Zircon is not a commonly known among jewelry buyers, although the gem has many beautiful appearances. There are earth tones, cinnamon, sherry, yellow, orange, red and the famous zircon blue colors.
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What To Look For
Zircons are relatively free of inclusions. But many untreated zircons have a cloudy or smoky appearance. If it’s extreme, it can be a negative factor. Most zircon that is faceted for use in jewelry is free of inclusions visible to the eye. Zircons with eye visible inclusions will drop in value.
Zircon Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Tips & Advice
1. Store zircon carefully.
Although zircon is relatively hard, it can be brittle. Facet junctions can abrade if they rub against other gems. Dealers always store each zircon separately, not mixed in a parcel with other gems.
2. Find a retailer who specializes in gems.
Zircons are unusual connoisseur gems. To see an interesting selection, you’ll have to find a retailer who really knows and loves gems.
3. Start a zircon collection.
Along with spinel, zircon is one of the gems that dealers and gemologists collect. Rare and beautiful, zircon is still relatively unknown and affordable. It comes in many colors from many different localities so a collection can continue to expand.
Questions & Answers
Is any color of zircon a birthstone for December?
Zircon became a December birthstone because it comes in blues similar to turquoise, the other birthstone for that month. Like January’s garnets and September’s sapphires, the variety of colors available in zircon gives people with December birthdays a lot of choice!
Is zircon radioactive?
Zircon sometimes contains traces of uranium-238, and it can be very slightly radioactive at levels that pose no health risk when used in jewelry.
Does GIA grade zircon?
GIA evaluates zircon but does not grade it. A GIA Colored Stone Identification Report assesses the characteristics of any polished, rough, mounted or loose material (weight, measurements, shape, cutting style and color); identifies whether it is natural or laboratory-grown; and names any detectable treatments.
How do I tell what type an individual zircon is?
Low zircon’s crystal structure has been altered by thousands of years of irradiation from its own trace elements. It’s typically dark green. High zircon’s gemological properties are higher, so type can be determined with standard gemological testing. Most zircon used in jewelry is high zircon.
Find out moreZircon: Questions & Answers
Caring for Your Zircon
Keep your zircon beautiful by following simple care and cleaning guidelines.
Some heat-treated gems might revert to their original colors after prolonged exposure to bright light.
Care and Cleaning
Warm soapy water is always safe.
Warm, soapy water is best for cleaning zircon. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended.