(Last Updated on : 21/12/2012)
Zircon is a beautiful and natural gemstone that has been in existence for over hundreds of years. Zircon is popularly known for its high diffusion and interestingly, it was used to emulate diamonds for many years. The gemstone
named Zircon actually looks like a diamond
. It shines more than diamonds; however it retains the shine for a very short span of time, on astrological replacement for diamonds. Further, Zircon confers social prestige and protection from enemies. Zircon along with turquoise
is birthstone of Sagittarius
The name of Zircon most likely comes from 'zargun', which is a Persian word meaning 'gold-coloured'. This beautiful gemstone is available in an extensive range of colours. Zircon is usually colourless when pure; but the zirconium silicate takes on various shades due to impurities. The most popular colour of Zircon is blue usually in shades of pastels but some also come in bright blue shades. Further, this natural gemstone can also be found in shades of green, dark red, aquamarine, violet, yellow, brown, and orange where the blue and green variants are in much demand.
Types of Zircon
Zircon is largely used in its three main varieties. The brown varieties of Zircons are mostly found in South Asian nations. The heat treatment is given to produce colourless, blue coloured zircons. In the gemstone trade some terms refer to diverse coloured zircons. These can be mentioned as Hyacinth are basically yellow, yellow-red to red-brown zircon, the Jargons are mainly straw-yellow to almost colourless Zircon while starlight are the rich, slightly greenish blue zircon variety. All of these are created by heating. Jacinth is the orange variety of Zircon and it is the first variety. It is sometimes spelled as hyacinth and was used to a great extent in classical antiquity. Jacinth mainly occurs in clear orange, transparent red, and shades of yellow colours. Further, the blue variety of Zircon is called starlite or Siam Zircon. The third variety, which is the colourless variety of Zircon, is known as Ceylon or Matura diamond.
Properties of Zircon
Zircon has great brilliance and intensive fire due to its high refractive index and strong dispersion. The shine is vitreous to a luminous sheen. The rigidity of Zircon varies from 6.5-7.5 on Mohs scale. But in spite of that zircon is brittle and therefore sensitive to knocks and pressure. Zircon looks best in daylight. In general zircon is transparent to translucent. Impurities cause the various colour. Some crystals contain radioactive thorium and uranium. These slightly radioactive zircons are very unusual in the trade. This gemstone has the propensity to wear along facet edges.
Zircons should not be cleaned with hot water. This stone should be protected from sudden temperature changes and household chemicals. Some gentle soap may be employed to clean it. A soft brush can be used to remove dirt from the crevices. Zircon jewellery should be stored carefully in a separate box.
Benefits of Zircon
There are a number of ways in which Zircon is used. Some of them can be mentioned. People born in December can use it as a conventional birthstone. Zircon pendants
are very popular among the jewellery lovers, it can bring in success, financially and also in general and it is helpful for the insomniacs. It is also said that in the past this precious gemstone was used to bring prosperity, aid sleep and encourage honour and wisdom. This stone is associated with Pluto. Zircon relieves pain. It is said to quicken one's appetite. Zircon ensures a deep calm sleep. It helps one be more at peace with oneself.
Zircon also provides the wearer with wisdom, honour and riches. One should be careful as the lost of lustre on a Zircon stone reflects danger. Zircon helps rising one's self-esteem as well.