Colorless zircon is known for its brilliance and flashes of multicolored light, called fire. These zircon properties are close enough to the properties of diamond to account for centuries of confusion between the two gems.
Zircon occurs in an array of colors. Its varied palette of yellow, green, red, reddish brown, and blue hues makes it a favorite among collectors as well as informed consumers.
Birthstones & AnniversariesZircon is a birthstone for the month of December, along with turquoise and tanzanite.
Zircon found in Australia is the oldest mineral on earth: 4.4 billion years old.
Zircon sometimes contains traces of uranium, irradiating itself and changing its properties.
Colorless zircon is called “Matara” zircon after a city in Sri Lanka near where it is mined.
Blue, red, yellow, orange, brown, green
1.925 to 1.984 (+/- 0.040)
1.875 to 1.905 (+/- 0.030)
1.810 to 1.815 (+/-0.030)
0.000 to 0.059 (low to high)
3.90 to 4.73
6 to 7.5 (low to high)
There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
With radioactive trace elements that tick off time, zircon is a geological clock that tells us about the early earth.
Brilliance and Fire
Zircon has very high luster, refractive indices, and dispersion, giving it lots of brilliance and rainbow flashes of fire.
Zircon’s pronounced double refraction means you can see twice as many facets and twice as much fire.
Among consumers, blue is the most popular color of zircon.
The most valuable colors of zircon are blue, bright red, and green.
Zircon is often eye-clean. Gems with noticeable inclusions are less valuable.
To maximize its brilliance, zircon is most often cut in rounds and ovals.
Zircon in fine quality is rare in large sizes. Zircon weighs more than most gems of like size.
Zircon Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of gems in history.
Zircon from the Harts Range, Northern Territory, AustraliaMaxwell J. Faulkner and James E. Shigley , Dec 1, 1989 Read Article
Brownish Red Zircon from Muling, ChinaTao Chen, Hao Ai, Mingxing Yang, Shu Zheng, and Yungui Liu , May 9, 2011 Read Article
The Elahera Gem Field in Central Sri LankaMahinda Gunawardene and Mahinda S. Rupasinghe , Jun 1, 1986 Read Article
Gems of the World
John M. Hanchar and Paul W.O Hoskin