When asked for a hard, durable and shiny gemstone, diamond is the first one that comes to mind.
Unfortunately, its price is not always the closest in reach.
As a diamond’s color gets closer to transparent, its price tag gets even higher.
Moreover, with increases in size, prices start increasing exponentially.
Thankfully, there are alternatives which offer similar looks at lower prices.
These are diamond substitutes.
The list includes many names, like moissanite, white topaz, swarovski crystals and cubic zirconia, besides others.
Let’s have a look at Swarovski crystals, cubic zirconia and compare them.
Swarovski crystals are man-made diamond simulants.
Daniel Swarovski is the man behind these crystals. He invented the process and the machine that delivers these shiny stones.
Their production includes mixing glass with lead at a high temperature.
These crystals are also AB coated to increase refractivity, making them closer to diamonds.
The end result is precision cut shiny crystals, which are all identical.
If you look closely at a Swarovski crystal, you will notice perfection.
The inside is homogenuous with no inclusions.
You won’t see air bubbles or unwanted traces of elements in the structure.
Furthermore, the edges will be sharp and clean.
It has a smooth surface. It will not have any scratches that may cause friction and irritation.
There won’t be any bumps too.
But the most bright point of Swarovski crystals is, price.
Swarovski crystals offer this shiny looks at a fraction of the cost of diamonds.
This comes especially useful when the budget are not infinite!
In house decoration, for example when surrounding a mirror with many stones, this comes very handy.
The same goes for costume design.
When looking for a shiny stone to add bling to a dress or hat, these crystals will help you save many dollars.
Cubic Zirconia(CZ) is a man-made diamond substitute.
When we look at the origin of cubic zirconia stones, we see that they are naturally found under ground.
But they are so scarce, that practically all CZ jewelry you will see is made of artificial stones.
Their production includes calcium, magnesium and zirconium oxide mixed under pressure with heat.
This controlled process delivers inclusion-free stones which are homogenous.
Also, it is possible to add different elements into the process to change the transparent color of CZ.
As a result, we can obtain all the colors of the rainbow thanks to these dopants.
Cubic zirconia is harder than Swarovski crystals
CZ has a Mohs rating of 8.5 which places it closer to diamond’s 10 rating.
Swarovski crystals has a 6-7 rating on this hardness scale.
This means that a cubic zirconia jewelry will be more durable when compared to a Swarovski crystal version.
Cubic zirconia stones carry more shine than Swarovski Crystals
CZ is closer to diamond in shininess.
Diamond has a refractive index about 2.4.
Cubic zirconia’s refractive index is around 1.6, which is less than Cubic Zirconia’s 2.1.
This means that CZ stones will exhibit more shine than Swarovski crytals.
Thus they will have a closer look to diamonds.
The Verdict: Swarovski Crystals vs Cubic Zirconia
Cubic zirconia and swarovski crytals are both well known diamond simulants.
They are sold worldwide, and you can find both of them with ease.
When compared to diamond, cubic zirconia comes closer.
It is hard like diamond, much harder than Swarovskis.
It also has more shiny looks to it, as its refractive index is much higher than Swarovski crystals’ index.
Besides hardness and shine, CZ tops Swarovski crystals in price too.
Similar size and color CZ stones will have higher prices than their Swarovski counterparts.
This means that if you are planning to buy or create a costume/jewelry with large number of stones, CZ will be the expensive option.
Swarovski also enjoys the power of the company behind it.
All Swarovski crystals come from the same source, and they are certified.
When your eyes catch the famous Swan logo, you know its a Swarovski.
The buyer knows that there is a customer service that can handle issues anywhere in the world.
These crytals possesses constant awareness which cubic zirconia lacks.
This strong perception is due to corporate presence, worlwide marketing and physical distribution via Swarovski shops and other stores.