23rd May 2014

Most misunderstood gem: the zircon

The zircon is a semi-precious gemstone that is white and colorless and a well cut one has brilliance that can rival that of a diamond. Unfortunately, what’s in a name matters. The zircon is often confused with cubic zirconium, the cheap man made synthetic that is not a natural stone.

Blue zircon gem

Blue zircon gem

The zircon deserves more respect. After all, a grain of zircon has been reported, by some, to be the oldest object discovered on earth at 4.3 billion years old.

The white zircon is colorless and fiery and could be considered a nice alternative to the diamond. Previously we have written about the merits of white topaz and white sapphire as sparkly, colorless alternatives as well. The zircon is a tad softer than the white sapphire coming in at 7.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness which is still in the range of acceptability. Best of all though, the brilliance of the zircon can be absolutely breath taking, more so than the white topaz, of which is very nice. Also see: Alternative whites for those who love big “rocks”.

Lately, the blue zircon seems to be popular. The zircon comes in the colors, red, blue, green, purple, grey and white. It is often heat treated to intensify the color but there are natural whites.

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