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Misunderstood December Birthstone

Have you ever felt completely misunderstood? Well, you are not alone! Besides my personal experiences, one of my favorite gemstones has been misunderstood for quite a long time. In the early 1900’s, colorless Zircon was used as a diamond simulant, and ever since then, Zircon has come to mean “fake” to most people. It also gets confused with the man-made diamond simulant cubic zirconia. When it is blue, Zircon is also confused with Blue Topaz.



Zircon is one of the oldest minerals on earth at about 4.4 billion years old! When a gemologist talks about fire, we are referring to a gemstone’s brilliance and flashes of multicolored light. Diamond has one of the higher rates of fire, and Zircon ranks just below diamond! Zircon is a doubly refractive which means you can see twice as many facet lines and twice as much fire making Zircon one of the most brilliant gemstones. When you look at a picture of Zircon, it may look a bit blurry (see above), but you are actually seeing the double refraction! It is so much fun to look at in a microscope.


Zircon comes in a variety of colors – yellow, green, red, reddish brown, blues. The ice blue color of Zircon is known as Blue Zircon and is the second birthstone for December. The most valuable colors are blue, bright red, and green. Blue Zircon was a favorite gemstone in the Victorian era, and you will often see it in English estate jewelry. Interestingly, legend has it that Zircon was used in the hilt of Excalibur!


As you can see, even gemstones can be misunderstood! As a Graduate Gemologist, I get really excited when I work with Zircon because of all its fascinating properties. I love the crisp, blue color of Blue Zircon and have only seen red and green Zircons a couple of times. The next time you hear Zircon, take a closer look at the gemstone to see how brilliant it is. And, remember, Zircon is a natural gemstone, neither a “fake,” diamond simulant, nor Blue Topaz!


I would love to help you with jewelry this holiday season! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment


Photo Credit: Omi Prive

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