Cubic zirconia (also known as CZ) is similar to a diamond with its brilliance and crystal clarity, but it is a synthesized (man-made) crystalline material that is colorless, hard, and flawless. It looks so much like a diamond, it is an affordable alternative to diamonds. It can made in different colors to simulate the different colors of a diamond.
Cubic zirconia started being produced in 1976 because of its diamond-like qualities, low cost, and overall durability. Cubic zirconia is a mineral that is used as a diamond simulant and is widely synthesized.
Sometimes, people mistakenly call it cubic zirconium. Zirconium is a different chemical element that is a metal that is silvery white. This element in its powdered form is used with other elements to create a cubic zironcia.