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Zircon fact file
Crystal Structure: tetragonal
Chemical Composition: zirconium silicate
Hardness: 7.5 MOHS
Refractive Index: 1.92 to 2.02
Colors: colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, blue and green
Those born in December have the maximum choice. They can choose from three december birthstones – Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Zircon.
Zircon is a relatively recent addition to the list of gems that are commonly worn for personal adornment. Its usage goes back only to about the last decade of the 18th Century. This December birthstone has probably not enjoyed a highly successful usage such as diamond, ruby or sapphire. Zircon is relatively unstable as far
as gemstones go. It has the problem of chipping out at the facet junctions.
Zircon is short for zirconium silicate, the chemical name.
Zircon is a metamict mineral. Metamicts are radioactive minerals or ones that have substituted radioactive elements in the crystal lattice that leads to disruptions in the crystal lattice and atomic arrangement within the crystal although the crystal retains its original external morphology. It is pretty hard (7.5 on a scale of 10) and fairly tough. It has a fairly high refractive index (ranging from 1.92 to 1.95 on the low end and 1.96-2.02 on the high end).
Zircon comes in quite a few colors: colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, blue and green have been observed. Zircon is usually translucent. Blue zircons, also called starlites, are often created by heat-treating other colored zircons.
Buying Tips for Blue Zircon – December Birthstone Jewelry
Zircon, the december birthstone, is not to be confused with cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is a synthetic
gem with a similar appearance,which is used as a substitute for diamond.
Burma and Sri Lanka have been important historic sources of zircon. It is found in igneous rock such as granite and in alluvial and beach deposits. Gem-quality zircons come from Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. They are also found in Norway, Sweden, the Urals, Australia, Brazil, and the United States (Colorado and New Jersey).
Travelers during the eleventh century A.D. used zircon amulets to protect against disease and injury, as well as to encourage welcome greetings on their journey. This December birthstone was later used to aid in digestion.