Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth and is found in the crust of the earth. It occurs as a common accessory mineral in igneous rocks, in metamorphic rocks and as grains in sedimentary
rocks. It is a common constituent of most sands and has been used for thousands of years. Zircon is a September birthstone
The name “zircon” comes from the Persian word 'zargun', which means 'gold-colored', although the mineral comes in a variety of colors. The colorless variety of zircon has been the most popular kind, as it is the most similar looking stone to diamond
because if its brilliance and dispersion. Sadly, zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia, the laboratory grown imitation diamond, because of its similar name. As such, many people are unaware of the existence of this natural, beautiful stone.
Blue zircon is considered an alternative birthstone
for December and is the most popular color of zircon today. Blue zircons can range in color from a pastel blue to a very bright blue. Zircon can also be orange, yellow, red, green, gray, brown, and colorless. The difference in color of zircon found is caused by impurities, some of which can be minimally radioactive. These radioactive stones must of course be stabilized before they can be used as gemstones for safety reasons. The color of zircon can actually be changed using heat treatment. For example, common brownish red to brownish yellow zircons can be transformed into colorless and blue zircons by heating to 1500-1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat treatment is also used to increase the transparency of the stone.
Zircon is quite durable, rating a 7.5 on Moh’s hardness scale
, however it is known to suffer from abrasions, and its facets can be chipped. Jewelers therefore take special care when handling the stone. If you own zircon jewelry, you should take special care to keep it wrapped up and away from anything than can damage it.
Zircon is found in Cambodia, Madagascar, Canada
, Ukraine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand
, and Australia
. Australia leads the world in zircon mining, producing 37% of the world’s total supply of the mineral.
In the middle ages, zircon was believed to help the wearer sleep, and to bring prosperity, honor and wisdom. Zircon is now believed to have the ability to increase one’s self-confidence, and to aid the wearer in loving the self as well as others, as it opens up the heart and brings compassion. Zircon is known to be a grounding stone that inspires and motivates and gives guidance when guidance is needed, therefore helping to achieve one’s goals. Zircon has also been known to bring prosperity, especially with stones that contain golden or yellow colors.
Because of its rarity, low price, and variety of beautiful colors, zircon is a popular stone among jewelry collectors. Zircon is also used in the decorative ceramics industry.