For Damian By Mischelle, Zircon is one of the most interesting, and compelling, of the fine gemstones. Found in the same deposits as sapphires and rubies, this fabulous stone has great hardness (7.5 on the Mohs scale) and exhibits an exceptional amount of fire under both natural and incandescent light due its refractive index of 1.93-1.98 which is substantially higher than that of corundum.
And yet there is a relatively low level of awareness about this stone. Much of this is probably due to the fact that its name is very similar to cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation. This confusion at least partly explains why such an exceptional stone is unfairly overlooked, for the stone has both heritage and fine qualities in abundance.
Hindu poets tell of the Kalpa Tree, the ultimate gift to the gods, a glowing tree covered in gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon. The name probably comes from the Persian word ‘zargun’, which means ‘gold-coloured’, although Zircon comes in a wide range of different colours. Sri Lanka has produced gem quality zircon for 2,000 years but the gemstone did not reach a wider audience in the west until the 1920’s.
Despite this spectrum of colours, for many years the most popular was the colourless variety, which looks more like diamond than any other natural stone because of its brilliance and dispersion. Today the most popular colour is blue zircon, which is considered an alternative birthstone for December, although it can be reheated in oxygen to produce a golden yellow colour. Most blue zircon is of a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue colour. Zircon is also found in green, dark red, yellow, brown, and orange.
Zircon is one of the most dense gemstones, which means that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight but has a translucence and luminescence that rivals high quality sapphires and diamonds. Damain By Mischelle tends to source Zircon that has been mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. However it is also found in Australia and Vietnam, for example.