The term zircon may seem familiar to many, but what most people actually think about a zircon, is something else entirely. The diamond look-alike, which most people know of and have a love/hate relationship with, is not a zircon, but rather, a cubic zirconia; a cheap synthetic stone. A natural zircon, on the other hand, is also in fact similar to diamonds and comes in several colors, but it is much softer than a diamond and a cubic zirconia for that matter, and of course demands much lower prices than the real deal.
Needless to say, there are plenty of questions regarding zircons, so here are the most frequently asked questions to help you understand them a bit more.
What is a zircon?
A zircon is a type of mineral. It belongs to a group of minerals known as nesosilicates and has a tetragonal crystal system. The name zircon comes from Persia and means golden-colored. However, Zircons are actually found in several colors.
Is a cubic zirconia a mineral?
A cubic zirconia is not a mineral. It is a form of zirconia dioxide and due to its similar appearance to diamonds; it is the main competitor for diamond substitutes. Recently, synthetic moissanite, an artificial version of a natural gemstone very similar in appearance to diamonds, has become yet another competing alternative to pricey diamonds.
What is the difference between white zirconia vs. diamond?
White zirconia is the white form of cubic zirconia, a synthetic stone. A diamond is a natural gemstone, found in deposits. Rough diamonds are cut and polished into the stunning faceted stones that we know and love. Asking what is the difference between white zirconia and diamonds is like asking the difference between genuine leather and faux leather. Despite the apparent visual similarities between the two, nothing about the very different items' compositions is alike, and this is seen clearly throughout time, a closer look, and through knowledgeable eyes.
What is a white zircon?
A white zircon is a natural, white zircon. Natural zircons are found in several colors, including white. White zircons are among the more desirable types of zircons. Zircons of other colors can be treated with heat to become white, or blue, another popular zircon color.
What color is a zircon?
Zircons can appear in a number of colors such as red, golden yellow, colorless, green, brown, and blue.
What is a blue zircon?
In addition to colorless zircons, blue zircons are one of the most desirable types of zircons. Various treatments can be applied to natural colored zircons to achieve this unique color, but zircons found naturally with a blue coloring are the most sought after.
Zircons are confused with cubic zirconia so often that I answered frequetntly asked questions about both of these stones in this article. However, it is of utmost importance to differentiate between the two.
The only similarity the two stones share is in their names. Everything else is pretty much day and night.
Though zircons have a name of being a cheaper gemstone, some zircons can be quite costly. It is therefore imperative to find out everything possible about natural zircons before going out and buying one, lest you end up with what you thought was a really great-priced zircon but turned out to be a worthless cubic zirconia.