Diamond vs. Cubic Zirconia How to Tell the Difference?

Do you like the look of a diamond, but are worried about the cost? Or maybe you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to diamonds. Cubic zirconia is often used as a diamond simulant because of its similar appearance. But how can you tell the difference between a real diamond and cubic zirconia?

Diamond vs. Cubic Zirconia How to Tell the Difference?

There are several ways to tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia. Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. Hardness

One of the primary ways to differentiate between diamonds and cubic zirconia is hardness. Diamonds are one of the hardest natural materials on Earth, while cubic zirconia rates an 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness (diamonds rate a 10). This means that diamonds will scratch any other substance except another diamond, while cubic zirconia can be scratched by topaz, sapphire, and other harder materials.

2. Refractive Index

The amount of refraction, or bending, of light that occurs when it enters a material, is called the refractive index.This difference can be seen when looking at these stones; diamonds will tend to sparkle more than cubic zirconia.

3. Durability

Diamonds are also well-known for their durability. They are not only the hardest natural substance on Earth but also one of the most wear-resistant. Cubic zirconia is also quite durable but not the same extent as diamonds. Over time, cubic zirconia can become scratched and dulled, whereas diamonds will retain their original luster.

4. Cost

One of the most significant differences between diamonds and cubic zirconia is cost. Diamonds are costly, while cubic zirconia is relatively inexpensive. This is because diamonds are rarer than cubic zirconia. They are formed deep within the Earth under extreme heat and pressure, while cubic zirconia can be created in a laboratory.

5. Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity measures how well a material conducts heat. Diamonds are excellent thermal conductors, while cubic zirconia is a poor conductor of heat.

6. Optical Properties

Diamonds and cubic zirconia also have different optical properties. When looking at these stones under a microscope, diamonds appear as octahedrons, while cubic zirconia appears as cubes. When light passes through a diamond, it is scattered in many directions, while light passes through cubic zirconia in a single direction.

7. Chemical Composition

The final way to tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia is their chemical composition. Diamonds are made of carbon, while cubic zirconia is made of zirconium oxide with traces of hafnium oxide. Additionally, diamonds are found in nature, while cubic zirconia is artificial.

While there are many ways to tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia, these are some of the most significant. When trying to decide between these two stones, it is crucial to keep in mind the intended use.

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