The first thing to be said and known about Zircon is that it is not to be confused with the synthetic, laboratory-produced Cubic Zirconia. In fact, Zircon is said to be the oldest mineral on Earth, predating the Moon at over 4.4 billion years old.
Sometimes looked on as an inferior Diamond in its colourless/white form, Zircon’s brilliance and sparkle, good hardness and colour range make it both an important and valuable gemstone. As well as being colourless/white, Zircon is found in a rainbow of colours. However, in a few Zircons the colour can darken and their appearance dull in cases of extended exposure to sunlight. Zircon has low hardness and is prone to cracking, scratching and chipping if banged too hard.
Sources: Key sources of sources of Zircon include Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Australia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Similar gemstones: Colourless/white Zircon more closely resembles Diamond than any other natural gemstone and, in its many colour varieties, also resembles many other gemstones. Blue Zircon bears resemblance to Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Blue Tourmaline, and Blue Spinel; Golden-brown Zircon resembles Topaz, Citrine, and Sapphire; Yellow Zircon has similarities to Yellow Diamond, Yellow Sapphire, Golden Beryl, Chrysoberyl, and Topaz, while Pink Zircon can look like Rose Quartz, Morganite, Kunzite, Spinel, and Pink Topaz.
Colour palette: Zircon of all colours - colourless/white, blue, red, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink, purple, grey - are used as gems, with blue, golden-brown, and white Zircon the most commonly used.
Zircon in its purest form is colourless/white and the coloured varieties are due to various trace elements.
Blue Zircon is the most popular colour, usually displaying a pastel blue, but occasionally a striking bright blue. Also, blue zircon can look greenish from certain angles. Medium dark, pure blue stones are the most valuable. However, the blue is only obtained by heat treating brown Zircon.
Green Zircon is very rare and therefore highly prized.
Jacinth, or Hyacinth, refers to the yellow, orange, brown or red variety of Zircon.
Jargon refers to colourless, pale gray, or pale yellow variety of Zircon.
Matura Diamond is a trade name for colourless Zircon.
Starlite is the name given to the blue gem variety of Zircon.
More information about Zircon: Zircon is an alternative December Birthstone and is associated with the qualities of wisdom, honour and prosperity. Blue Zircon is an alternative 4th Wedding Anniversary gemstone, while Yellow Zircon is an alternative 11th Wedding Anniversary gemstone.