NATURAL WHITE ZIRCON GEMSTONE
The glimmer of white zircon forces a double-take with the illusion of twin fire.
Zircon is a gemstone growing in popularity. Consumers are discovering the wide range of colors available, coupled with the gem’s exciting visual qualities. Natural white zircon represents the stone in its purest state, free from the trace elements that create the many unusual and exciting colors found in the many varieties on the market today.
What Color is White Zircon?
Like other gemstones, zircon receives its color from the presence of trace elements. White zircon does not display any color and is known as a white stone in the trade. An absence of these trace elements means no additional color occurs within the gem, ensuring a clear gemstone. Occasionally, brownish zircon stones may be heated to remove the color and create white gems. Whether they are heated or not, all white zircons feature a crisp and clear visual quality, free of additional color.
Other White Zircon Properties
Zircon gemstones are well-known for their incredible visual qualities. The stone exhibits double refraction, known as birefringence. Due to this phenomenon, natural white zircons display the illusion of twice the fire and twice the facets you’d normally see. A high refractive index means these gems sparkle with an incredible dispersion, explaining why they were a popular diamond simulant for many years. Simply put, these gems display an incredible fire.
Stones are typically eye-clean and free of visible inclusions without the aid of ten-times magnification. In fact, the heating process helps repair the crystal lattice of zircon gems, increasing its visual appeal. Cut and polished stones exhibit a highly vitreous, glass-like luster. Combined with its refractive elements, expect to see lots of brilliance and rainbow flashes of color as the dispersion of this stone enchants you.
White zircon from Shop LC is found in a variety of popular shapes, including cushion, marquis, oval, round, and pear. Expect to find them in weights of one carat or less. Bigger stones won’t be as common in zircon jewelry. It’s a more difficult stone to cut due to its birefringence. Cutters must angle the stone properly or else finished stones will appear fuzzy.
Extra care should be taken with natural white zircon jewelry. These stones, especially those that have been heated, are more likely to be brittle at the edge of facets. This means they have a greater potential to chip and wear over time.
Who Should Wear Natural White Zircon?
For many years, zircons were the preferred diamond simulant. If you love diamonds, but not the associated cost, white zircons are an excellent alternative. These stones possess a similar dispersion to diamond, and the double refraction gives you even more sparkle. Choose white zircon as an affordable way to add the timeless appeal of diamonds to any look.
Is White Zircon a Birthstone?
• Since the early 1950s, zircon has been recognized as an official December birthstone, alongside turquoise and tanzanite. Blue remains a popular choice, but white zircon is a great choice for anyone who loves sparkling stones with lots of fire.
• Zircon has no association with the tropical zodiac and is not a zodiacal birthstone.
Zircon as a Healing Stone
• During the Middle Ages, zircon was well-regarded for its perceived healing properties. Medieval Europeans thought that using zircon gems would promote healthy sleeping habits. Also, these early lapidaries also explained that these stones would also install wisdom in the bearer, helping them gain wealth. Zircons were also considered to be talismans of protection, warding away evil spirits.
• Modern practitioners of crystal healing suggest that zircon alleviates conditions associated with the gallbladder, liver, and lungs.
Is Zircon Radioactive?
• Zircon is the oldest known mineral in the world. Important to those that study the early Earth, zircon serves as a sort of geological clock. It’s a naturally-occurring radioactive material, which scientists use to date geologic events. Thanks to natural zircon, dates as far back as 4.4 billion years can be determined, when the Earth was only 150 million years old. By using radioactive zircon, scientists can construct a timeline of early events in our planet’s history, helping our understanding of how the world works.
• However, the radiation is barely measurable, and the stone is considered safe for daily wear.
Location: Cambodia and Tanzania
Zircon gemstones occur all over the world. Shop LC sources our selection of high-quality stones from Cambodia and Tanzania.
How is Zircon Mined?
Like many gems, white zircon mining employs traditional, artisanal means. Hand tools and manual labor are the keys to unearthing these tantalizing gemstones.
While many of us picture mining as a process happening at a fixed location, this is simply not the case in many areas. Zircon miners follow gem deposits, which lead them all over the place! Once the gem-bearing soil is found, miners dig narrow shafts vertically into the ground.
White zircon gemstones occur in-between layers of soil. This means there are thick layers of earth that must be moved to reach these treasures. Miners dig up to 45-feet deep, encountering rough gem material somewhere between 30 to 40-feet within the shaft.
We find many stones embedded within host rock, but this is not the case with zircon. Instead, loose gems are found within the brittle clay. This makes separation time-consuming but very easy, as the clay simply needs to be crumbled to reveal loose stones.
After miners finish working a shaft, it will be filled as they move to their next digging spot. Shafts are sunk relatively close to one another, as close as 15-feet or as far as 30-feet away. Mines move constantly, and there’s no telling where workers will be month-to-month.
- Ranks 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Natural white zircon is completely colorless.
- Sourcing of stones occurs from Cambodia and Tanzania.
- Natural white zircon is free from enhancement.
- Colorless zircon may also be known as jargoon or sparklite.
- White zircons may be inappropriately called Matara diamonds or Ceylon diamonds.