Diamonds are said to be a girl's best friend, but they can be expensive. Both cubic zirconia and Moissanite are stones that look like diamonds. In the jewelry world they are considered knock-off diamonds. Although they have similar qualities, they are different.
Color, Shine and Makeup
Unlike diamonds, which have internal and external blemishes, cubic zirconia or "CZ" is flawless. It is also completely colorless, where as Moissanite can come in "different grades of color", according to Moissanite Buyers Guide. Real diamonds naturally may have a yellow tint. Moissanite is shinier than both cubic zirconia and diamonds. Moissanite is made from silicon carbide. CZs are made from zirconium oxide, which is extremely rare in nature, so most CZs are synthetically made.
Weight and Texture
Moissanite is harder than cubic zirconia and weighs less. CZs weigh more than diamonds as well, according to All About Gemstones. There are four key criteria when choosing diamonds and replicas: color, clarity, cut and carat. Compared with cubic zirconia, Moissanites are harder to detect as being false diamonds, All About Gemstones says.
Quality and Price
Moissanites are often hand-cut and are hard enough to be cut with an actual diamond cutter, according to What Is Moissanite. Cubic zirconias are often cut into shape by a machine and are usually mass-produced. CZs are more well-known than Moissanites. Moissanite, though, can last for generations, making it worth more in quality.