Zircon the Starlight Gem for December Birthstone
Zircon can be seen in many diverse colors. They can show a variety of hues such as; yellow, green, red, reddish brown, and blue. Zircon crystals form in different types of rocks, and possess a range of optical and physical properties. It is found in Cambodia, Madagascar, Canada, Ukraine, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Australia. Australia is the most popular in zircon mining, producing 37% of the world’s total supply of the mineral. Zircon is a gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewelry. Although Zircon isn’t as well-known as some other gems, this stone is well known among geologists. The oldest rock ever discovered was a zircon found in Australia dating 4.4 billion years, nearly as old as the planet itself (the oldest diamonds are 3.3 billion years old). Zircon is not the same thing as cubic zirconia. This misunderstanding is due to the similarities between the names and because they both have been used as diamond simulants. Zircon, however, is not a manmade stone. It is a naturally occurring gemstone from the mineral zirconium silicate. In the Middle Ages, zircon was believed to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, promote riches, honor, prosperity, and wisdom. Zircon is now believed to have the ability to increase one’s self-confidence, and to aid the wearer in loving the self as well as others, as it brings compassion. Zircon is known to be a grounding stone that inspires, motivates and gives guidance when guidance is needed, therefore helping to achieve one’s goals. Blue zircon was a particular favorite in Victorian times. Fine gems were often featured in English estate jewelry in the 1880’s. A gemologist, by the name of George Kunz, Tiffany’s famed gem buyer, was a notable zircon advocate. He once proposed the name “starlight stone” to promote the gem’s fiery nature, but the name never caught on.