Most of you know this as synthetic diamond and probably a few of you have some of these gems at home. They are sparkly and beautiful and can be almost any color.
It may surprise you to know that the main use of zirconia is in the production of ceramics as in dentistry. It’s used in reconstruction, such as crowns or bridges. Stabilized zirconia is used in oxygen sensors. It also has potential applications as an insulator in transistors.
A brilliant cut cubic zirconia - pic courtesy of Wikipedia
When used in jewelry it has a high index of refraction and the same crystal structure as diamond. It’s very difficult to determine the difference of a diamond and zirconia by visual testing alone. A thermal conductivity test needs to be performed. Diamond is a good thermal conductor where zirconia isn’t.