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Cubic zirconia vs zircon is a common comparison when shopping for a diamond substitute.
They sound similar but they are different stones.
They look alike on an engagement ring.
But their similarities stop there.
What is cubic zirconia?
Cubic zirconia is found in nature, but it is deposits are rare.
Thus practically all cubic zirconia jewelry are made of lab created stones.
Its production starts with zirconium oxide and continues in a sterile environment, resulting in inclusion-free stones.
However, it is also possible to add extra elements to give CZ the color we desire.
Colors for CZ are endless.
CZ stones are very popular in jewelry, especially for engagement rings.
What is zircon?
Zircon is a mineral which constitutes a basis for hard and transparent precious stones.
It is made of zirconium silicate.
Zircon stones are found in many colors, from white to green to purple.
And in most examples, they do have a cloudy look which calls for special treatment.
In many cases, zircon stones are treated with heat to increase brilliancy and color.
Zircon has a refractive index below two and a tetragonal crystal structure.
It is a gemstone in contrast to CZ which is near completely man-made, although very rarely found in nature.
|Cubic Zirconia||White Zircon|
|Hardness||8.5||6.5 to 7.5|
|Density||5.5 to 5.9||4.6 to 4.7|
|Dispersion||0.058 to 0.066||0.039|
|Refractive Index||2.088 to 2.176||1.78 to 1.99|
Cubic zirconia is harder than zircon
Zircon’s hardness range between 6,5 and 7,5 on the Mohs scale.
CZ has a higher rating with 8,5.
Thus CZ stones have a higher scratch resistance than zircon.
Cubic zirconia is denser than zircon
Zircon’s density is about 4.6.
CZ’s density is much higher with a 5.5 to 5.9 range.
This means that for a same volume of stone, CZ will weight about 24% higher.
Zircon’s dispersion index is less than cubic zirconia’s.
CZ has a dispersion index of around 0.06.
Zircon has a smaller index at 0.039.
This means that CZ ring will exhibit more fire than a zircon ring.
Cubic zirconia is much more brilliant than zircon stones
Cubic zirconia has a higher refractive index than zircon.
So, in terms of brilliance, it will pop up more.
CZ and zircon rings have close prices
Both CZ and zircon are well known diamond simulants.
They are both priced a magnitude below diamond.
They have close prices that fit into your budget, so practically pricewise you have nothing to worry about.