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Gemstones  Cubic Zirconia
 
Cubic Zirconia (or CZ) is zirconium oxide (ZrO2), a mineral that is extremely rare in nature but is widely synthesized for use as a diamond simulant.  The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. It should not be confused with zircon, which is a zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4).

Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important diamond simulant since 1976.  Its main competition as a synthetic gemstone is the more recently cultivated material simulated moissanite.

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