Zircon is a semi-precious stone of the minor category that usually sold as Diamond due to its hardness, brilliance, and transparency. As a result, the Diamond market is full of fakes made of Zircon.
Name & Origin
The name of this stone is of Arabic origin. Persian merchants called this gemstone “Zargun,” because of its golden color. But this term, in turn, derived from the Greek word “Jargon.” However, it’s worth noting that the genuine Zircon is of Indian origin. All gems of yellow color that supplied from India in the Middle Ages had the name “Zircon.”
The first specimens of this stone came from Ceylon, Matura province (modern Sri Lanka), whence the second name of this gem, “Matura Diamond.” Because of the wide range of tints, some jewelers use Zircon to imitate various precious stones.
The major advantage of Zircon compared to other semi-precious stones is its hardness (7,5/10, according to the Mohs Scale of Hardness). Combined with the specific gravity, this quality differs Zircon from the rest of its semi-precious fellows. So, its hardness puts this gem in one rank with the precious stones.
Opaque Zircons is widespread in the US, Russia, France and South Africa. However, the more remarkable colorless and transparent specimens, similar in brilliance to Diamond, come primarily from Sri Lanka. This variety of Zircon is suitable for the jewelry purposes. Therefore, if you want to purchase the jewelry made of Zircon, request the seller on the subject of its origin. Oriental Zircons obtained from Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar, are the most valuable.
There are several varieties of Zircon.
Hyacinth is a transparent Zircon of yellow color. The specimens of red color are similar to Spinel Ruby. However, they differ from Ruby in the specific gravity;
Jargon is an opaque or translucent smoky-tined variety of Zircon;
Oriental Zircon is a gemstone from Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. These Zircons possess the high dispersive power. Therefore, they have a remarkable brilliance and could be sold as Diamonds.
Zircon is principally a semi precious stone, which meets in nature of almost any tint, such as green, yellow, red, gray, black, blue. Therefore, the colored species of this gem are not expensive.
Many superstitions surround Zircon. The Medieval authors endowed this gem with many magical properties. The most valued of them are honor, riches, and wisdom. The ancient sources tell us that Zircon is a remedy against plague and evil spirits. However, unlike other gems, Zircon has no negative power. At a minimum, we could not find confirmation of this fact. That is indeed a curious fact, taking into account that the ancients endowed all the gems with adverse and favorable virtues alike. Also, Zircon is an alternative birthstone appropriate for people born in December.