Differences between zircon and cubic zirconia gemstones

Zircon the oldest gemstone is the brightest gemstones in the world only second to diamond. Its popular name Zircon resembles with man-made crystal Cubic Zirconia (also known as CZ) confusing stone buyers. Both are good diamond simulate (or imitated) stones and are used to substitute diamonds. Only few know that both stones are two distinct jewels and do not carry any resemblance in their characteristics except optical effects. Do you know what these differences are, if not have a look at below?

Natural Vs. Synthetic
Zircon is a natural gemstone dug from the earth meanwhile Cubic Zirconia (or CZ) is a synthetic gemstone built using engineering advancements.

Chemical Properties
Zircon belongs to nesosilicates mineral family. Its chemical name is zirconia silicate and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4 arranging in tetragonal crystal lattice. Cubic zirconia (or CZ) is a manmade crystalline stone known as zirconia dioxide consisting chemical formula of ZnO2. In addition, CZ is a synthetic counterpart of naturally discovered mineral baddeleyite.

Physical Properties
Zircon and cubic zirconia are rated hardness of 7.5 and 8.0-8.5 on Mohs scale respectively. This clearly indicates that man made CZ is much harder than natural zircon and it can be scratched only by diamonds, sapphires and ruby. CZ is denser than zircon as well as diamonds proving it heavier than both natural stones.

Optical Effects
Surely naturally found zircon is the second most lustrous stone following diamond but CZ overtakes both to be the brightest manmade stone even it surpasses diamonds too in shining if has been cut in proper shape and angles.

Uses
Both stones are consumed in gemstone industry but CZ lacks in sufficiency to narrate story of earlier history of earth whereas zircon does not. Zircon provides details up to 4.4 billion year’s history but CZ does not unless it is natural form of zirconia oxide known as baddeleyite.

Market Prices
Zircon is more rare and expensive than cubic zirconia. As both looks exactly similar with naked eyes, they can’t be differentiate without being tested and gemstone traders often use this condition to sell cubic zirconia as fake zircon stone on higher rates.

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