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Zircon is a colorful gem with high refraction and fire that’s unfairly confused with cubic zirconia.

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Cushion Cut

This 21.05-ct. cushion cut, orange zircon is from Tanzania.

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Fall Color

This gem displays a warm autumnal reddish brown.

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Seeing Double

Zircon’s strong double refraction causes double images of facets.

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Cinnamon Brown

Like this rare untreated 48.50-ct. crystal, zircon is often brownish.

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Pointed Cap

Zircon crystals are often four sided and capped with pyramid shapes.

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Ubiquitous Gem

Zircon crystals grow in many different types of rock.

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Long-wave UV exposure changes zircon’s color from medium light greenish blue (left) to very dark yellowish green (right).
A Zircon with Strong Photochromic Effect

Photochromic zircon shows significant color change from medium light greenish blue to very dark yellowish green.

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A miner in northern Tanzania examines rhodolite.
Gemstone Guidebook Project

A project coordinated by GIA and the NGO Pact provides a valuable educational tool to women miners in Tanzania.

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The Geometeer, a synthetic ruby with a hybrid cut by Rex Guo.
Rex Guo: The Science and Art of Recutting Fine Gemstones

Rex Guo describes how he sources and systematically recuts faceted stones to unlock their inner beauty.

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A 24.96 ct sphene from Zimbabwe (left) and sillimanites from Sri Lanka and Myanmar (right)
Vibrantly Colored Gems

Bill Larson of Pala International reports a very strong AGTA Tucson show.

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Faceted blue zircons
Reversible Color Modification of Blue Zircon by Long-Wave Ultraviolet Radiation

Determines whether blue zircon, inadvertently altered to brown by exposure to long-wave UV radiation, can be restored to its original color through the use of incandescent light.

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Pin/pendant with sunstone, pearl, diamond, chalcedony, and zircon.
The Fluid Art of Angela Conty

Angela Conty exhibits and discusses her work at the 2016 Tucson gem shows.

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Courtesy of Omi Privé.
Tips on Caring for Jewelry

Follow these tips to keep your jewelry treasures safe and looking their best.

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Five zircon samples studied for radioactive degradation of crystal structure.
Chemical Analysis of Zircon

Trace-element analysis is used to identify metamictization, treatment, and growth conditions of zircon.

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The superior size and color of the 325.13 ct. tsavorite garnet from Merelani was discovered at the Tucson Gem & Mineral show in 2007. Courtesy of Michael Couch & Associates, West Des Moines, Iowa; photo by Robert Weldon © GIA
The Glory of Green Gems

Green gemstones, which can uplift and heal our spirits, have been popular gem choices ever since we began to adorn ourselves with jewelry.

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Short-wave UV exposure’s effect on zircon color
Tenebrescent Zircon

Color modification is observed in a reddish orange zircon at the Bangkok laboratory.

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