Zircon is a beautiful sparkly gem comparable to diamond due to its high Refractive Index of between 1.930 – 1.987. Zircon comes closer to resembling diamond than any other natural gemstone. Zircon should not be confused with or associated to cubic zirconia as zircon is a natural stone created through tectonic events whereas cubic zirconia is a completely man made synthetic gem. Zircon may have trace amounts of uranium and thorium which can cause the gemstone to be very slightly radioactive. Zircon crystals are regularly found as a by-product of mining for sapphire as they are found in similar placer deposits as the sapphires that the miners are chasing.
The chemical makeup of zircon is ZrSiO4 otherwise known as Zirconium Silicate and most Australian zircon crystal colours range from clear, pinks, reds, oranges through to champagne colors. Although zircon is quite a hard gemstone in the range of 6.5 to 7.5 on the Moh’s Scale, Zircon is a somewhat brittle gemstone and care should be taken not to hit the gem on any hard surfaces. However Zircon is an extremely underrated gemstone as its colour can be spectacular and due to its high scintillation, this creates a very flashy and colourful gem. Zircon is also one of the oldest known minerals on earth with specimens from Western Australia being dated up to 4.404 billion years old.