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Are lab-grown diamonds cubic zirconia?

Are lab-grown diamonds cubic zirconia?

When it comes to diamonds and gemstones, the distinction between lab-grown diamonds and cubic zirconia is sometimes a topic of confusion. But we’re here to dispel the myths and shed light on the truth about lab-grown diamonds. And that truth is that lab-grown diamonds and cubic zirconia are fundamentally different. Read on for the facts.

What are lab-grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds produced in controlled environments using advanced technological processes that mimic the natural conditions under which diamonds form over billions of years. This can be done utilising very high temperatures, with the ‘seed’ of a mined diamond, for a lab-grown diamond to ‘grow’ from. These processes result in diamonds that possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as their mined counterparts, making them real diamonds in every sense. In other words, a lab-grown diamond is 100% a real diamond.

What is cubic zirconia?

Cubic zirconia (also known as CZ), on the other hand, is a synthetic gemstone that is not a diamond, neither lab-grown nor mined. It is made of zirconium dioxide and is designed to mimic the appearance of a diamond. Being a shiny, white gemstone, cubic zirconia can be visually similar to diamonds at first glance. However, it lacks the hardness, brilliance, and overall quality of genuine diamonds. CZ will neither hold up to daily wear like a diamond, nor will it retain its sparkle like a diamond. The Diamond Store does not sell cubic zirconia – only ethically sourced, mined diamonds and lab-grown diamonds.

Key differences between lab-grown diamonds and cubic zirconia


  • Lab-grown diamonds are made of pure carbon, exactly like natural diamonds, whereas cubic zirconia is made of zirconium dioxide.


  • Diamonds are the hardest known material, scoring a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Cubic zirconia, while durable, ranks significantly lower at around 8.5, making it more susceptible to scratches and damage.


  • Lab-grown diamonds exhibit the same brilliance and fire as natural diamonds due to their identical crystal structure. Cubic zirconia, although sparkly, cannot match the properties of diamonds, so will never sparkle the same.

Value and longevity:

  • Lab-grown diamonds retain value over time and can become a cherished heirloom. Cubic zirconia, being less durable and less rare, does not hold any significant long-term value.

Benefits of choosing lab-grown diamonds

  • Ethical and Sustainable: Lab-grown diamonds offer a more sustainable and ethical alternative to mined diamonds, reducing the environmental impact and avoiding the ethical and planetary issues that can be associated with traditional diamond mining.
  • Affordability: While offering the same beauty and durability as mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are more affordable, making them an excellent value for those seeking luxury without the hefty price tag. You can often opt for a bigger or better diamond for your budget, when comparing lab-grown and mined diamonds.
  • Quality and variety: Lab diamonds are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and qualities, allowing for customisation and personalisation of jewellery without compromising on the quality. For example, mined coloured diamonds are extremely rare and hard to find, making them very expensive. Using advanced technology, we can create lab-grown coloured diamonds, making them much more accessible to all.

Are lab-grown diamonds the right choice for you?

Read more about what lab-grown diamonds are, and how they differ from their mined counterparts, here. Have some more questions about lab-grown diamonds? Feel free to reach out to our friendly team of experts, who would love to answer your questions.