Close-up of a sparkling zirconia diamond ring showcasing its brilliance

What are Zirconia Diamonds? Difference Between Zirconia vs Real vs Lab Grown Diamond

When it comes to dazzling jewellery, diamonds have long been considered the ultimate gemstone. However, with the rise of high-quality alternatives, zirconia diamonds have become a popular choice for those seeking the brilliance of a diamond without the hefty price tag. In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about cubic zirconia stones, including their benefits, how they compare to real diamonds, and why they make a perfect sparkling alternative.

What Are Zirconia Diamonds?

Zirconia diamonds, commonly known as cubic zirconia (CZ), are synthetic gemstones made from the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. First developed in the 1970s, cubic zirconia has since become the most popular diamond simulant due to its affordability, durability, and striking resemblance to natural diamonds

Read More: Your Guide to Diamonds

What are the Benefits of Zirconia Diamonds?

An image of a jeweller meticulously setting a zirconia diamond into a piece of jewelry

Elegant display of zirconia diamond jewelry including rings, necklaces, and earrings.


One of the most significant advantages of zirconia diamonds is their cost. While natural diamonds can cost thousands of dollars, cubic zirconia offers a similar appearance at a fraction of the price. This affordability allows consumers to purchase larger or more intricate pieces without breaking the bank.

Ethical Sourcing

Natural diamonds often come with ethical concerns, including conflict diamonds and environmental damage from mining. Cubic zirconia, being lab-made, does not have these issues. Choosing zirconia diamonds means you can enjoy beautiful jewellery without the ethical dilemmas associated with some natural diamonds.

Variety of Colors

While diamonds come in a limited range of colors, cubic stones can be produced in a variety of hues, from clear to vibrant colors like pink, blue, and green. This versatility allows for more creative and personalised jewelry designs.


Cubic zirconia is quite durable, with a hardness rating of 8-8.5 on the Mohs scale. While not as hard as diamonds (which rate a 10), zirconia diamonds are still suitable for everyday wear and are less likely to chip or scratch compared to other gemstones.

What is the Difference Between: Zirconia Diamonds vs. Real Diamonds?


To the untrained eye, cubic zirconia vs diamond is really tough to recognise due to its identicality to a natural diamond. However, under closer inspection, there are differences. Cubic zirconia tends to have more fire (the dispersion of light into various colors) than diamonds, which can give it a slightly different sparkle. Additionally, cubic zirconia is usually flawless, whereas natural diamonds often have inclusions.


Cubic zirconia is denser than diamond, so a zirconia diamond will weigh more than a diamond of the same size. This difference in weight can sometimes be a giveaway when comparing the two.


While cubic zirconia is durable, it is not as hard as diamond and may show signs of wear over time, such as scratches or cloudiness. Natural diamonds, being the hardest known natural material, are more resistant to such wear and tear.

Why Choose Zirconia Diamonds?

Cost-Effective Elegance

For those looking to own beautiful, sparkling jewelry without spending a fortune, zirconia diamonds offer a fantastic solution. They provide the look and feel of Lab Grown Diamonds at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to a broader audience.

Ethical and Sustainable

Choosing cubic zirconia supports ethical jewelry practices. Since they are lab-created, they do not contribute to the environmental and ethical issues associated with diamond mining. This makes them an attractive option for socially conscious consumers.

Versatility in Design

The ability to produce cubic zirconia in various colors and sizes allows for a wide range of design possibilities. Whether you prefer classic clear stones or colorful, unique pieces, diamonds can meet your needs.

Ideal for Travel and Everyday Wear

For travelers or those who engage in activities where losing expensive jewelry is a concern, cubic zirconia provides peace of mind. You can enjoy wearing stunning pieces without the fear of losing a significant investment.


Zirconia diamonds are an excellent alternative to natural diamonds, offering affordability, ethical benefits, and versatility. While they may not completely replace the allure of natural diamonds for some, they provide a compelling option for those looking to enjoy the beauty and elegance of sparkling gemstones without the associated costs and ethical concerns. Whether you are purchasing an engagement ring, a statement necklace, or everyday earrings zirconia diamonds are a brilliant choice.
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