Cubic Zirconia Vs. Man Made Diamond

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Many people don’t understand the difference between cubic zirconia (CZ) and man-made diamonds. Some dealers further confuse the issue by marketing their CZ as man-made diamonds.

The Basics

Christie Gardner/iStock/Getty Images

Both CZ and man-made diamonds are produced in laboratories. CZ is zirconium dioxide with a hardness rating of eight on the Moh’s scale. Man-made diamonds are diamonds that have been created in a laboratory rather than the earth, so they have a hardness rating of 10 on the Moh’s Scale. Sometimes man-made diamonds are referred to as “synthetic diamonds,” “created diamonds” or “cultured diamonds.”

Confusion

Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Some confusion about CZ and man-made diamonds stems from names that dealers use to describe their products. There are companies that produce CZ but call it “man-made diamond.” CZ is not man-made diamond.

More About CZ

Greg Bethmann/iStock/Getty Images

CZ can be hand-cut to mimic the look of the finest-cut natural diamonds and can fool most casual observers. One potential drawback to CZ is that over time it can become cloudy or milky.

More About Man-Made Diamonds

Andrey Stratilatov/iStock/Getty Images

Man-made diamonds are real diamonds. Colorless stones are quite rare. Most are one carat or smaller.

Cost

ryasick/iStock/Getty Images

A D-color, VS2 clarity natural round diamond costs around $6,000, while a designer CZ costs less than $200, and a man-made diamond in the same size and shape is around $3,800.