Not to be confused with man-made cubic zirconia, zircon is one of the oldest known minerals on earth. In fact, it’s even older than the moon with the oldest zircon gemstones representing the earliest record of the Earth’s crust! Known to promote happiness, prosperity and honour, this December birthstone is available in a wide array of attractive colours: red, orange, yellow, brown, green, blue and colourless.
December has two birthstones: zircon + tanzanite. For this post, we’re focusing on zircon but if you wanted to find out a bit more on tanzanite, click here.
Often found near Sapphire sources, zircon is primarily found in Sri Lanka and Australia but also Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia. Though as a ‘stone of virtue’ due to it’s healing and grounding properties, zircon ranks 6 -7.5 on the Mohs scale (a scale of hardness based on the ability of one mineral to scratch another). Here are our favourite 5 facts about zircon:
- Colourless zircon, also known as ‘Matara’ after the city in Sri Lanka near where it is mined, is known for its brilliance and flashes of multi-coloured light, called fire. These properties were close enough to the features of a diamond to account for centuries of confusion between the two gems. Interestingly, despite a long history as a diamond substitute, zircon is actually rarer than diamonds.
- Zircon found in Australia is the oldest mineral on earth, dating back 4.4 billion years old!
- In Hinduism, zircon alternates with a hessonite garnet as one of the nine gems of the navaratna. The navaratna represents the celestial bodies of Indian Astrology with Zircon symbolising the rising of the moon. When worn together, the nine gems protect the wearer and bring wealth, wisdom and good health.
- The origins of the word “zircon” is still debated. Some believe it comes from the Arabic word zarkun, meaning “cinnabar” or “vermilion” whereas others believe the source is the Persian word zargun, or “gold coloured.”
- During the middle ages, zircon was thought to protect one from disease, injury and insomnia. It was often regarded as the amulet for travellers since it would assure a cordial welcome wherever their travels took them.
Did you know? You can customise many of our pieces with your choice of stone, including zircon. Shop and customise your piece here or contact us to talk about incorporating zircon into your unique, handmade heirloom.