Zircon is one of the most misunderstood, yet wonderfully brilliant natural gemstones available! And, at a fraction of the price of diamonds, with the same beautiful fire and found in a rainbow of colors!
January 14, 2009
Zircon – my favorite gemstone!
Colorless zircon’s brilliance and fire are famous. They’re close enough to diamond to account for centuries of confusion between the 2 gemstones. Zircon’s strong double refraction easily distinguishes it from singly refractive diamond, yet even so, some modern jewelers confuse zircon with synthetic cubic zirconia (yuck!!!) a singly refractive, manmade diamond simulant. Zircon is a natural, earth made gemstone!!
Blue zircon was quite a favorite in Victorian times. Gemologist George Kunz – Tiffany’s famed gem buyer- was a notable zircon advocate.
Zircon’s wide and varied pallette of colors is prized by collectors and informed consumers alike.
Zircon crystals grow in a wide variety of rock types. They’re common in both igneous and metamorphic rocks.
Although most colorless and blue zircon result from heat treatment, natural zircon boasts an array of earthy browns, bronze, copper, yellows, strong greens, blush, plum and bright reds. Not only are they colorful, they have an amazing internal fire – nearly glowing from within!
Some sources of rough zircon include Australia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Cambodia, and Tanzania.
My personal preferance is zircon from Tanzania, which I have found to be full of brilliance and fire.
If you are looking for jewelry or gemstones on internet auctions, make sure to ask if it is truly Zircon and not cubic zirconia. Some unscrupulous, or ignorant, sellers list their CZ (fake) gems in the zircon category, or only write zircon in the title, yet it is cubic zirconia they are referring to. Always ask, and also ask if it has been heat treated or what country it originated from. That can possibly help to weed out the CZ sellers.
Zircon is rated 6-7.5 on the Moh’s Scale, (diamond being 10 – the hardest) so it’s medium hardness. Best suited for mounting in earrings and pins, which are treated a little gentler than rings. If zircon is mounted in a ring, then it should have protection, and be worn with care so as not to scratch the surface polish.
Do a little research, buy a few specimens, and see for yourself the wonderful brilliance in one of Nature’s most exciting treasures – Zircon!
You can find some wonderful Zircon stones and jewelry at onlineauction.com!