Zircon Ring Information
Zircon is not often found preset in rings, at least not in your local brick and mortar retail jewelry shops that is. The lack of zircon ring availability is simply due to the fact that zircon is not very well-known by the general public. When most people hear about 'zircon rings', usually rings set with synthetic cubic zirconia (CZ) come to mind. It is rather unfortunate that zircon has such a similar name to zirconia, since they are worlds apart. Zircon is a completely natural material mined from the earth, while cubic zirconia is a lab-grown synthetic and rather inexpensive substitute for white diamond.
Before the time of popular diamond simulants, white zircon was often marketed under the misleading trade name of 'Matura diamond', and it actually became one of the most popular white diamond ring substitutes up until the introduction of moissanite and cubic zirconia. Colorless zircon stones were often used for bridal and engagement jewelry, including engagement rings and wedding bands. Blue zircon is often worn in birthstone rings, since it is one of the official gemstones for those born in the month of December.
Owing to its high dispersion and refractive index, as well as its remarkable color, durability and affordability, natural zircon gemstones are becoming more and more popular for rings. There is an especially high demand for the stunning blue (often with green pleochroism) zircon variety. Most zircon rings feature untreated stones, though there are some colors which are obtained through routine enhancements. The colors of zircon gemstones used for rings vary widely and include white (colorless), blue, yellow, orange, red, green, violet, brown and many combinations in between. Zircon is indeed a stunning gemstone that is perfectly-suited for wearing in rings and many other types of gemstone jewelry.
Zircon ring history dates back to the middle ages, when rings and jewelry made of zircon were worn for their beauty and mystical powers. Zircon is actually the oldest mineral discovered on Earth. Scientists have even found zircon samples in Australia that date back to over 4.4 billion years ago. Many believe the name 'zircon' originated from the Arabic word, 'zarqun', meaning 'vermilion' or 'cinnabar'. Others believe the name zircon was derived from the Persian word, 'zargun' or 'gold-colored'. Taking into consideration the wide range of colors that zircon can be found in, both references could be true. Jacinth is a traditional term for yellow and orangey to red-brown zircon, which was derived from the Latin term, 'hyacinthus'. Jacinth stone was believed to be one of the gemstones set in the breastplate of Aaron; therefore it plays a very important role in the history of gemstones.
In the early 1900s, white zircon rings and bands spiked in popularity for their uncanny ability to look like expensive diamond jewelry. During the Victorian era, blue zircon rings were a favorite and were often part of English estate jewelry collections, dating back as early as 1880. George Frederick Kunz, an American gemstone fanatic, made his fondness for zircon very well-known. In fact, Kunz even tried to promote fiery zircon gems under the name 'starlite', which unfortunately never took off in the world of gems.
For most of time, zircon has dwelled in the shadows of other more popular and well-known gemstones. For this reason, there are no well-known honorable mentions of zircon rings of the rich and famous.
Zircon ring designs are usually sterling silver mountings, though yellow gold zircon rings also look fantastic, especially with blue color zircon stones. Most zircon ring designs feature very large center stones, and are often worn in oversized statement jewelry, including cocktail rings. Zircon birthstone rings can be had, but more often than not, buyers will need to look online or custom order their ring designs since zircon is not a very well known gemstone. Solitaire rings featuring zircon are not as popular as other styles, unless they are being worn as a diamond engagement ring look-a-like. Since it is quite hard to find zircon cut in small melee sizes, zircon ring designs featuring small stones, such as zircon cluster rings or pave flower rings are quite rare to find. It would in fact be easier to find a 10-carat, three-stone zircon ring, than it would be to find a 0.50 carat zircon solitaire.
For those interested in buying zircon rings, it may be easier to find a loose stone online and have it set by your jeweler into a quality semi-mount or setting. Due to its lesser-known status, zircon is not the type of gem that's readily available in most local jewelry stores, though some might get lucky with jewelers that carry a healthy selection of birthstone rings in stock. Online colored gemstone jewelry suppliers will be able to offer the best selection, as well as the best prices when it comes to buying zircon rings. Not only can you find a vast selection of loose zircon stones online, but also many gem dealers may even offer a full line of finished zircon jewelry, including zircon rings, pendants and earrings.
Sterling silver zircon rings are usually quite affordable, while gold zircon rings can be very expensive, especially when buying rings with high karat alloy. Like most gemstone rings, zircon rings that feature top grade gems will command top prices. Blue zircon rings will generally cost more than other zircon gem colors, except for green. Green zircon is by far the rarest and most valuable color variety; because it's so rare, most would never even consider wearing green zircon in jewelry in the first place.
How to wear zircon rings depends on the intended purpose. For therapeutic reasons, wearing zircon in rings is best when the center-stone or primary stones are set so that the gems are as close to the skin as possible. Traditionally, untreated gemstones are best when wearing medicinal rings, so wearing golden to red-brown color zircon (known as jacinth) is considered to be the most beneficial. Zircon is relatively affordable and since it available in very large sizes, many wear zircon rings as statement jewelry, especially in large, oversized cocktail ring designs. Yellow gold mountings look especially stunning when set with fine blue zircon gemstones. Although zircon is commonly set and worn in rings, mostly because it is considered to be relatively hard as well as durable, due to zircon's brittle tenacity, zircon stones often wear down over time, especially along facet edges. Taking its brittle nature into consideration, many jewelry designers will set zircon stones into bezel settings, or place prongs in places that will best protect the stone during wear.
Zircon ring meanings are especially relevant for those born in December, because along with turquoise, tanzanite and blue topaz, blue zircon is believed to bring good fortune for those who wear it in birthstone jewelry. Yellow and orange to red-brown 'jacinth' zircon is often worn in rings for religious meaning, in reference to the biblical descriptions of the gemstones featured in the breastplate of Aaron the High Priest. During the Middle Ages, zircon rings were worn to protect against evil spirits and bad omens. Many would wear zircon to promote wealth, wisdom and honor. Zircon rings are also thought to help those who suffer from insomnia. Legend has it that zircon can induce deep, sound sleep. Wearing zircon rings can encourage spiritual growth and it is said that wearing zircon rings can help find true meaning, beauty and peace.