There is often some confusion when shopping for diamond jewelry regarding the differences between natural diamonds, cultured diamonds, and cubic zirconia. There are some important differences between these choices that should be understood before looking for jewelry set with these gems. Besides the price difference that exists between the three choices, there are also quality and appearance variations that need to be considered when choosing between cultured diamonds, natural diamonds and cubic zirconia.
Diamond is a natural gem which is not manufactured. Diamonds, which are formed from a particular formation of carbon atoms, are the hardest substance in nature and are mined from the earth. There is often a certain amount of controversy surrounding the mining of real diamonds, and as such, some individuals prefer to buy diamond alternatives. Cubic zirconia and cultured diamonds are less expensive than mined diamonds.
Cubic zirconia is similar to natural diamonds in some ways, but also varies in many respects. Cubic zirconia is quite hard and since it is synthesized, it is optically flawless. clear white.
Although not nearly as hard as mined or cultured diamonds, it is still quite durable and is a less expensive alternative to natural diamonds.
Cultured diamond is another popular alternative to mined diamonds. Cultured diamonds, which are often called lab grown diamonds, are created to be optically, physically and chemically identical to natural diamonds. Cultured diamonds are generally less expensive than natural diamonds, but they are still much more expensive than cubic zirconia or diamond hybrid. Cultured diamonds can come in various colors, but the most popular stones are brilliant colorless white.
One variety of natural diamond alternative which has specific advantages over the other choices is the diamond hybrid. A crystalline core is covered with a layer of diamond to create a diamond hybrid. The resulting effect is brilliant, creating a very hard gem with an index refraction and light dispersion which is very similar to that of a natural diamond. These hybrid diamonds do not discolor over time, and when cut by an expert and polished, are absolutely brilliant.
Hybrid diamonds are less expensive than natural or traditional cultured diamonds, although they are more expensive than cubic zirconia. As such, they are an increasingly popular choice for those who want the sparkle and beauty of diamonds without the need to actually buy natural diamonds.