A look at some Diamond alternatives

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) Diamond is not the only alternative to authentic Diamonds. There are a couple of close alternatives that are commonly used for jewellery.

Before we begin, please... don’t compare CZ Diamond to glass and plastic gems. They have neither the brightness nor sturdiness of CZ Diamonds.

So, what other materials can be compared to authentic Diamonds? Well, two materials that jewellers and jewellery manufacturers use are:
1) Moissanite
2) Swarovski Crystal.

Grading of Diamonds:

In the industry, where does CZ Diamond stand among these jewels?
1) Authentic Diamond
2) Moissanite
3) Cubic Zirconia
4) Swarovski Crystal

Natural Diamonds versus Cultured/Manufactured/Lab Diamonds:

Among Diamonds, there are natural occurring diamonds which are mined; and cultured diamonds which are manufactured. Both are similarly expensive in the market, which partly explains for the price tag of Diamond Jewellery.

Cultured diamonds are only slightly cheaper than natural diamonds. Diamond is expensive because it is not easily damaged, unless scratched by another diamond.

Some diamond jewellery has been passed from one generation to another. However, it’s quite rare to find Diamond jewellery that can last for generations, unless the price tag is hefty enough.

Brief about Moissanite Diamonds:

The original Moissanite gemstone was discovered in a crater caused by a meteorite that fell to earth. It is extremely rare, thus modern moissanite is manufactured.

Moissanite is less durable than Diamond, but more durable than CZ Diamond or Swarovski Crystals. You can also guess that Moissanite is more expensive than CZ Diamonds or Swarovski Crystals.

Why many still prefer CZ Diamonds?

The only reason why CZ Diamonds are preferred is because moissanite is not totally identical in appearance to diamond. The material has a slight greenish tinge to its colour, as well as too brilliant (shiny). It is not too difficult to distinguish between authentic Diamonds and Moissanite Diamonds.

What about Swarovski Crystals?

Swarovski Crystal is not a gemstone or crystal. It is a form of glass that is quite fragile and not as durable as Diamonds, Moissanite or CZ Diamonds.

The crystal contains lead used to create the refractive effect of diamonds. They are also coated with Aurora Borealis (AB) coating to give it the rainbow-like appearance to simulate the shine of a authentic Diamond.

Swarovski Crystal has a mohs hardness rating of between 6 – 7, thus the material is susceptible to wear and tear.

Cubic Zirconia (CZ) Diamond

Cubic Zirconia is also a popular substitute to diamond. It is manufactured from zirconium dioxide, a different material from diamonds.

In terms of appearance, it is very similar to real diamonds, and to the untrained eye, they look identical.

On top of that, metal oxides can be added to make it look like a ruby, emerald or sapphire. When placed next to a diamond, zirconia sparkle with more colour.

Zirconia is very affordable compared to the other materials. Even though the Swarovski crystal is less durable, it tends to be more expensive as it is patented and associated with a certain level of branding.


Diamonds are beautiful and lasting while Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite and Swarovski crystals are just as beautiful while far more affordable. Which type of Diamond jewellery should you purchase? Well, it really depends on your budget and the occasion.

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