December Birthstone - Zircon
Coming a long way from the notoriety it received in the early 1900’s as a diamond impersonator, December’s birthstone, zircon , is a beautiful stone with a history of elegance.
The most popular color of zircon is blue with a slight greenish tint, but it can also be red, pink, brown, yellow, hazel, black or colorless. These colorful gemstones are mined in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Norway, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.
An Eastern History of Zircon
Zircon has a rich history among Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. The word “zircon” is said to stem from the Persian word “zargun”, meaning “gold colored”.
Hindu poets have long written of the ultimate gift to the gods, the Kalpa Tree, which is covered with gemstone fruit and zircon leaves.
Mystical and Healing Properties of Zircon
In the Middle Ages, zircon was commonly used to aid in sleep and bring prosperity and wisdom to its owner. It was also used to treat varicose veins, blisters and problems relating to the testicles.
Using Zircon to Date the Earth
Recent reports have indicated that a piece of zircon in Australia has been dated back 4.4 billion years, making it the earliest confirmed piece of earth’s crust. Scientists say that the ratio of oxygen isotopes in the crystal (which was only the thickness of about 4 strands of human hair) indicate that our planet may have been capable of sustaining water, and therefore life, at the time the stone was formed.
This amazing discovery tells scientists that the temperatures on earth may have cooled down a lot sooner than originally believed.
Fun Facts About Zircon
- Famed Tiffany and Co gemologist, George Kunz, loved the gem and proposed the name “starlite” to promote the stone’s fiery nature.
- Most blue zircon on the market are heat treated brown stones
- Australia produces 37% of the world’s zircon supply annually