Zircon – The Ancient Gemstone

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This fine jewel has been around for thousands of years with scientists believing this ancient Gemstone to possess the secret of where the Earth’s water source evolved.

The ancient stone is not found within the Painted Desert and indeed within the United States, but good sources of high material are found in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Low material is well sourced in Australia, Brazil, France, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

It is difficult to believe that this Gemstone is not more popular in the gem trade. its fracture and hardness is no worse than Garnet, it has good fire and brilliance and strong double refraction as well as coming in some nice colours the jewel also has an adamantine lustre.

A very easy mistake that many people make when passing judgement on this wily old Gemstone is confusion with the laboratory created cubic zirconia which is not a natural material, it is a man made jewel and therefore should be advertised as such.

The stone contains thorium and uranium, which are both radioactive substances and can greatly affect the gems gravity, hardness, refractive index and colouring.Varieties of yellow-brown in colour are usually harder and a more desirable stone, these are known as ‘high’ material.

‘low’ examples are usually green-yellow to green-brown and are often not as hard having suffered radioactive deterioration.

Zircon   The Ancient Gemstone

Because natural colourless gems are very scarce, red-brown stones are very often heat treated to make them colourless, if these stones are subject to prolonged exposure to sunlight they can return to their original colour or fading.Brown material is often heated to turn them into a full-bodied blue, and again if the colour fades or reverts can be reheated to regain the colour, this is a common and accepted method of treatment.Another practice is to reheat blue stones combined with oxygen to turn them a golden yellow.

A specially modified version of the brilliant cut has been developed to accommodate this jewels strong double refraction, which makes best use of light entering and leaving this Gemstone.

Hardness of the stone varies depending on ‘low’ material 6.5 to 7.5 on the Moh scale for ‘high’ material, a heat treated gem will wear down a little more than a natural stone.Despite being a moderately hard stone, your Zircon Jewelry could be prone to a knock as the gem can be brittle, try to obtain a natural stone if it is to be set in a ring and make sure it has good protection.Due to its pricing a Zircon is an excellent, cheaper alternative to the much pricier Diamond and can have fantastic fire and brilliance to match.