ZIRCON: December Birthstone
Natural zircon, known for its vivid colors and diamond-like appearance, is one the most ancient materials on Earth. A gemstone able to withstand incredible pressure, some pieces of zircon date over 4 billion years old. In the middle ages, zircon was believed to promote sleep, as well as bring prosperity, honor, and wisdom to its wearer. The name of this gem comes from the Persian word zargun, meaning “gold-hued.”
Most zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand. Because it occurs in nearly every color of the rainbow, zircon is a popular gemstone among collectors. True zircon should not be confused with cubic zirconia—a synthetic gem of much lesser value.
Zircon jewelry should be stored with care; despite its hardness of 7.5 on the Moh’s scale, its facets can chip and abrade easily.
For safe cleaning, wash zircon jewelry in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, using a soft brush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect. As with all fine jewelry, zircon should be removed before sleeping.