Gold ring with white and blue zirconia stones

What are the Differences Between Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite?

We are an affiliate
We hope you love the featured products! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page, at no extra cost for the buyer. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

Gold ring with white and blue zirconia stones
Gold ring with white and blue zirconia stones

Cubic zirconias and moissanites often receive consideration when looking for wedding rings with a diamond simulant.

Why are cubic zirconia and moissanite popular alternatives to diamond?

Diamond has the look, the fame, the price and this last one pushes it beyond the budget of many couples.

For this reason, there is always a quest for frugal alternatives: similar gems which do not eat up the wedding budget.

Cubic zirconia and moissanite are two diamond simulants like white sapphire, white topaz morganite or swarovski.

These two offer similar looks and hardness to diamond at a much cheaper price tag.

Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia

What is cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is well known diamond substitute.

As it is rarely found in nature, practically all CZ stones used in jewelry are lab created.

This brings the advantage of controlling the production environment and process from start to finish.

Thanks to this edge, producers are able to create stones with zero inclusions and reach a higher degree of clarity.

It is also possible to add other elements and obtain colored stones as desired.

Please note that cubic zirconia and zircon are different stones and should not be mistaken for each other.

What is moissanite?


Click on the photo to check on Amazon

The name of this gemstone comes from its discoverer French chemist Henri Moissan.

Moissan was inspecting rocks in a meteor crater in Arizona.

He took stone samples, which he thought were diamonds at the time.

Only after 10 years have passed, he noticed that they had a different crystal structure.

They were made of silicon carbide, not carbon.

Moissanite is not only a diamond alternative, but also it shares a similar journey leading to jewelry.

Moissanite deposits are not common.

However, scientists have discovered methods to produce moissanite in artificial environments.

This opens doors to produce practically flawless stones.

And again, as in CZ, it is possible to produce moissanites at the desired color.

As moissanite is very hard and has a superior level of clarity, it is widely used in electronics and optics.

Cubic Zirconia vs Moissanite side by side
Cubic zirconia Moissanite
Hardness 8-8.5 9.25
Density 5.5 to 5.9 3.21
Refractive index 2.15 to 2.18 2.65
Dispersion 0.058 to 0.066 0.104

Practically, all moissanites and CZ are lab created stones

Both gemstones are rarely found in nature.

However, as scientists have developed necessary production methods, we are able to create these gems as much as needed.

This freedom of production also enables us to make stones with color and size, expanding design diversity.

Moissanites are harder

Diamond has the top place with a 10 rating on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Moissanites come close behind with a 9.5.

Thus, diamond is harder than moissanite but this latter is no softy!

Cubic zirconia has a lower 8.5 rating on the Mohs scale.

While, this means that it is softer than moissanite and diamond, it is definitely a durable stone.

Yet, it has lower scratch resistance than moissanite or diamond.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon


Cubic zirconia weights twice as much moissanite does

CZ’s density is about 5.5 to 5.9 g/cm3.

Moissanite’s density is about half of this around 3.2 g/cm3.

So, a 1 carat CZ gem on a ring will weight twice a moissanite gem.

Moissanites exhibits more fire

Moissanite is famous for its fire.

It outperforms even diamond in this regard.

What is moissanite fire?

Light is refracted by crystals. This refraction differs according to the wave lengths of the colors forming the incoming light.

For example, red light will be refracted with a smaller angle than purple.

When day light passes through the surfaces of crystals, it gets separated into ray of different colors.

This phenomenon forms a rainbow like pattern as can be seen in the video.

This is called moissanite fire.

Moissanite has a refraction index of 2.65, higher than cubic zirconia and diamond.

So, greater the refractivity, more the fire!

Cubic zirconia is cheaper than moissanite

Cubic zirconia is one of the cheapest diamond simulants.

On the other hand, moissante will receive a higher price, though still lower than diamond.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon


The Verdict: Is moissanite better than cubic zirconia?

It all comes to this one question.

Our answer is “Yes, if possible”.

Moissanite has superior physical properties when compared to CZ.

It brings important qualities to this comparison like hardness, durability and fire.

Moissanites deliver more in these points.

They are nearly hard as diamonds.

Moissanite has higher scratch resistance than CZ.

It exhibits fire putting even diamonds into shame.

However, after underlining moissanite’s pros, we have to admit that price is a factor, unfortunately.

And, cubic zirconia comes with a better price, a magnitude lower price.

Thus, at the end of the day, if you can afford it, if its price does not shake the budget, you can choose a moissanite wedding ring.

On the other side, if there is not much room left for the ring, you can go for a cubic zirconia ring.

Related questions

1. Is moissanite the best fake diamond?

Many think moissanites are the best diamond simulants or fake diamonds if you will.

A moissanite is hard like a diamond, with a slightly lower Mohs hardness rating.

It offers similar shiny looks with scratch resistance.

And, it even outplays diamond when it comes to exhibiting fire.

On the downside, moissanite has a higher price than other diamond substitutes like white sapphire or white topaz.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon


2. Can you tell the difference between moissanites and diamonds?

Diamond testers are useful machine to distinguish between a real diamond and a substitute.

You can ask your local jewelry shop for help in this regard.

A more practical way is to compare the fire of both gemstones.

Send white light over the stones in a dark room and observe the rainbow colors forming.

If they are clearly seen, then you probably have moissanites.

Check the video above for a comparison.

3. Does Moissanite get cloudy?

No, moissanite is a very hard and durable stone.

It follows diamond’s 10 hardness rating closely with a 9.25.

It will not get cloudy over time.

4. Does cubic zirconia get cloudy?

Cubic zirconia is not as hard as diamond or moissanite.

It can get dull and cloudy with time.

5. Should I buy a moissanite engagement ring?

If you can afford it, yes. We believe it is a better choice over a CZ ring.

Buy your high-quality moissanite gemstone engagement rings from reputable sellers like Charles and Colvard or Amazon.