The main competitor to Diamond in the mineral abrasives world – Cubic Zirconia CZ /Fianit.
Cubic Zirconia CZ is synthetic mineral that was synthesized in 1973 in Russia. It is also called Fianit after Russian Institute of Physics. In older literature it is also referred as djevalit and zirconit.
Fianit is zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) with a cubic crystal structure. It is purely laboratory made precious stone. In the production process it is stabilized with additives of the oxide of manganese, calcium and yttrium. Other additional elements are added to color it. Its crystal structure is very similar diamond’s structure; it has high hardness of 8.5 by Mohs Scale and high specific density of 5.6 to 6.
Therefore Cubic Zirconia is widely used as synthetic substitute of diamonds. They have so many similarities that it is difficult to be discerned with the naked eye. By the end of 1980 the mineral was in mass production and became main competitor to diamonds not only in industry but in jewelry, too.
Unlike the diamond Cubic Zirconia’s thermal conductivity is low, which allows it to be used in specific areas and tasks. Also unalike the diamond originally most of the cubic zirconia minerals are completely colorless.