Zircon (is not the same as cubic zirconia)

Snappy title, I know! But I think that is the first thing I need to say about it. Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic diamond substitute – and I’m not a snob about it, it is very nice and sparkly and firey. However, zircon is a natural gemstone, dug up out of the earth and it actually comes in a variety of colours – red, blue, green, amber and yellowy, pinky browns. Some of these are natural, and some via treatment. Clear zircon has a brilliance and fire that matches diamonds – and in fact has been used as a substitute – however it is easily distinguished as it is doubly refractive and much softer, so you’ll see abrading along facet edges on older pieces. The second thing I want to say about it is that I don’t understand why it isn’t more popular. I’m not alone in this, as you can see the fire even in the coloured stones, and it is a really nice and not too expensive stone to work with. The most common colour is a sort of bright blue – like a light version of London Blue Topaz, and I have stocked this in the past. However, new in stock I have natural brown coloured zircon and I just love it. It’s kind of like a champagne diamond without the price tag! It’s hard to describe the colour, it’s a lovely, warm pale pinky-brown and I have it in 2mm, 3mm and 4mm rose cuts.

Below you can see some examples – the pink of the tourmaline and peach of the moonstone in Nak Armstrong’s earrings lends the zircon a glowing warmth, whilst the silver on Stone Fever’s ring allows the colour to sing. I love the Yael Designs ring, and it’s surprising because if I saw that ring I’d myself assume it was a topaz or even a sapphire, but the fire that you’d get from a zircon that size would be quite something.

To shop my range of zircons, click here.


About Julia Aufenast

I am a UK based professional gemstone supplier and GIA graduate gemologist. I specialise in rose cut cabochons as well as standard cabochons, and I have a carefully nurtured reputation for high quality. Currently I carry mainly semi-precious stones and I also have a range of pearls in white and natural colours; strings and half-drilled, round and keshi. This blog is attached to my website - www.joopygems.com - and is where you'll find information about new arrivals in my shop, discounts and offers, as well as an opportunity to leave comments and feedback.

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