Zircon is a nesosilicates group mineral. Its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4. The name derives from the Persian zargun, meaning “gold-hued”. Zircon is a popular gemstone that has been used for nearly 2000 years.
The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system with 7.5 hardness according to the Mohs Hardness scale. Zircon is also very resistant to heat and corrosion and known as Insoluble gemstone. This Uniaxial (+) mineral Specific gravity is 4.6–4.7. It’s heavy more than such as Sapphire, chrysoberyl, Garnets, spinels. Gem Businessmen use this as physical properties to identify zircons from other gemstones.
Zircon has weak pleochroism and has colors such as Colorless, Very Strong Blue To Green-Blue, Yellow, Blue-Green, Yellowish Green, Yellow-Green, Brown, Orangy Yellow To Reddish Orange, Dark Brownish Red, Sometimes Purple, Gray To Bluish Gray, Brownish Gray. Colorless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as “Matara diamond”. Zircon has been classified into three types called high zircon, intermediate zircon ( medium zircon ), and low zircon. Some Quality Type brown zircons can be transformed into colorless and blue zircons by heating to 800 to 1000 °C.
You can see in this video has Brownish Purple zircon before, heat treatment and after heat treatment by using the traditional method. This traditional heating method has been used for a 1000 years in Sri Lanka. This kind of zircon heating temperature is 500-750° Celsius in the atmosphere by oxidizing. While heating, it is turning to yellow color within the heating time period.
There are Some using names for Zircon such as Hyacinth or jacinth: yellow-red, orange, red-brown to brown, Jargoon or jargon: light yellow to colorless stones, Beccarite: green zircon, Melichrysos: straw yellow, Starlite: blue heat treated zircon, Sparklite: colorless zircon.
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