Cubic Zirconia Vs Moissanite Vs Diamond: Sparkling Showdown

Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond are three gemstones that differ in terms of their composition and characteristics. Cubic Zirconia is a lab-created diamond imitation, Moissanite is a rare mineral with similar properties to Diamond, and Diamond is a natural gemstone known for its durability and brilliance.

Gemstone enthusiasts often compare Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond to understand which one is the best choice for them. Each gemstone has its own unique features and characteristics that make it desirable in different ways. We will explore the differences between Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond to help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a gemstone.

By understanding their composition, appearance, durability, and cost, you can determine which gemstone suits your preferences and budget. So let’s dive into the world of Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond to discover their distinct qualities and make an informed choice for your jewelry needs.


Cubic Zirconia Vs Moissanite Vs Diamond: Composition

Understanding the composition of different gemstones is crucial when it comes to making an informed choice. In this section, we will delve into the compositions of Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond to help you understand their key differences.

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) is a synthetic gemstone that is made up of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) and is created in a laboratory. Its crystal structure closely resembles that of a diamond, which makes it a popular alternative to diamonds. Due to its affordable price and diamond-like appearance, CZ is a favored choice for individuals who desire a stunning gemstone without breaking the bank.


Moissanite is a lab-grown gemstone composed of silicon carbide (SiC). It was first discovered in a meteor crater by Henri Moissan in 1893, hence the name. Moissanite possesses exceptional brilliance and fire, comparable to that of a diamond. Many consider it an excellent alternative to diamonds due to its remarkable durability and lower cost compared to natural diamonds.


Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle under high pressure and intense heat. They consist of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure, which gives them their exceptional hardness and brilliance. Natural diamonds are mined from the Earth, making them rare and valuable. They are the most sought-after gemstones, often symbolizing love, commitment, and luxury.

Physical Properties

When it comes to comparing cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamonds, understanding their physical properties is crucial. Let’s explore the brilliance and fire, hardness, and durability of these gemstones.

Brilliance And Fire

Brilliance refers to the amount of light a gemstone reflects back to the viewer. It is an essential characteristic that determines its sparkle and beauty. Both cubic zirconia and moissanite possess remarkable brilliance due to their high refractive index. However, diamonds take the lead in terms of maximum brilliance.

Fire, on the other hand, relates to the spectrum of colors a gemstone disperses when light enters and exits it. Cubic zirconia and moissanite exhibit impressive fire due to their ability to refract light effectively. Diamonds, however, display an unparalleled level of fire due to their exceptional light dispersion properties.


Hardness is a crucial factor in determining a gemstone’s resistance to scratches and wear. It is measured on the Mohs scale, with a higher number indicating greater hardness. Diamonds, the hardest gemstone, score a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale. This durability allows diamonds to withstand everyday wear and tear without losing their shine.

While moissanite ranks at 9.25 on the Mohs scale, it is second only to diamonds in terms of hardness. Its durability makes it a suitable alternative to diamond engagement rings. Cubic zirconia, with a rating of 8 to 8.5, falls slightly behind both moissanite and diamonds when it comes to hardness.


Gemstone Durability
Diamond High
Moissanite High
Cubic Zirconia Medium

Durability is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a gemstone for jewelry. Diamonds, with their incredible strength, maintain their brilliance for a lifetime, making them highly sought after. Moissanite also offers excellent durability, although it may show signs of wear after prolonged use. Alternatively, cubic zirconia, while still capable of delivering stunning sparkle, is less durable compared to diamonds and moissanite.

Visual Comparison

When it comes to choosing the perfect gemstone, it’s important to understand the visual differences between cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamond. While these stones each have their unique qualities, a visual comparison of their clarity, color, and cut can help you make an informed decision. Let’s take a closer look at the visual differences between these popular gemstones.


Clarity is a crucial factor in determining the quality of a gemstone. Inclusions and blemishes affect the clarity of a stone. Cubic zirconia generally has the least clarity, often containing visible flaws. Moissanite, known for its remarkable clarity, usually has minimal inclusions. Diamonds offer exceptional clarity, often appearing almost flawless to the naked eye.


Color can significantly impact the appearance of a gemstone. Tint and hue are important factors to consider. Cubic zirconia typically displays more noticeable color variations, often appearing slightly yellow or grey. Moissanite is valued for its near-colorless appearance, displaying minimal tints. Diamonds come in a variety of colors, with colorless diamonds being the most prized for their pure, crystal-clear appearance.


The cut of a gemstone plays a crucial role in its sparkle and brilliance. Facets, proportions, and polish determine the cut quality. Cubic zirconia is often cut in a manner to maximize brilliance, though it may lack the precision of moissanite and diamond cuts. Moissanite is cut to maximize its reflective properties, resulting in exceptional brilliance. Diamonds are renowned for their expertly crafted cuts, enhancing their natural sparkle and fire.

Cost And Value

Discover the true beauty of cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamond with a comparison of their cost and value. Understand the factors that differentiate these stunning gemstones and make an informed choice.

Cost and Value of Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond play a significant role in the decision-making process. Let’s dive into a comparison focusing on Affordability and Resale Value.


In terms of affordability, Cubic Zirconia stands out as the most budget-friendly option. Moissanite follows with a slightly higher price but still more affordable than Diamond.

Resale Value

When it comes to resale value, Diamonds hold the highest value due to their rarity and enduring popularity. Moissanite also retains some resale value, whereas Cubic Zirconia tends to depreciate significantly. In summary, Cubic Zirconia is the most affordable option initially, while Diamonds offer the highest resale value in the long run. Moissanite strikes a balance between the two, making it a popular choice for those seeking quality at a reasonable price.

Ethical And Environmental Factors


Cubic Zirconia, diamond, and moissanite differ in their sourcing methods.

Impact On The Environment

Each stone has varying environmental impacts due to their mining and production processes.

Maintenance And Care

Maintenance and care are essential aspects to consider when choosing between cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamonds. Proper care will not only maintain the luster and brilliance but also extend the life of your precious stone. Each type of gemstone has its unique maintenance requirements, and understanding these differences is crucial for preserving their beauty.


Cleaning your cubic zirconia, moissanite, or diamond jewelry regularly is imperative for keeping its sparkle intact. Each of these gemstones requires special attention when it comes to cleaning to avoid any damage or dullness. Here’s how you can keep them clean and radiant:

  • Cubic Zirconia: Gently clean with a soft cloth and mild soap, avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasives.
  • Moissanite: It is best cleaned using warm water, mild soap, and a soft-bristled brush to remove dirt and oils.
  • Diamond: Use a mix of warm water and mild dish soap, then gently scrub with a soft brush to maintain its brilliance.

Daily Wear And Tear

When it comes to daily wear and tear, cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamonds exhibit different levels of resilience. Understanding how to protect and care for your choice of gemstone is essential for maintaining its longevity and shine:

  1. Cubic Zirconia: Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, excessive heat, and rough handling to prevent scratches and damage.
  2. Moissanite: While durable, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and store it separately from other jewelry to minimize scratches and abrasions.
  3. Diamond: Despite its durability, it is recommended to avoid contact with harsh chemicals and store it separately from other jewelry items to prevent scratches and damage.

Final Verdict

When it comes to selecting a gemstone, it’s essential to consider your priorities. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly option or a high-end luxury gem, knowing the differences between Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond can help you make an informed decision.

Durability And Hardness

Diamonds, known for their exceptional durability, are the hardest mineral on the planet, ranking 10 on the Mohs scale. While both Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite are durable alternatives, Cubic Zirconia scores 8.5, and Moissanite ranks 9.25. Although they provide excellent resistance against scratching, they may not withstand daily wear as well as diamonds.

Brilliance And Fire

When it comes to sparkle and brilliance, both Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite offer an exceptional alternative to diamonds. Cubic Zirconia, with its impressive refractive index, displays extraordinary brilliance, while Moissanite showcases an exceptional fire and a higher refractive index.

However, nothing can beat the brilliance and fire of a genuine diamond. Diamonds possess a unique ability to reflect and refract light, creating unparalleled sparkle and brilliance.

Color And Clarity

While diamonds are graded on the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat), Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite are colorless and nearly flawless. This means that these alternatives can offer stunning visual appeal without the hefty price tag that comes with a high-grade diamond.


One of the significant factors influencing your gemstone decision is the price. Cubic Zirconia is the most affordable choice among the three, making it an excellent option for those on a budget. Moissanite, although pricier than Cubic Zirconia, offers exceptional value for money due to its durability and brilliant appearance. Diamonds, on the other hand, are undoubtedly the most expensive option, especially if you opt for a high-quality, flawless diamond.

Ultimately, the choice between Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, and Diamond depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the significance you attach to the unique properties of each gemstone. If budget is your primary concern, Cubic Zirconia offers an affordable and visually striking alternative. For those seeking a balance between cost and durability, Moissanite is an excellent choice. However, if you desire the allure, prestige, and timeless beauty of a genuine gem, nothing compares to the sheer brilliance and longevity of a diamond.

Frequently Asked Questions On Cubic Zirconia Vs Moissanite Vs Diamond

What Are The Differences Between Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, And Diamond?

Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic gemstone, Moissanite is a lab-created gem, and Diamond is a natural gem. Each has unique properties in terms of cost, brilliance, and durability. Understanding these differences can help you choose the perfect gemstone for your needs.

Which Gemstone Offers The Best Value For Money?

Moissanite often offers the best value for money compared to Cubic Zirconia and Diamond. It combines affordability with brilliance and durability, making it a popular choice among those looking for a high-quality gemstone without breaking the bank.

How Do I Differentiate Between Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, And Diamond?

Cubic Zirconia usually has more colorful flashes, Moissanite has greater brilliance and fire than Cubic Zirconia, and Diamond exhibits exceptional hardness and superior sparkle. By examining these characteristics, you can distinguish between the three gemstones easily.

Are Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, And Diamond Suitable For Engagement Rings?

While Diamond is the traditional choice for engagement rings, both Cubic Zirconia and Moissanite offer excellent alternatives. Cubic Zirconia provides affordability, Moissanite offers brilliance and durability, making them both popular choices for stunning and budget-friendly engagement rings.


Each stone offers unique qualities and appeal, catering to individual preferences and budgets. Consider the durability, brilliance, and cost when choosing between cubic zirconia, moissanite, and diamond. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the significance you place on natural or lab-created stones.

Make an informed choice to find the perfect match for your needs.