Zircon is the gemstone which is often sold under the guise of Diamond. Due to its hardness, brilliance, and transparency, this semi precious stone, being a colorless, is similar to its most valuable rival. Any consumer have to be aware of the peculiar properties of this gem to distinguish it from the Diamond, because the diamond market is full of the fakes.
Origin of Zircon and its Name
The name “Zircon,” as is affirmed, has an Arabic origin. Persian merchants called this gemstone “Zargun,” because of its golden color. The word “Zargun,” in turn, derived from the Greek word “jargon,” that, subsequently was borrowed by the French and Italians. Although, indeed, the term “Zircon” has of Indian origin, because all gems of yellow color, were supplied from India in the Middle Ages, and were called “Zircons.”
The first Zircons were discovered in Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), where they were obtained in Matura province, from whence the second name of this gemstone “Matura Diamond.” Many specimens of this gemstone illustrate the wide spectrum of tints, therefore, this gem was used to imitate most valuable precious stones.
Peculiar properties of Zircon
Much valuable advantage of Zircon (among semi precious stones) is its hardness, which is 7,5 / 10, according to the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This property, combining with its specific gravity, makes it the heaviest among of all gems. Besides, its hardness puts it in one rang with the precious stones.
Opaque Zircons are widely spread in the US, Russia, France and South Africa, however, the more remarkable colorless and transparent specimens, similar in brilliance to the diamonds, are supplied primarily from Sri Lanka. Exactly these specimens are much valued for jeweler purposes. Therefore, if you’re going purchase any Zircon jewelry in the near future, request the seller concerning the origin of those gems.
Varieties of Zircon
There are several varieties of Zircon:
- Hyacinth – transparent Zircon of yellow color. The specimens of red color are similar to spinel ruby, however, they are distinguished from true Ruby in their specific gravity.
- Jargoon – opaque or translucent smoky-tined variety of Zircon.
- Oriental Zircon – gemstone, principally supplied from Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka. These zircons possess of high dispersive power, and, therefore, of remarkable brilliance and could be sold as diamonds.
- Colored varieties of Zircon. Zircon is principally a semi precious stone, but it is too rich of various tints. It could be found in nature of almost any tint, such as green, yellow, red, gray, black, blue, therefore the colored species of this gem are not expensive, and are in use actually to imitate more valuable gems.
Magical Properties, attributed to Zircon
Many superstitions were spread concerning Zircon. Medieval authors endowed this gem of many peculiar properties, but the most distinguished of them have endowed Zircon such virtues as: honor, riches and wisdom.
Zircon was mentioned in the ancient treatises as a remedy against plague, and evil spirits. However, unlike other gems, Zircon hasn’t been endowed of negative power. This is a very interesting detail, on account of the fact that each gemstone of the ancients possesses of positive and negative features. But there are no mentions concerning negative features and properties of this gem.
In addition, Zircon is an alternative birthstone for December.