Telling the Difference between Diamonds and Cubic Zirconias

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Telling the Difference between Diamonds and Cubic Zirconias

Feb 5, 2018
3 min read

With Valentine’s Day practically around the corner, there are so many precious stone jewelry items available for purchase to express your love. But how do you know what you are getting is an actual quality diamond or just a piece of glass? Don’t be duped and learn the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconias.

Knowing these simple steps to tell the difference between these stones helps you not be tricked into something, like a marriage already starting off with a lie by your significant other telling you they got you a diamond.

All Their Characteristics

Not all precious gems are alike. Grab your pens and notebook for a lesson in precious stones 101.

What are the characteristics of a diamond?

A diamond is one of the hardest known substances and an excellent conductor of heat. Due to its brilliance, it gives off a shiny and freshly polished look, which gives it a look of royalty.

While the traditional color we see diamonds is colorless, they also come in the following:

  • Yellow
  • Gray
  • Brown
  • Black

What are the characteristics of cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is a synthetic gem that mimics the qualities of diamonds. While not as hard as diamond, it is still a dense and hard gem with a brilliant, adamantine luster. Since their commercial production in 1976, cubic zirconias flooded the jewelry market, fooling even the most discerning eye.

Today, cubic zirconia production companies are narrowing the gap between the gem and diamonds. The production process includes a diamond-like carbon finishing over the cubic zirconia, making it nearly identical.

How to Tell the Difference between Diamonds and Cubic Zirconias?

Before accepting marriage to someone offering you what may look like a diamond, do these easy steps to check if what you are getting is the real thing and make a statement before going into something serious.

Hold it up to your receipts

Since a diamond refracts lights, when you hold it up to the fine print the diamond won’t be able to make out the letters. A cubic zirconia, on the other hand, will make out the letters clearly like a magnifying glass.

Take a breathe

Similar to breathing on glass, the breath test is another way to test out the diamond. Unlike the diamond, cubic zirconia will retain heat. When you blow on it, it will remain cloudy whereas a diamond will quickly become evident.

Scratch it off

Diamonds are the hardest substance in the world, which means it doesn’t scratch easily. If your friend hands you a diamond with a scratch on the surface, either they accidentally scratched it with another diamond or they were fooled into thinking they got a diamond.

When in doubt, get an appraisal

If all else fails, ask if the gem is appraised. If your friends don’t mind, you can take their word for it if they say it’s real, but an official appraisal by a certified gemologist is another way to know the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconias.

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