Happy Birthday to our December babies. Here are some fun and interesting facts about zircon, which few people know share December as a birthstone (with tanzanite).
December Birthstone: Zircon
Color: This mineral’s natural colors include yellow-golden, red, blue, and green. The colorless version of this stone can be mistaken for a diamond and is known as “Matura diamond.”
Origins: Zircon is found in many countries around the world including Australia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Myanmar, China and Cambodia.
History: Zircon has been used in jewelry for many centuries. It was popular in the Victorian Era for its lovely blues. Zircon has double refraction and is known for its multicolored flashes we call fire.
- The various impurities found in zircon material are what cause its various range of colors.
- In the Middle Ages, zircons were believed to help induce sleep and promote honor and wisdom in the wearer.
- Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth, samples in Australia have been found that are over 4.4 billion years old.
- Green zircon is rarely seen in the gem trade and highly sought after for it rich, warm green hue and deep color saturation.
- Blue zircon is often produced by heating the more commonly occurring brown zircon. However, only some of the brown material possesses the necessary chemical structure to produce the sought after teal blue color and typically these deposits are only found in South East Asia. This is why most blue zircons are sourced from Cambodia or Burma (Myanmar).
- The double refractive property (the way and speed at which it bends light in multiple directions) is responsible for the diamond-like sparkle you see in well cut zircon.
- Since zircon is not a very well know gem, it is often unfairly confused with the popular simulant and diamond imitator cubic zirconia (CZ).
- To learn more about tanzanite the second December Birthstone read our birthstone post here.
Care: Handle with care, can scratch, avoid high heat, avoid ultrasonic cleaners. Use mild soap and soft cloth to clean.