Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Zircon Zeal


With enough fire to have been confused with diamonds for centuries, these outstanding gems will set your heart ablaze! The zircon shines all on its own: these stones have a fantastically high refractive index, and are valued for their rainbow-like sparkle. Each gem’s spectacular “double refraction” actually means that you can see twice as much fire and twice as many facets! So much so, in fact, that famed gemologist George Kunz once proposed changing the name to “starlite” to highlight the gem’s incredible sparkle.
These gems are also astonishingly tenacious, and can come into being in a wide variety of elements and locations. Some forms of non-gem grade zircon even contain traces of uranium: the radiation of which causes the crystal-structure of the zircon to become amorphous…essentially melting the stone down from the inside!*

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“Le Soliel” zircon ring, copyright Eve Alfillé, photo credit Matt Arden

Zircon is only one out of three birthstones for the festive month of December, along with turquoise and tanzanite. Both of these stones typically remain married to some shade of blue, blue-green, or purpley-blue, but zircon really stands on its own as a stone of many colors! In fact, many scholars believe that the stone’s name comes from the word
“zarkun” which is Arabic for ‘cinnabar’ or ‘vermilion,’ while others theorize that the term is from “zargun;” the Persian word for ‘gold colored.’

The stone itself comes in colors that range all the way from yellow to green to red and reddish-brown to blue! During the Victorian era, blue zircon was especially favored. Colorless forms of zircon are often referred to as “Matara” after the city in Sri Lanka where they are

Oldest mineral in the world

mined. Australia, however, has produced an even more magnificent specimen: at 4.4 billion years old, a single piece o zircon has been found to be the oldest mineral on earth (the earth itself, for scope, is 4.5 billion years old)! Talk about looking good for your age!

Be sure to swing by Eve’s this holiday season, and let us help you pick out the perfect zircon for those lovely December birthday-havers in your life so that they can have a stone just as classic and timeless as they are!

*All Eve jewelry is guaranteed non-radioactive.