Zircons for the New Year
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday period.
Did you know that the oldest stones found anywhere on earth are zircon crystals found in rocks in Western Australia? They are 4.4 billion years old!
Australia is blessed with a wealth of mineral deposits, including our gemstones, and one of the most under-rated is zircons. Once referred to as 'poor man's diamonds', these gorgeous gems are both very bright and quite economical, and stand as beautiful stones in their own right.
Not to be confused with cubic zirconium, which is a man-made diamond simulant, zircons form naturally in the earth's crust. The main Australian sources are Hart's Range in the Northern Territory, and around Sapphire in the Queensland gemfields, where they are often found alongside sapphires.
Zircons come in many natural colours, notably pink, orange, red and brown. Blue zircons are from certain Cambodian deposits and are heat treated in a reducing environment to develop the colour from their natural brown. Natural pink zircons make a beautiful and affordable alternative to pink diamonds.