Zircon: Red, Yellow, Pink, Blue, Oh My!

Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 in Informational.

Not to be DSCN3591confused with synthetic cubic zirconia, zircon is a natural gem that comes in a variety of colors. The most popular, blue zircon, is admired for its striking color. Zircon featuring warm hues such as yellow, orange, and red make for the perfect fashion accessory during the autumn months. Pink zircon signifies love and adoration. Additional colors include green, purple, and brown.

Colorless zircon closely resembles diamonds and is usually cut to bring out its fire to its fullest capability.

In nature, most zircons feature a yellow or reddish brown color whereas natural colorless, blue, and red zircons are rare. Zircons can be color treated by surrounding the gem with charcoal and heating to about 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. This treatment leads to some zircons becoming colorless, some blue, and some remain their natural yellow or reddish brown color.

Dating back to more than 4.4 billion years ago, zircon is believed to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom to its owner. Due to its high refractive index and strong dispersion, zircon has great brilliance and intensive fire. Zircon sources in Southeast Asia, Australia, and Madagascar among other areas. Prospectors often find zircon when they’re actually looking for blue sapphire.DSCN3581

Zircon’s wide variety of colors, rarity, and relatively low cost make it extremely popular among gemstone collectors. Collectors enjoy searching for all of the possible colors and variations of the gemstone.

Even though zircon is relatively hard, it is also brittle and therefore sensitive to knocks and pressure. Therefore, its use in rings should be limited and worn occasionally. Additionally, zircon jewelry should be wrapped individually in paper to make sure it doesn’t knock against other jewelry.

Zircon is one of the three traditional birthstones for December.