Shape and cut are important to bring out the best in gemstones. Transparent gemstones are usually faceted and various cuts and shapes are used to maximize color, brilliance, luster and other optical properties. Diamond cuts were developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 to show off the beauty of diamond gemstones. Traditional diamond-cut gems are round brilliant cuts with 57 or 58 facets (58 with a culet) and are called "diamond cut" because the faceting style was developed to bring out the sparkle of diamonds. Therefore, if you are looking for sparkle in a zircon stone, a diamond-cut gem is the right choice.
Zircon is a natural gemstone material that has been known since the Middle Ages. The oldest known zircon stones are around 4.4 billion years old. The name "zircon" probably comes from the Persian word "zargun" meaning "gold-colored", though zircon comes in a wide range of different colors as well as the most popular zircon color of blue. Most blue zircon come in a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. Zircon is also available colorless, green, dark-red, pink, violet, yellow, brown and orange.
Zircon has great brilliance and intense fire because of its high refractive index and strong dispersion. This means that zircon gems sparkle and make stunning jewelry gemstones. Colorless zircon stones are generally brilliant-cut (diamond-cut) and have fraudulently been sold as "matura" diamond. On the other hand, natural zircon should not be confused with synthetic cubic zirconia, a common diamond look-alike. Some of the best zircon gems come from Cambodia and have a unique teal-like blue color that is prized by jewelry lovers all over the world.
Although relatively hard, (rating 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale), zircon is brittle and therefore sensitive to knocks and pressure. The gem has the tendency to wear along facet edges. Its use in rings should therefore be limited to protective settings or occasional-wear jewelry. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully and wrapped separately.
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