What is zircon?
Zircon, a natural mineral, is chemically composed of zirconium silicate. It can contain traces of iron, manganese, calcium, uranium and thorium. Due to the presence of radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium, the degree of crystallization of zircon can be reduced to varying degrees. Zircon is a silicate mineral, which is the main ore used to refine zirconium metal. Zircon is widely found in acidic igneous rocks and is also produced in metamorphic rocks and other sediments. Zircon is chemically stable, so gem-quality zircon can be found in river gravel. From the Wikipedia explanation, today we are going to learn what is used to make jewelry zircon.
What is the difference between zircon and cubic zirconia?
As a matter of fact, zircon is a very beautiful natural gemstone that has been sought after since ancient times. Zircon is a natural mineral that usually contains elements such as hafnium, uranium and thorium. In gemstone and jewelry applications, zircon usually refers to man-made zircon, a synthetic material created chemically with the chemical formula ZrSiO4, a hardness of 7.5, relatively transparent, and commonly used in jewelry settings.
Cubic zirconia is a synthetic material with the chemical formula ZrO2. It has very high hardness and wear resistance and is therefore widely used in industrial and scientific applications such as the manufacture of high-pressure oxygen cylinders, and artificial bones in medicine and dentistry. In addition, due to its similarity in appearance to diamonds, cubic zirconia is also often used as a substitute for imitation diamonds in jewelry manufacturing.
Differences between zircon and diamond
- Chemical composition: The chemical formula of zircon is ZrSiO4, while that of a diamond is C. Zircon is a zirconium-containing silicate mineral, while a diamond is a crystal composed of pure carbon.
- Hardness: Diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth, it has a hardness of 10, while zircon has a hardness of around 7.5. This also means that diamonds are more hard-wearing and harder to scratch than zircon.
- Luster: Diamonds have a very bright luster with a very high refractive index and scattering rate, while zircon has a softer luster with a lower refractive index and scattering rate.
- Price: Due to their rarity and high hardness, diamonds are usually much more expensive than zircons. In contrast, zircon is relatively inexpensive and is often used as an alternative to diamonds.
How to differentiate between diamonds and zircons when buying jewelry?
- Hardness Test: The hardness of zircon and diamond can be differentiated using the diamond scratch test. Since diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, they can be used to scratch other substances. If a stone can be scratched or nicked, then it is not a diamond.
- Optical test: Diamonds have a very high refractive index and scattering rate, so light reflects off the surface of a diamond with a bright fire. Zircon has a lower refractive index and scattering rate, so it does not produce this fire color. You can use a magnifying glass or microscope to see the details of the stone’s surface and the fire color.
- Thermal conductivity test: Diamonds have a very high thermal conductivity while zircon has a lower thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of a stone can be measured using an instrument called a thermal conductivity meter.
- Color test: Diamonds are usually colorless or have a yellowish or brownish tint, while zircon can show a variety of different colors.
Are zircons radioactive?
Some zircons are treated with artificial radiation to change their color. This treatment is called “radio chroming”. In this process, the zircon is exposed to radioactive material or high-energy electron beams to change its original color. This treatment can result in zircon taking on more vibrant color, such as blue or red.
However, it is important to note that radiation-treated zircon may have certain effects on human health, so in some countries and regions there are restrictions on the sale and use of radiation-treated zircon. If you are considering purchasing a radiation-treated zircon, it is best to know its radiation history and source and consult a professional jewelry appraiser for advice.
Which countries and regions have restrictions on radiation-treated zircon?
Many countries and regions have restrictions on the sale and use of radiation-treated zircon. The following are some common restrictions:
- USA: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires radiation-treated zircon to be clearly labeled and prohibits it from being marked as “natural” or “untreated”.
- EU: The European Union imposes strict regulatory and labeling requirements for radiation-treated zircon.
- Australia: Australia requires that radiation-treated zircon be clearly labeled and subject to specific regulations for sale and use.
- Canada: Canada imposes strict regulatory and labeling requirements for radiation-treated zircon.
What colors does Zircon come in?
Zircon can come in many different colors, including white, clear, yellow, orange, red, yellow-green, green, blue, purple, brown, and gray. Of these colors, white and clear zircon are the most common, while other colors are usually the result of artificial treatments or color-altering treatments.
Here are some common zircon colors:
- White and clear: These are the most common zircon colors and are usually used in jewelry that imitates diamonds.
- Blue: Artificially treated zircon can appear blue, and this blue zircon is often used in imitation sapphire jewelry.
- Yellow and Orange: These colors of zircon are usually used in jewelry that imitates yellow diamonds or orange stones.
- Red: Artificially treated zircon can appear red, and these red zircons are often used in jewelry imitating rubies.
- Green: Artificially treated zircon can appear green, and these green zircons are often used in jewelry that imitates emeralds.
Which color of zircon is best for everyday wear jewelry?
White or clear zircon is one of the most suitable colors for everyday jewelry. This is because this color of zircon looks very similar to diamonds and is more versatile, which makes it go well with a variety of outfits and occasions.
Also, if you prefer some colored zirconia, then darker zirconia is more suitable for everyday wear jewelry than lighter-colored zirconia. This is because darker-colored zircons are usually less prone to scratches or wear and tear than lighter-colored zircons, and can maintain their beautiful appearance better.
Whichever color zirconia you choose, it is best to select a higher quality stone and take care to avoid contact with chemicals during daily wear and to maintain its beautiful appearance and durability.
Is Zircon expensive?
Compared to natural diamonds, zircon is much cheaper. Zircon is a man-made gemstone that can be manufactured through methods such as chemical synthesis or smelting, making it less expensive to produce and relatively less expensive. Also, zircon is often used as a substitute for diamonds because of its similarity in appearance and luster to diamonds.
The price of zircon usually depends on its quality and color. The better the quality and the rarer the color, the higher the price of the zircon. Generally, white or clear zircon is cheaper, while darker or more saturated zircon is relatively more expensive.
Overall, zircons are much cheaper than natural diamonds, but they are similar to diamonds in appearance and luster, making them an affordable jewelry material for those on a budget but still wanting beautiful jewelry.
How do the hardness and durability of zircon compare to diamonds?
The hardness and durability of zircon are low compared to diamonds. Diamond is one of the hardest minerals on the planet and it has a hardness score of 10, which is the highest substance on the Mohs hardness scale. Zircon, on the other hand, has a hardness score between 7.5 and 8.5, which is comparatively much lower. As a result, zircon is prone to scratches and abrasions during daily wear and care and needs to be treated with more care.
In addition, zircon is less durable than diamond. The crystal structure of zircon is relatively less stable and is susceptible to damage or rupture due to high temperatures, chemicals, mechanical shocks and other factors. Therefore, when wearing or caring for zircon jewelry, you need to be careful to avoid contact with chemicals, mechanical shocks, high temperatures, and other factors.
Overall, although zircon and diamond are very similar in appearance, they differ greatly in hardness and durability. If you are considering purchasing zircon jewelry, it is best to choose a higher quality stone and treat it with care when wearing and caring for it in order to maintain its beautiful appearance and prolong its life.
Does zircon jewelry tend to fade?
Zircon itself is a man-made gemstone and will not fade due to age or oxidation like natural gemstones. However, zircon jewelry may have problems with fading due to certain external factors.
One of the main reasons is the plating of zircon jewelry. Many zircon jewelry pieces are plated, which adds luster and color vibrancy to the zircon by coating the surface with a metal or other material. However, this plating may gradually wear off or peel off due to wear and tear or prolonged use, causing the color of the zircon to dull or lose its luster.
In addition, zircon jewelry is also susceptible to color fading caused by other chemicals, such as perfumes, cosmetics, and detergents. These chemicals may damage the plating on the surface of the zircon or directly affect the color and luster of the zircon.
What cleaning methods are suitable for zircon jewelry?
Cleaning methods for zircon jewelry require care to avoid using overly strong cleaners or tools that may damage the zircon surface plating or cause scratches. Here are some suitable cleaning methods:
- Mild soap and water cleaning method: mix warm water and a small amount of mild soap, then gently brush the surface of zircon jewelry with a soft brush, then rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.
- Alcohol cleaning method: use diluted alcohol or medical alcohol to clean zircon jewelry, gently brush the surface with a brush, then rinse with water, and finally dry with a clean cloth.
- Jewelry cleaner: You can choose a special jewelry cleaner to clean zircon jewelry, according to the instructions of the cleaner can be used.
Where can I buy zircon jewelry?
Venusacc uses zirconia of the highest quality and quality for the processing and manufacturing of jewelry. For more than a decade, we have produced zircon jewelry including rings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants and jewelry sets. With gold and diamonds skyrocketing, we offer a wide range of options for many people who love jewelry but can’t afford the cost of expensive jewelry. If you are planning to open a jewelry store and would like to know about zircon jewelry, please contact us.