What is Zircon stone?
Zircon is a zirconium silicate gemstone with impressive fire, refraction and color range. Historically, Australian zircon is the oldest mineral found on earth at 4.4 billion years old!
Zircon is renowned for its intense coloration, high luster and high refractive index. A higher refractive index means the stone reflects light from more angles. The brilliance of the zircon is accompanied by a brilliance designating multicolored flashes of light. In fact, the optical effects of zircon have led to centuries of confusion with diamonds.
Zircon is a zirconium silicate mineral, although certain aspects of zircon's composition are usually replaced by other elements.
A unique feature of zircon is the common presence of small amounts of radioactive substances, namely hafnium, uranium and thorium. The ability to change its refractive index and density over time, and usefulness in determining the age of rocks or fossils.
It's clearly an important mineral, but is zircon a real gemstone? Yes it is!
Specifications and characteristics of zircon:
- Color: Colorless, blue, yellow, red, brown or green
- Crystal structure: tetragonal
- Luster: vitreous to adamantine
- Transparency: Transparent to opaque
- Refractive index: Doubly refractive; 1.92-1.96 and 1.98-2.01
- Density: 4.6-4.7
- Cleavage: Indistinct on  and 
- Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
- Line: White
- Chatoyance: Sometimes present
- Luminescence: thermoluminescence; cathodoluminescence; Fluorescence in some; Mustard yellow in LW and SW
- Pleochroism: Sometimes present; Weak; Stronger with heat treatment
Properties of zircon stones
Expert gemologists determine the value of a stone based on its particular valuable properties. In the case of zircon, the key factors are color, cut, clarity, treatments and carat weight. The color of zircon ranges from colorless zircon reminiscent of diamonds to earthy browns and reds to electric greens and blues.
What is the rarest zircon color?
The rarest color is blue zircon, making it the most popular among consumers, with jewelers reporting that approximately 80% of zircons sold are blue. A unique part of zircon's color is its absorption spectrum. When using a spectroscope, you can see almost all the colors of the rainbow in a zircon.
High zircons are stones that have not undergone changes due to self-radiation. Weak zircon (or metamict) irradiated through a process called metamictization.
Both high and low zircons contain radioactive elements, but low zircons have undergone radioactive decay over thousands of years, which can eventually cause the stone to become amorphous. High Zircons are younger than low Zircons, so damage has not yet occurred.
Low zircons are cloudy with brown-green, yellow-green, or orange hues. All other zircon colors fall under high or intermediate. Additionally, high zircon has a higher refractive index, density, and hardness than low zircon.
Price and value of zircon?
Considering that diamonds have higher prices and zircons are very similar to them, you may be wondering, is zircon stone expensive? While zircons are rarer than diamonds, the price of zircon gemstones is significantly lower than diamonds.
The price of zircon stone per carat differs depending on color, clarity and carat weight. The most popular colors are bright red, blue and green.
High-quality blue zircon gemstones weighing 5-10 carats range between $200-300 per carat, while those over 10 carats cost between $300-400 per carat.
Rare green zircon, if clean to the eye and bright green, can fetch between $250 and $300 per carat.
On the more affordable side, we have honey zircon (golden in color) at €50 & €100 per carat. If you are looking for an affordable diamond exchange for your engagement, the price of the white zircon ring is around 35 to 50 euros per carat!
Zircon gemstones are quite durable, but their cleavage makes them vulnerable to breakage. To avoid fractures, remove your zircon ring or other zircon jewelry before any strenuous activity.
Prolonged exposure to bright light, especially sunlight, may cause discoloration. Heat-treated zircons can even return to their original colors with enough exposure to light, so it's best to store your zircon away from windows or harsh lamps.
You can clean zircon with a soft brush and warm soapy water, but you'll want to avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners.
Zircon's range of colors, brilliant luster and historic status make this gemstone the perfect gift at a great price. Just wearing a zircon necklace means you are wearing a piece of history.
Are you looking for a beautiful zircon jewel ? Find your perfect cubic zirconia jewelry today!
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