The stone is then sliced. Cubic Zirconias can be shaped in a variety of ways, including emerald, oval, pear, and more cuts.

Cubic Zirconia Vs. Diamond

Cubic zirconia and diamonds might have a somewhat similar appearance, they have vastly diverse compositions.

Hardness and density vary

The hardest stone known to man is a diamond, but cubic zirconia rates far lower on the hardness scale.

This is because diamonds’ brilliance and extraordinary hardness are due to the compacted carbon atoms that make up their structure. To determine whether a diamond is indeed a diamond or cubic zirconia, various hardness comparisons can be used.

Diamonds can also be tested by weighing the gemstone. Although a diamond and cubic zirconia might have the same physical size, zirconium dioxide has a little higher density than carbon at the molecular level. A cubic zirconia stone will therefore weigh more than a diamond of the same size.

Genuine diamonds are more expensive

The primary reason cubic zirconia diamonds are so popular is that they almost always cost less than diamonds even though the price of a diamond may change based on its size or other characteristics.

A 1-carat cubic zirconia diamond typically costs about 1/100th of what a 1-carat diamond would cost. The ratio only gets bigger as the carat size gets bigger. The fact that cubic zirconia has little to no resale value in contrast to diamonds, which can often be sold for at least 50% of their original cost, poses a possible problem.

Inclusions and possible flaws

Cubic zirconia is devoid of the inherent flaws present in real diamonds because they are created in a laboratory. This indicates that they have almost perfect clarity. Due to their nearly too-perfect look, they may come off as false.

Natural flaws called inclusions can be seen inside a diamond. Even though diamonds without any inclusions are theoretically true, they are incredibly rare and expensive. Inclusions are minuscule defects that are present in natural diamonds as well as lab-grown diamonds. Despite having no inherent internal faults, cubic zirconia can exhibit clear evidence of its lab-grown origins, such as minute gas bubbles containing the zirconium dioxide powder used to make it.

Appearance

Gemologists are aware that a “white” diamond can contain a yellow, gray, or brown tinge, despite the misconception that a diamond should appear clear throughout. Cubic zirconia is likely to have no color at all.

Light dispersion

When white light enters a diamond, disperses (or divides), and exits the stone at various angles with colored light, this is known as a dispersion in a gemstone. Compared to diamonds, cubic zirconia has a higher degree of dispersion. The dispersion rate ranges from 0.058 to 0.0666. The dispersion rate of diamonds is 0.044. As a result, cubic zirconia will sparkle more brilliantly than diamonds.

Conclusion

Cubic zirconia is frequently referred to as “fake” or “simulated” diamonds. However, it is also an authentic gemstone, only with a great resemblance to and durability as diamonds. Since cubic zirconia diamonds are a gemstone in and of themselves, the truth is that they are not imitations of diamonds but rather an alternative. They resemble diamonds a great deal, making them a very popular and attractive alternative that is also very inexpensive.

Hope that we can offer helpful advice and give you a better understanding of cubic zirconia. For further details about ZrO2 ceramic materials, please check https://www.preciseceramic.com/.

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