What Is the Difference Between Cubic Zirconia & White Topaz?

By Crystal Huskey

Cubic zirconia and white topaz are both frequently used as substitutes for genuine diamonds. The word "topaz" is derived from the Sanskrit word "tapas," which means fire. White topaz is consider to be the pure form of topaz. Both cubic zirconia and white topaz have a similar appearance, but if you dig a little deeper you will see that they have many differences.

White Diamond
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Precious gems.

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Diamond jewel isolated
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White topaz.

White topaz is a semi-precious, natural, transparent stone. It forms as a crystal and is mined in many countries, including Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States. Topaz has been around for a long time, and is even mentioned in the Bible. Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, is man-made. It is created synthetically in a laboratory from zirconium dioxide.


Gold ring with white zirconia enchased
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Gold ring with Cubic Zirconia.

White topaz is perfectly clear and can tend to look glassy. This stone was used as a replacement for diamonds before cubic zirconium was invented. It can have slight flaws that are visible to the naked eye. Cubic zirconia, on the other hand, is virtually flawless, since it is created in ideal conditions in a lab. A cubic zirconia has more flashes of color than a white topaz when it reflects light.


Cleaning silver jewellery methods
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Clean jewelry carefully.

A white topaz, like most other gemstones, has a specific point in the stone that, when hit, causes the stone to crack. This is called cleavage. A cubic zirconia, on the other hand, will not crack. High temperatures and bright light can darken a topaz, while a cubic zirconia will not lose its luster. Both should be cleaned frequently, but avoid harsh chemicals.

Rarity and Value

cut zirkonia
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Cut Zirconium.

White topaz and cubic zirconium are comparable in price. They are also both common. The white topaz is the least valuable because it is the least rare. On the other hand, it is a naturally occurring stone, and is believed to carry healing properties by some. In many cultures, topaz is believed to instill confidence and creativity. Cubic zirconia has no traditional beliefs attached to it.