Which is the better Diamond Alternative? 6 Comparisons – Moissanite vs Cubic Zirconia

A round brilliant cut Cubic Zirconia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubic_zirconia

When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, many people go for the fancy cut diamonds. However, if you are not able to afford the high price tag, then opting for a diamond alternative for your ring is the best way to go.

A diamond alternative is a type of stone that imitates the appearance of a real diamond but is different in every way. Although the term has been around since the 1980’s, the most popular are lab-made cubic zirconia and moissanite.

You may be wondering, which is the better diamond alternative?

History & Origin of both Diamond Alternatives

Moissanite was discovered in Arizona in 1893 by Henri Moissan. It’s believed that the crystals came from a meteor that crashed into the earth several thousand years ago.

Natural cubic zirconia, which was only discovered in the 1930s, is a type of synthetic diamond that is made up of oxygen and zirconium. Unlike diamonds, it is not made of carbon.

Winner: Moissanite is the most popular choice for its unique properties. Its origin can be traced back to the stars and its chemical composition is similar to that of diamond. This beautiful diamond alternative is also a versatile and elegant stone. Its origin adds mystery and romance to its appearance.


Moissanite is the second hardest stone to use in jewelry after diamonds. It has a high resistance to wear and is ideal for daily wear.

1 Carat Brilliant Cut Genuine Moissanite Fancy Halo Diamond Alternative Ring
A Moissanite Ring will not easily scratch nor damage

Moissanite is extremely durable and are scratch-resistant. It is also more heat-resistant than diamonds, and will still retain sparkle and form. This diamond alternative is ideal for people who regularly expose themselves to extreme heat.

Cubic zirconia is a hard stone that is durable and scratch resistant. It is a good choice for daily wear.

In terms of toughness though, moissanite is more durable than Cubic Zirconia, meaning in terms of resistance to breaking, moissanite has a rating of 7.6 PSI, which is 3 times more powerful than the CZ.

Winner: Moissanite. It is harder than CZ by 1.25 points and three times tougher.

Dirt & Grime Reactivity

It is natural for these stones (as well as any gemstone, including diamonds) to get dirt and grime on their surface. This can cause them to look dull and hazy. Moissanite is more durable and can resist dirt better than CZ. However, just like a real diamond, they will require more frequent cleaning to keep their shine.

Winner: Moissanite – due to ease of cleaning & maintenance


Compared to diamonds, cubic zirconia and moissanite are much more affordable. However, since both are inexpensive, it is typically slightly more expensive to buy a high quality moissanite than a cubic zirconia.

Most people confuse moissanite with a fake diamond. Moissanite is not fake, but a gemstone that costs a 10th of the price of a diamond. In reality, it is a diamond alternative that is mistaken for a real diamond that requires special technology and expertise to make. Its price tag is significantly less than that of a standard diamond.

Winner: Cubic Zirconia in terms of actual cost, but CZ is generally worthless and has no resale value, whereas Moissanite as a diamond alternative has a far better resale value.

Light Performance

The refractive index of a gemstone is a measure of how much light is bent through a particular stone as it goes through. Moissanite has a higher refractive index than diamond. It shows its brilliance and fire performance more than diamond.

Fire (dispersion) of Moissanite is much higher than diamonds.

A moissanite gemstone is known to give off a flash of vibrant colors, which can be seen especially under sunlight. The larger the stone, the more pronounced the effect becomes.

Cubic zirconia has an R2 of 2.15, which is lower than moissanite. Its brilliance and appearance are often described as less than that of the moissanite diamond alternative.

Winner: Moissanite is certainly superior to other gems, but it may lose due to the rainbow effect it exhibits depending on how you feel. (Purely personal preference – only you can decide on this one)

Color & Clarity

Clearest and most likely never to be mismatched, CZ has a color rating of D. This is the highest quality rating given for diamond color.

Moissanite is not always white or transparent, and can also contain certain shades of yellow, just like a natural diamond. Due to the complexity of the manufacturing process, these gems often have internal flaws, also similar to a diamond’s internal flaws.

Winner: Undecided. Although it’s almost always perfect in color and clarity, CZ can also look unnatural, which is not ideal when wanting the best diamond alternative. Whereas Moissanite has a better likeness to diamonds with color grades & internal flaws. Again, we’ll let you decide this round too.

Leave a comment

Shopping cart