There is a wide range of gemstones out there for a jewellery enthusiast to explore. From opulent diamonds to trendy jades, these beauties come in varied colours, shine, and (of course) value. But there’s one stone that’s often overlooked: zircon.
What is Zircon Jewellery?
Zircon is a mineral that has been used in jewellery for generations. Categorised as semi-precious, zircon stones are naturally occurring and come in different hues like brown, red, blue, yellow, and white. When added to jewellery, this unassuming yet popular stone can lend a piece a whole lot of glamour and grandeur.
The white variation of zircon strongly resembles a diamond, making it a popular choice of semi-precious stone in affordable jewellery pieces. Along with white, the blue zircon stone is also widely used. While pale blue zircon stones are common, you may come across dark blue varieties too.
Zircon is known by several other names, mostly depending on their colour:
Starlite: Blue zircon stone that is usually heat-treated. The colour on starlite is rarely naturally occurring Matura
Diamond: White zircon stones that get their name due to their diamond-like appearance
Jargon: Zircon stones that are either colourless, pale yellow, or grey in colour
Jacinth: Yellow-, brown-, orange-, or red-coloured zircon stones
Where are zircon stones found?
Zircon is a mineral that is found embedded in igneous and metamorphic rocks. They can be found in beach-sand deposits too. The stone is mined in various parts of the world including Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Brazil, and Kenya.
Why are zircon stones a popular choice in jewellery-making?
While zircon may seem like a lesser-known gemstone, it has been used by jewellers throughout history, across geographies—and for good reason. Here’s why zircon is popular among jewellers:
A range of colours: Zircon stones come in diverse colours across the spectrum, from fiery red to cool blue and several hues in between. While some colours shine through while the stone is cut, others—like the blue zircon stone—often go through heat treatment. Irrespective of the process, zircon stones give jewellers a wide range of colours to play with!
Lustre: Zircon stones are characterised by their high reflective index (the ability for a stone to bend light) and fire (the ability for a stone to disperse white light into a spectrum of colours), making them lustrous. And the more lustrous a stone is, the greater the glam factor of the jewellery piece!
A natural diamond simulant: Due to their lustre, colourless zircon is often considered an ideal natural substitute for diamonds in jewellery-making.
Durability: Zircon stones are hard and have good physical durability. While they may not last as long as diamonds, they still make for durable stones in necklaces, rings, earrings, and more.
Is Zircon Expensive
Here’s a fun fact: Zircon stones are rarer than diamonds! However, they don’t command as much value in the market. In fact, zircon jewellery is affordable. Depending on the size and piece, a good zircon necklace set's price may start at approximately Rs 2000
Looking for zircon pieces at a great price? GIVA is the place to go! We’ve got beautiful zircon necklace sets, charming rings, elegant earrings, and more! Check out our zircon jewellery collection here.
Why should you buy zircon jewellery?
Versatile: With so many coloured variations to choose from, zircon stones are pretty versatile. Like most gemstones, they also add elegance and glamour to a piece. You can find zircon jewellery designed for any occasion—be it festive or daily wear.
Affordable substitutes for precious stones: If affordable yet classy jewellery is what you are looking for, zircon can be your answer! They’re not as expensive as their precious counterpart but can give you the same shine and feel you may have in mind. Want a piece that has the elegance of a diamond? Jewellery with white zircon stones is right up your alley. Seeing pieces with hues similar to aquamarine or blue topaz? Look for a set with blue zircon stones! Explore GIVA’s collection of white zircons here.
Durable: Zircon stones are hard, lustrous, and chemically stable. With the right care, a zircon jewellery piece can last you years!
How to ensure that you are buying real zircon jewellery?
Unfortunately, testing the genuineness of a zircon stone is not easy. Here are some checks that customers can make to ensure that the jewellery they are purchasing is the real deal:
Look out for marketing jargon: Often, zircon is confused for cubic zirconia (CZ). While the name may sound similar, it is important to note that CZ is a synthetic substitute for diamonds and are not zircon stones. So when you are purchasing jewellery with zircon stones, read the fine line to ensure that the stones used are indeed zircon and not CZ.
Buy from a trusted seller: While purchasing zircon jewellery, make sure that you buy them from genuine and trusted sellers.
Test its shine: Good-quality zircon stones have great shine and lustre. When you’re checking your jewellery, examine the piece in a bright room before a light source. If the stone shows good shine and disperses various colours in the VIBGYOR spectrum, chances are that the zircon stone is genuine. This test, however, isn’t a guarantee that the stone is zircon. It will only help you determine the quality of a stone.
Zircon vs diamond: Which is better?
Zircon stones are often perceived as more affordable versions of diamonds. However, this comparison is unfair to both stones as they have their own unique features. So the short answer to whether diamonds are better than zircon (or vice versa), would be that it depends on what the buyer is looking for.
Price: While zircon stones are rarer than diamonds, the price of the later far exceeds that of zircon. So if you’re looking for affordable jewellery with a very small budget, you can consider zircon. Diamonds, on the other hand, are far more exorbitantly priced but have great demand and value—they’re perceived as one of the most precious stones in the world.
Resale value: Gemstones—precious or otherwise—do not have a great resale value compared to precious metals like gold. However, diamonds still have resale value. They can be resold for anywhere between 25% to 50% of their purchase price. This is not the case with zircon. If you’re thinking of buying gemstones with some consideration for resale value, diamonds are the way to go.
Shine: White zircon stones have a high reflective index and fire, making them the closest natural replacement for diamonds. However, they are considered a substitute for a reason. When compared with diamonds, zircons fall short in sparkle and shine.
Durability: Diamonds are the hardest substances on earth. This, coupled with their long-lasting shine has earned these precious stones receive a mention in the famous adage “diamonds are forever”. While zircon stones are relatively strong and have good lustre, they are not as long-lasting as their precious counterpart. Zircons still need more care as they are susceptible to breakage. And over time, these semi-precious stones may lose their shine too.
How long does zircon jewellery last?
Zircon’s relatively hard build and brilliant shine can last for a long time. However, there may be several factors that can reduce the stones’ durability:
Rough use: Zircons are relatively hard. However, they are not the toughest of stones. If not handled with care, their surface is likely to be scratched or damaged.
Exposure to light: Zircon stones are fairly stable when exposed to sunlight. However, if the stone is heat-treated (as is the case with most blue zircon stones), there are chances of the gemstone losing its shine. However, this lack of lustre can be reversed if the stone undergoes the heat treatment process again.
How to maintain zircon for longer life?
Worried that your zircon pieces may not last as long as you expected? Worry not. A little bit of care can go a long way in maintaining them. Here are some tips to care for your zircon stones:
Storage: Store your zircon jewellery in a dark place with a smooth surface (to avoid scratches). Make sure you wrap the piece with soft cotton or velvet cloth.
Avoid overexposure to sunlight: If your zircon jewellery is exposed to sunlight very often, there are chances of the stone losing its shine. So make sure you avoid prolonged exposure of your jewellery to sunlight. When you are not using them, you can store them in a dark place.
Other harsh chemicals: While zircon is stable and does not react with chemicals, it’s best to avoid direct contact with daily chemical-heavy items like detergent, cosmetics and cleansers. It’s safer to remove your jewellery as soon as you’re done using them. Should you feel the need to clean your jewellery piece, we recommend using mild soapy water.
The best jewellery for you
Looking for stunning pieces of jewellery made of zircon stones? GIVA has you covered! We’ve got elegant zircon necklace sets, trendy earrings, and more. Our pieces are intricately designed and made from high-grade white zircon stones.