A-Z of Gemstones: Z

Posted on the 31st October 2016

A-Z of Gemstones: Z: Zircon

ZIRCON

Zircon can be blue, colourless, red, yellow, orange, brown and green.

Some zircons display the colour-change and asterism phenomena.

Zircon is transparent and mostly cut into faceted stones.

Zircon has a vitreous to sub-adamantine lustre; it rates 6-7.5 on the Mohs scale, it is quite brittle and easily abraded so it’s more suitable for necklaces, brooches and earrings as they are less likely to suffer knocks.

The main sources of zircons are: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia and Madagascar.

Zircons are very commonly heat treated to remove the yellow component and create purer blue stones.

Synthetic zircon is not yet available on the market but occasionally they are confused with cubic zirconia (CZ) which is a synthetic stone with very different properties to those of a zircon.

Materials that are mostly used to imitate zircons are glass and plastic.