Zircon History and Lore
In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits and promote riches, honour and wisdom.
Many scholars think the stone’s name comes from the Arabic word zarkun, meaning “cinnabar” or “vermilion.” Others believe the source is the Persian word zargun, or “gold coloured.” Considering zircon’s colour range, either derivation seems possible.
Blue zircon was a particular favourite in Victorian times, when fine gems were often featured in English estate jewellery dating from the 1880s. Gemmologist George Kunz—Tiffany’s famed gem buyer—was a notable zircon advocate. He once proposed the name “starlite” to promote the gem’s fiery nature. The name never caught on.