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Zircon VS Cubic Zirconia

Diamonds unsurprisingly are very expensive & not everyone can afford them. And this is the major reason why people look for substitutes. Zircon & Cubic Zirconia are known to be the best substitute for diamonds. CZ is especially in demand because of its shimmering looks, just like a diamond.

To the naked eye, both zircon & cubic zirconia appear the same. However, zircon & cubic zirconia are two immensely different alternatives of the diamond. Chemically, optically, & structurally the two gemstones are very dissimilar. 

Here in this article, we'll explore how these two are different & which one you should buy?

Zircon VS. Cubic Zirconia: A Deep Dive

Many gemstone suppliers in the market will try to pass off poor alternatives & that is why we're giving you a comparison between the two. It is best to know where cubic zirconia & Zircon stands before buying them.

History & Origin

Zircon is a natural gemstone & it's among the oldest minerals found on earth. The very first specimen of Zircon was found in Australia, & it's estimated to be about 4.4 billion years old.

That is almost as old as our planet is. The gemstone is not very popular, & synthetic versions do exist & are too rare.

CZ is not the same as Zircon. The natural cubic zirconia was first discovered in the year 1930. Because it was so rare, scientists started working on manufacturing it synthetically.

By the year 1970, they were able to manufacture the synthetic version of cubic zirconia & began their commercial journey into the world of astrology & jewelry.

Zircon is composed of zirconium silicate, while cubic zirconia is made up of zirconium oxide. This is the cause why the two gems are known with similar names despite having entirely different ingredients.


Cubic zirconia is pretty durable. It stands at 8 to 8.5 on the Mohs scale & is best for everyday exposure & it does not get damaged or scratched easily.

However, it needs to be maintained. Read our articles METHODS FOR CLEANING YOUR CUBIC ZIRCONIA RINGS, ALWAYS KEEP YOUR CUBIC ZIRCONIA JEWELRY SHIMMERING. These articles will definitely help you in maintaining CZ jewelry.

Although Zircon looks very similar to diamond but is not as strong. On the Mohs scale, it stands at 6 to 7.5. It can be easily scratched & Zircon is a breakable gem prone to cracking. It is pretty sensitive to sunlight & UV in any shape, way, or form. 

When the jewelry composed of Zircon is exposed to such lights, the color fades.


Zircon occurs in an array of shades. The most common shades are blue, yellow & pink. While colorless Zircon is the purest form & is the least valuable sort of Zircon. Green Zircon is very expensive, highly coveted, yet extremely rare.

CZ, on the other hand, is created in man-made labs. So, the manufacturers have control over the final output to a large extent. Usually, cubic zirconia is created colorless to copy the color of diamonds. But some cubic zirconia gemstones are also colored. For instance, pink ice is a trendy color in the jewelry industry: black, green, blue, orange, & red.

Both gemstones, zircon & cubic zirconia, are available in a range of colors, & both can beautifully mimic diamonds. 


Since cubic zirconia jewelry is lab-created, it has excellent clarity & is always flawless. In fact, CZ's flawlessness is the tell-tale sign of it being man-made.

Zircon is either translucent or transparent. It is free of impurities & thus has fabulous clarity. Zircon, being a naturally-occurring gem, has intensified clarity that glows from within.

So, Which Is The Better Alternative To Diamond?

Despite many similarities, Cubic zirconia & Zircon are very different gemstones & each gemstone has its own pros & cons.

But if we go with the current trend, Cubic Zirconia globally is being accepted as the best alternative to diamond. Cubic Zirconia offers several admirable features such as affordability, durability, & easy maintenance & surpasses its competitors in terms of value, light performance, astrological benefits & color. As an alternative for diamond, the majority favor cubic zirconia.

If you want to buy cubic zirconia jewelry, always trust a trustworthy source like Chic Jewelry, which sells certified gemstones online at

Chic Jewelry is a jewelry manufacturer run by the skillful masters of three generations located in Los Angeles, U.S. Throughout our 35-year history, we've been specializing in high-quality AAA-certified Cubic Zirconia products with a special love for engagement & custom rings.

At Chic Jewelry, all of our jewelry is made in the U.S.A. in our own Los Angeles workshop, in the heart of the jewelry district. Our address is 635 S. Hill Street, Suite 805, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

Contact one of our experienced jewelers at (888) 884-2442 for more information on how you can find the perfect match for your sweetheart through our complete selection of wedding and engagement rings.