What is Cubic Zirconia?
Cubic zirconia (abbreviated CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide.
Cubic zirconia is rated AB, A, AA, AAA, AAAA, AAAAA, with AB being the softest and least perfect, to AAAAA being the hardest, flawless grade.
It is 8 to 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. In comparison Moissanite is 9 to 9.5 and diamond 10.
Because of its low cost and visual likeness to diamond, cubic zirconia has been the biggest competitor to diamonds since commercial production began in 1976. However Moissanite, though more expensive, is rapidly increasing in popularity.
Cubic zirconia should not to be confused with Zircon, zirconia, zirconium or synthetic diamonds. Cubic zirconia is often erroneously touted as being Zircon on the internet. Zircon is a natural semi-precious gem.