Thailand and Cambodia produces some of the world's most beautiful zircons. Originally
the colors of zircons from these two sources are dark brown, orangy brown, yellow,
yellow brown, red to dark reddish brown ( high zircons ). When heated these colors
turn to blue and some become colorless. Cut zircons can be very beautiful displaying
a high dispersion and a high brilliancy with a diffused appearance due to its strong
doubly refractive optical character. Zircon is brittle so care must be taken when
setting the gem.
The setting itself should protect the gem from exposing surfaces edges as much as
possible for added protection. Sri Lanka and Burma also produces zircons. These
two cources provide colors in green, dark green, brown,brown green ( low zircons
) yellow, yellow brown ( mediun zircons ) and an occasional red. The greens contain
tiny metamict crystals with halo tnsion cracks around it.
The prismatic crystals maybe radioactive elements such as U and Th. It has been
reported in gemological literature that the radioactivity destroys the crystal lattice
and if left long enough the crystal itself becomes and transforms into a mixture
of quartz and zirconium oxide of an amorphous nature. Zircon's identifying features
are its spectrum lines at 6535 and 6590 which are usually distinctly visible. Zircons
comes in small and large sizes of up to 100 carats. Clean ones are rare. Colorless
varieties are used as a diamond substitute. Collectors strive to gather a sample
piece from each source with varying colors. Some study the internal inclusions sith
attention to shape, color, forms and placements of the embedded crystals within
the gem. Chemical formula is ZrSiO4 + Fe, U, Th,Hf Crystal habbit is tetragonal,
pyramidal, prismatic, twinned, rounded Luster: adamatine and greasy Cleavage: Imperfect;
fracture is conchoidal. Brittle.