Monday, January 25, 2010


Zircon has been around in jewelry for hundreds of years. It is known for its high dispersion and for many years was used to imitate diamonds. The gemstone named Zircon actually looks like a diamond. It shines more than it, but retains the shine for a very short time, on astrological substitute for diamonds. It bestows social prestige and protection from enemies as well.

Zircon, GemstonesThe name probably comes from the Persian word `zargun` which means `gold-colored`. Zircon comes in a wide range of different colors. This stone is colorless when pure, the zirconium silicate takes on various shades due to impurities. The most popular zircon-color is blue. Most blue gemstones come in a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems also have a bright blue color. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, aquamarine,violet, yellow, brown, and orange where the blue and green variants are in much demand.

The brown varieties of Zircons are mostly found in South Asian nations. They are heat treated in order to produce colorless and blue zircons. In the gemstone trade some terms refer to different colored zircons. These can be mentioned as Hyacinth are basically yellow, yellow-red to red-brown zircon, the Jargons are mainly straw-yellow to almost colorless zircon while starlight are the rich, slightly greenish blue zircon variety. All of these are created by heating. The orange variety of zircon is called jacinth. Zircon is quite widely used in its three varieties. The first variety is called jacinth. It is sometimes spelled as hyacinth and was used to a great extent in classical antiquity. It occurs in the clear, transparent red, orange, and yellow colors. The blue variety is called starlite or Siam Zircon, while the third colorless variety is called Ceylon or Matura diamond.

Due to its high refractive index and strong dispersion, zircon has great brilliance and intensive fire. The luster is vitreous to a brilliant sheen. The hardness of Zircon varies from 6.5-7.5 on Mohs scale. But in spite of that zircon is brittle and therefore sensitive to knocks and pressure. The gem has the tendency to wear along facet edges. Its use in rings should therefore be limited to protective settings or occasional wear jewelry. Hot water should be avoided; it should be protected from sudden temperature changes and household chemicals. Some gentle soap may be employed to clean it. A soft brush can be used to remove dirt from the crevices. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully in a separate box.

Zircon along with turquoise is birthstones of Sagittarius. The month ranges from Nov 22 to Dec 21. Zircon looks best in daylight, more precisely just after sunrise and before sunset, when the light is considered to be soft and warm. In general zircon is transparent to translucent. Impurities cause the various color. Zircons with a cat`s eye effect are known but rare. Some crystals contain radioactive thorium and uranium. Over time, the radioactivity breaks down the crystal structure so that such stones, which are usually green, tend to an amorphous structure, with a lower refractive index and luster than the crystalline type. These slightly radioactive zircons are very rare in the trade, but highly prized by collectors and pose no heath threat to its wearer.

Zircon PendantThere are a number of ways in which Zircon is used. Some of them can be mentioned as people born in December can use it as a conventional birthstone, Zircon pendants and rings are very popular among the jewelry lovers, it can bring in success, financially and also in general and it is helpful for the insomniacs.

There is some mythological value related to this gemtone. Hindu poets wrote of the `Kalpa Tree`, the ultimate gift to the gods, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon. In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. In ancient time one believed that the cosmos reflects in the gemstones. The zircon is assigned to planet Pluto. The esoteric movement revived the ancient believe and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.

Zircon relieves pain. It is said to quicken one`s appetite. Zircon also prevents nightmares and ensures a deep tranquil sleep. It is supposedly helps one be more at peace with oneself. Zircon is believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honor and riches. The lost of luster on a Zircon stone is said to warn of danger. Jacinth helps rising one`s self-esteem as well.