Thursday, March 7, 2013

What is Zircon?

Zircon and cubic zirconium, while often confused, are two different stones.  Zircon is a natural forming mineral and Cubic Zirconium is created in a laboratory or is man-made.

Natural Zircon is made from Zirconium silicate and one of its attributes is its high refractive qualities.  Zircon also comes in a myriad of colors from colorless which is the closest natural forming mineral that resembles the diamond, to blues, greens, yellows and most commonly brown.

It should be noted that Zircon is pretty hard, but can be brittle and scratched easily.  It is a great stone for jewelry, but care for it when wearing it on a day to day basis.  Zircon is believed to come from the Persian word zargun.  This word means gold color, while Zircon is commonly brown, it can also be goldish in color as well.

Most Zircon is color treated with the help of heat and radiation.  When Zircon is exposed to intense heats, usually ranging from 900 to 1,000 degrees Celsius, the color center can change giving it a new color.  In fact, all Zircon can easily change with heat treatments and Zircon can usually go through a round of heat treatments before creating the desired color.

Zircon has plenty of great attributes such as a wonderful refraction which gives the gemstone lots of fire.  It also has an effect called pleochroism, which is  the property of exhibiting different colors when viewed from different directions under transmitted light.

Some of the many regions that Zircon can be found in are Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.  However, Thailand is the world’s leading producer of Zircon.

(this information shared from the website

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