Gemstone of the Month: Zircon

Gemstone of the Month: Zircon

Birthstones are limiting. We’re breaking out of the box and inviting you to explore the wide world of gemstones!

This October we're featuring the perfect stone for the changing seasons… zircon!

Here are our top three reasons to love zircon (not to be confused with cubic zirconia):

  1. Double the Brilliance
  2. Fall & Winter Color Palette
  3. Perfect for Earring & Pendants
1. Double the Brilliance

Geralyn's number one reason for loving zircon:  they're doubly refractive! This means that as you move the cut stone, you see not one, but two flashes of light, making them extra sparkly in the jewelry you wear. 

Gold Ribbons "Freestyle" Ring with large Peridot and small Blue Zircon

Interestingly, some zircon display much lower values of the refractivity, which scientists have determined is due to radioactive elements breaking down the crystal structure over long periods of geological time. Many gemologists even categorize zircon into three types: high, intermediate, and low, to indicate the level of optical properties the stone exhibits. 

Although the refractive property varies across the range of zircon quality due to radioactive degradation of the crystal structure, virtually all stones used in fine jewelry are of the high type and highly refractive

In fact, Gemologist George Kunz—Tiffany’s famed gem buyer—once proposed the name “starlite” to promote the gem’s fiery nature. Unfortunately for George, that name never caught on. 

2. Fall & Winter Color Palette

Zircon's varied color palette of yellow, green, red, reddish brown, and blue hues make it the perfect stone for autumn and winter. The wide array of colors also makes it a favorite among gem collectors as well as informed consumers. Zircon can even be colorless and because of its refractivity and flashes of multicolored light, called fire, was confused with diamonds for centuries.

This unique color palette gives you the warm hues of fall and the cool tones of winter, so zircon jewelry can truly bring any look to the next level as the seasons shift! And if you're thinking ahead for December birthdays, blue zircon is actually one of the December birthstones!

3. Perfect for Earrings & Pendants
Natural Textures Collection Oak Bark Pendant with Honey Zircon

Although zircon can be used in any type of jewelry, they are a medium level of hardness which makes them best for jewelry pieces that will not get battered in your daily life. So that makes them a perfect fit for earrings and pendants, but when it comes to hand jewelry they are best for special occasion pieces. 

For example, Geralyn loves to use larger zircon for pendants and earrings but for a ring, a small zircon makes for a truly stunning accent rather than the centerpiece stone. 

But this also makes them a perfect stone for gift jewelry, since pendants and earrings do not require proper sizing to be given to a loved one. Whether you decide on blue or honey zircon, white gold or yellow, this stone is a wonderful and stunning choice for the season. 

Want to learn more about other gems and gemology in general? Check out our Gemology page!


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