Zircon is a underrated gem that’s frequently confused with artificial cubic zirconia as a result of similar names and shared usage as diamond simulants. Few people realize that zircon is a spectacular natural gem readily available in a variety of colors.

The name zircon probably comes from the Persian word zargun, which “gold-colored.” Others trace it into the Arabic zarkun, meaning “vermillion.” Given its wide range of colours — spanning red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown — equally, roots feel.

Zircon commonly occurs brownish red, which is popular because of its earth tones. However, most gem-quality stones have been heated treated before colorless, gold or blue (the hottest color). Blue zircon, particularly, is the alternate birthstone for December.

Color gaps in zircon are brought on by impurities, some of which (like uranium) may be somewhat radioactive. These gems can also be treated with heat to stabilize the radioactivity.

While radiation can break down zircon’s crystal structure, it plays a crucial role in radiometric dating. Zircon, the earliest mineral on earth, contains important clues about the formation of our planet.

Colorless zircon, known as Matura Diamond, shows brilliance and flashes of multicolored “fire” that can rival fine diamond. There is one crucial difference though: Zircon is much more delicate.

Zircon in Australia dates back 4.4 billion decades. Australia still leads the world in zircon mining and generating 37 percent of the planet’s supply. Other sources include Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cambodia, Canada and the United States.

Because the Middle Ages, people have believed that zircon can cause sleep, ward off evil and encourage prosperity.