Diamonds on White Velevet | Lisa Robin


Lab Grown Diamonds VS Moissanite VS Cubic Zirconia

Learn the differences between them, which is an imitation, and why you might consider moissanite for your engagement ring.

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What's the Difference: Lab Grown Diamonds vs Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia

Lab Diamonds vs Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia
Everyone loves a diamond alternative, and why not? It is very appealing to find a gemstone that looks like a diamond for a significantly lower investment. I think the popularity of lab diamonds in the market has created some confusion. So let's clear it up. We'll discuss what the differences are between lab grown diamonds, moissanite, and cubic zirconia, how they are made, and why lab grown diamonds and moissanite are considerations for your engagement ring.

With so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Should you go for the timeless beauty of a diamond, the affordability of a cubic zirconia, or the brilliance of a moissanite? In this guide, we'll break down the key characteristics of each stone, helping you make an informed decision that suits your style, budget, and values. From understanding the 4Cs of diamonds to exploring the durability and eco-friendliness of alternative gemstones, we'll cover it all. So whether you're a traditionalist who values the prestige of a diamond or someone looking for a more budget-friendly or sustainable option, we've got you covered. Get ready to find the ring of your dreams and create a lasting symbol of your love. Let's dive in!

Understanding the Differences Between Diamond, Cubic Zirconia, and Moissanite

When it comes to engagement rings, diamonds have long been considered the gold standard. Known for their rarity, durability, and unmatched brilliance, diamonds have symbolized love and commitment for centuries. However, in recent years, alternative gemstones like cubic zirconia and moissanite have gained popularity for their affordability and impressive visual appeal. To make an informed decision, it's essential to understand the characteristics that set these stones apart.

Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle under high pressure and temperature. Their unique atomic structure gives them exceptional hardness, making them the hardest substance known to man. Diamonds are graded based on the 4Cs - cut, color, clarity, and carat weight - which determine their value and overall quality. The cut affects the stone's brilliance, while color refers to the presence of any yellow or brown tints. Clarity measures the presence of internal flaws or blemishes, and carat weight determines the size of the diamond. Diamonds have a timeless appeal and are considered a symbol of luxury and>

Cubic zirconia (CZ), on the other hand, is a synthetic gemstone made from zirconium dioxide. While it closely resembles a diamond in appearance, it is much more affordable. The main advantage of cubic zirconia is its stunning visual appeal. CZ stones have excellent clarity and brilliance, often surpassing that of lower-grade diamonds. However, cubic zirconia is not as durable as diamonds and may show signs of wear over time. It is also more prone to scratching and may require occasional replacement. If you view moissanite vs cubic zirconia side by side, you would seem more color from the moissanite.

Moissanite, a relatively new gemstone, is another popular alternative to diamonds. Originally discovered in a meteor crater, moissanite is now created in laboratories. It shares many similarities with diamonds, including exceptional brilliance and fire. In fact, moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamonds, meaning it reflects more light and sparkles even more. Moissanite is also more affordable than diamonds, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers. However, its popularity has raised concerns about its environmental impact, as lab-created gemstones require significant energy and resources to>

In the next sections, we'll delve deeper into the pros and cons of each stone, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences, budget, and values.

Lab created diamonds are carbon-based as are natural diamonds, so they are "real" diamonds - unlike cubic zirconia or moissanite. These diamond simulants are also created in a lab, but they do not contain carbon atoms and are therefore not real diamonds. Mined diamonds and lab created diamonds are inherently alike in appearance, feel and hardness, but a simulant option like cubic zirconia or moissanite differs in appearance, feel, and hardness noticeably.

Pros and Cons of Diamond Engagement Rings


  1. Timeless Beauty: Diamonds have an unrivaled beauty that has captivated individuals for centuries. Their sparkle and brilliance make them a symbol of everlasting love and commitment.
  2. Durability: Diamonds are renowned for their exceptional hardness. They are resistant to scratches, making them a practical choice for everyday wear.
  3. Ethical Concerns: The natural diamond industry has faced scrutiny regarding ethical issues such as conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds. These are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance armed conflict against governments. Since lab diamonds are created in a laboratory they eliminate this issue.
  4. Environmental Impact: Lab Diamonds are considered more sustainable. Natural diamond mining can have a negative impact on the environment, particularly in areas where mining practices are not regulated. The extraction process can lead to deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution.


  1. Cost: Diamond cost can be a financial factor. The price of a diamond is determined by its quality and carat weight, and larger or higher-quality diamonds are priced higher. Lab created diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds.
  2. Investment Value: Lab created diamonds are in abundant supply which may reduce their value over time.

About Moissanite?

Moissanite is a rare mineral composed of silicon carbide that occurs naturally in upper mantle rock and meteorites. However, due to its scarcity, it is mostly lab grown with minimal environmental impact. In the late 1990s, researchers in North Carolina developed and patented a process for creating pure silicon carbide (SiC) which was primarily used in industry. It was then that the vision and innovation of Charles & Colvard—the original creator of moissanite—to produce moissanite in a laboratory, as a diamond simulant for use in jewelry. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Moissanite

Is moissanite better than cubic zirconia?

Moissanite is more brilliant than a Cubic Zirconia so it is more desirable. Moissanite is known for its high retractive index of 2.69, which gives it 25% more light refraction than a CZ.

Will moissanite pass a diamond tester?

Most diamond testers gauge a range of gemstones, identifying Diamond, Moissanite and other colored gemstones by reading the amount of light that passes through the stone via the Refractive Index.

Which is more sparkly moissanite or cubic zirconia?

Moissanite's dispersion of light is 58% greater than a CZ which gives Moissanite more fire, or flashes of rainbow light, than CZ. Moissanite also refracts more light than a CZ.

How to tell the difference between a diamond and moissanite and cubic zirconia?

Using a tester to read the amount of light that passes through the stone via the Refractive Index is the definitive way to tell them apart.

When it comes to color, Moissanite used to have a yellowish or greenish tint, but manufacturers have improved the creation process, resulting in high-quality, colorless Moissanite. It is graded on a scale similar to diamonds.

Pros and Cons of Moissanite Engagement Rings

  1. Brilliance and Fire: Moissanite is known for its exceptional brilliance and fire, often surpassing that of diamonds. Its high refractive index gives it a unique sparkle that catches the eye.
  2. Affordability: Moissanite is more affordable than diamonds, allowing you to get a larger stone for your budget. This makes it an appealing option for those who want a visually stunning ring without breaking the bank.
  3. Eco-Friendliness: Lab-created moissanite is a more sustainable choice compared to mined diamonds. By opting for moissanite, you can reduce the environmental impact associated with diamond mining.


  1. Authenticity: Some individuals may prefer the authenticity and prestige associated with diamonds. Moissanite may not carry the same sentimental value or symbolic meaning.
  2. Limited Availability: While moissanite is becoming more popular, it may not be as widely available as diamonds or cubic zirconia. This can make it more challenging to find the perfect moissanite engagement ring.
  3. Environmental Impact: While moissanite is more eco-friendly compared to mined diamonds, it is still a lab-created gemstone that requires significant energy and resources to produce. Its overall sustainability may vary depending on the manufacturing process.
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What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic zirconia was originally identified in 1937 by German mineralogists, but it wasn't until 1977 when Russian scientists discovered how to actually grow these crystals using a synthetic process. They named their synthetic crystals Djevalite and tried to market them as simulated diamonds without much success. In the 1980's Swarovski created its own version of cubic zirconia. Swarovski coined the abbreviated term CZ for cubic zirconia. This was the jumpstart this crystal needed to become a popular in cheaper costume jewelry as a substitute for real diamond jewelry.

Both moissanite and cubic zirconia do not have the same brilliance and sparkle as real diamonds. Diamond refract white light. Cubic zirconia has a lower refractive index than diamonds, 2.22 versus 2.42, and reflects more colored light. Moissanite, however, has a higher refractive index (2.65 – 2.69). Because moissanite has a high refractive index, it reflects vivid rainbow colors.

There is a difference in hardness. On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamonds score a 10, moissanite between 9 and 9.5, and cubic zirconia 8. That means moissanite and cubic zirconia may show wear over time. 

Pros and Cons of Cubic Zirconia Engagement Rings

  1. Affordability: Cubic zirconia is very inexpensive compared to diamonds, allowing you to get a larger and more visually stunning stone for your budget.
  2. Availability: Cubic zirconia is readily available and can be found in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, giving you more options to choose from.


  1. Durability: While cubic zirconia is relatively durable, it is not as hard as diamonds. CZ stones can become scratched or damaged over time, especially with daily wear.
  2. Authenticity: Some individuals prefer the authenticity and prestige associated with diamonds. Cubic zirconia may not carry the same sentimental value or symbolic meaning.
  3. Replacement: Due to its lower durability, cubic zirconia may need to be replaced more frequently than diamonds. This can be an additional cost to consider in the long run.


Choosing an engagement ring is a significant decision that involves considering various factors, including your budget, personal preferences, and style considerations. While diamonds have long been the traditional choice, alternative gemstones like cubic zirconia and moissanite offer affordable and visually stunning options. By understanding the pros and cons of each stone and evaluating your priorities, you can make an informed decision that suits your style, budget, and values.

Remember, the perfect engagement ring is a symbol of your love and commitment, and it should bring you joy every time you wear it. Whether you choose a diamond, cubic zirconia, or moissanite, the most important thing is that it represents your unique love story

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