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December birthstone: zircon meaning and properties

September 6, 2021

Zircon gemstone

Zargun means “golden” in Persian. From this word the name of the stone came. The properties of zircon, such as the exceptional metallic luster and unique refractive properties of the stone, allow it to compete with the amazing beauty of the diamond itself. No wonder in the East, zircon is called its younger brother.

It happens that under the name “zircon”, they sell an artificial imitation of a diamond cubic zirconia. However, this idea is fundamentally wrong because these concepts should not be confused in any case. Zircon is an exclusively natural stone, which, moreover, is quite rare, having completely different features. Jewelers very highly appreciate this gem due to its transparency and radiance, which allows you to create chic jewelry with it.

December birthstone, zircon, has many valuable varieties with a rich palette of color shades, which we will discuss in more detail in this article. Each of them reveals the stone in a new way for its owner, making it unique in its beauty. We will also share with you the most important properties of zircon, which make this gem an order of magnitude higher than the rest.

The main types of zircon and their properties

Zircon has several famous varieties. Among them are:

  • Matara diamonds is a colorless transparent zircon that gets its name from the name of its mining place in Sri Lanka.
  • Jargons are yellow, golden-yellow, straw-yellow, or smoky stones. Sometimes this variety is also called Siamese zircon from the old name of Thailand.
  • Hyacinths are transparent gems, which got this name, as they are colored similar to the hyacinth flower: orange, red, brownish-red, or brown.
  • Starlites are blue or light blue stones, the shade of which appears during firing.
  • Yacinths are orange-red zircons.

The chemical formula of zircon is ZrSiO4. The stone is fragile, easily damaged by quartz. Zircon contains many impurities, which determine the various colors of the stone. Oxides of iron, calcium, aluminum, less often hafnium are present as impurities.

Properties of zircon involve:

  • Luster: glassy to diamond
  • Birefringence: 0-0.059
  • Dispersion: 0,038
  • Density: 3.90 4.73 g/cm3
  • Refractive index: 1.925-1.815
  • Hardness: 6-7.5

Jewelry zircons have unique optical properties, have a strong birefringence effect, and excellent dispersion, thanks to which the stone looks bright and memorable. It is also known that almost all zircons exhibit the effect of fluorescence in ultraviolet light. It is important to note that the darker the shade of the stone, the worse the light performance you can see. The stone is unique among other gemstones because it has a very wide range of density and light refraction values; they go beyond the limits that can be explained by differences in chemical composition or the presence of voids in the crystal structure.


Is zircon a real gemstone?

December birthstone, zircon is considered to be a natural gemstone. Today it can be found in many pieces of jewelry.

Where is zircon found?

Deposits of gem-quality zircons are quite rare, although it is a fairly common mineral. The main source is deposited in Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Madagascar.

What is zircon worth?

The properties of zircon make the stone very valuable. The price of a zircon stone starts at $ 50 per carat and increases with weight. Stones of blue, almost pastel colors, are especially appreciated.

Is zircon safe to wear?

Zircon is safe to wear because jewelry houses selling this stone measure the level of radioactivity of the gem in advance. Using proven sites, you can not worry about your health.

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