At Rogue we offer jewellery adorned with real Diamonds, and also pieces set with Cubic Zirconia. So what is Cubic Zirconia, and what is the difference between the two?
Cubic Zirconia, or CZ, is a man-made crystal structure that was first produced in 1976 as a more affordable alternative to Diamonds. CZ is not to be confused with Zirconium- This is a silvery metal used in the production of Cubic Zirconia. CZ is made from a specialist mixture of Zirconium and Zirconium Dioxide which is heated to 2750 celsius. Cubic Zirconia of varying colours are created by adding different coloured oxides to the molten CZ mixture during its firing process. Once the molten mixture begins to cool, crystals will form that are then cut and polished in the same way that Diamonds are. Diamonds are often naturally formed from Carbon deposits by intense heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust. They can also be formed synthetically in labs. There is almost no difference between naturally formed and synthetically made Diamonds.
How does Cubic Zirconia differ from Diamonds?
Well, because it is completely man-made, it can be made absolutely perfectly with no inclusions or imperfections. Almost all Diamonds will have minute inclusions in them. Hardly any Diamonds are completely perfect as they are naturally formed in imperfect conditions. Even professional Diamond jewellers may never see a completely perfect Diamond in their entire career.
Cubic Zirconia are slightly less hard than Diamonds- They are an 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness scale whereas Diamonds are a 10. One notable difference is that since CZ are slightly less hard than Diamonds, the facets of their cut are slightly softer and more rounded than a Diamond. Diamonds, being incredibly hard, can hold a significantly sharper facet. However to the naked eye looking at a CZ gem and Diamond of similar size and cut, it is often impossible to tell the two apart. CZ gems are also slightly heavier than Diamonds, being 1.7 times more dense.
How are CZ similar to Diamonds?
Cubic Zirconia can be coloured any colour a diamond can, and more. Diamonds can be steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, or black. Cubic Zirconia offers a more affordable yet still visually impactful option. CZ shouldn’t be considered a “poor man’s Diamond” as it can offer intense colours and variety.
To conclude, both Diamonds and Cubic Zirconia have their own merits. Diamonds are, of course, highly sought after and expensive for a reason. They can become family heirlooms and are often treasured for generations. Cubic Zirconia is often more perfected than Diamond simply due to its manufacturing process and can give a gorgeous sparkle without as much of a large price tag. Some people say that CZ is lower quality because it is placed into cheaper, less well-made settings and jewellery than Diamonds. This is simply untrue for any jewellery sold as Rogue. All of our jewellery is produced by brands at the forefront of jewellery quality. We simply do not sell low-quality jewellery so you can be confident that whichever gem you chose, you will be very happy with the results!
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