Is zircon a real gemstone?

Zircon stone may be the most wronged gem in the world! I don’t know when, people began to call all counterfeit diamonds zircon, thinking that zircon is synonymous with counterfeit diamonds and inferior diamonds.


Why does zircon become synonymous with "diamond counterfeit goods" in everyone's mouth? Because in the early years, the most commonly used material on the market to imitate diamonds was synthetic cubic zirconia, also commonly known as Soviet diamonds. It is a synthetic material that can synthesize a variety of colors, very similar to diamonds. This material is well known to consumers as a counterfeit of diamonds. But the name of synthetic cubic zirconia is too long to remember, and slowly evolved into "zircon." As a natural gemstone, real zircon appears less and less in everyone's sight, so that when everyone hears "zircon", they are sure that it is a counterfeit diamond.

Most people don’t know that pure zircon is actually a very good natural gemstone, not inferior to many popular gemstones in terms of its properties. It is such a natural gem bred in nature that has been criticized for many years because of various rumors. The luster is diamond to glass luster, and the dispersion value is 0.038. This value has already "stepped on the feet" of many gems, so the strong dispersion is a highlight of zircon. The cut zircon looks full of fire, even not inferior to the brilliance of diamonds.


The difference between zircon and synthetic cubic zirconia

  1. Different identification methods

Zircon has polarization rotation and strong birefringence, and the difference between the two refractive indexes is relatively large, resulting in a very special optical phenomenon. When observing the polished zircon faceted gemstone with a magnifying glass, looking down from its top surface, it can be seen that the ridgeline at the bottom has obvious double shadows, and because the diamond is a "homogeneous body", there is no double shadow phenomenon.

Synthetic cubic zirconia was first developed by the Soviets and is the most ideal diamond substitute or counterfeit product. Soviet diamonds are man-made compounds and have no natural minerals, but they are very close to natural diamonds in terms of dispersion and refractive index, and they also have the attractive appearance of sparkling fire. But its hardness is low, and it can be distinguished from diamonds. The specific gravity is 1.6 to 1.7 times that of diamonds, reaching 5.6 to 6, and the thermal conductivity is much lower than that of diamonds. It can be identified by a "thermal conductivity meter" to accurately distinguish it from diamonds.


  1. Different in nature

Synthetic cubic zirconia is a crystal that is hard, colorless and optically flawless. Because the appearance is similar to diamonds, coupled with low cost, durable, and strong plasticity. Therefore, it has been the most important substitute for diamonds since 1976. In recent years, artificially cultivated silicon carbide with properties closer to diamonds has also competed with cubic zirconia to replace diamonds.

Zircon is the main ore for extracting metallic zirconium, and it is a silicate mineral. Zircon is widely found in acidic igneous rocks, as well as metamorphic rocks and other sediments. The chemical properties of zircon are extremely stable, and gem-grade zircon can be seen even in the gravel of the river. There are many types of zircon, and different zircons have different colors, such as black, white, green, or colorless and transparent. The cut gem-quality zircon resembles a diamond.


  1. Different characteristics

Natural zircon has strong glass luster to sub-diamond luster and high dispersion. Zircon can be used as a diamond substitute, so some people call it "Sri Lanka Diamond" and "Bangkok Diamond". Due to the high refractive index and strong dispersion of zircon, the colorless and transparent zircon is cut into a round diamond-shaped gemstone, which will have the brightness and fire color similar to that of a diamond.

Due to the difference in refractive index, the cut of cubic zirconia will be different from the cut of diamond, which can be found by careful observation under a magnifying glass. Cubic zirconia can be made into the highest grade of diamond color, that is, grade D color.

The thermal conductivity of cubic zirconia and diamond is at two extremes. Cubic zirconia can be used as a thermal insulation material for jet engines and is an excellent thermal insulation material. Diamond is one of the best thermal conductors, and its thermal conductivity exceeds that of copper. As long as you use appropriate equipment, you can reasonably distinguish between the two based on the attributes.


So, how to distinguish the true and false of zircon?

  1. Transparency test: If you draw a line on the paper and place the "zircon" on the paper, if the line can be seen through the "zircon", it is not zircon, because zircon will be 100 % Of light reflection, you should not be able to see anything clearly.
  2. Humidity test: breathing into the ore, which spreads very quickly. The surface of zircon is very smooth, it cannot retain water and condensed liquid.
  3. Defect test: carefully observe the zircon with a magnifying glass. If you can observe some small defects inside the ore, then this is a real zircon. The probability of a perfectly flawless zircon is extremely small, while fake zircon is always exceptionally pure and clear.


There were many legends about zircon meaning in the Middle Ages. It is said that zircon gemstones of different colors have different effects on people. For example, wearing red zircon can play a hypnotic effect; red zircon can make the wearer rich, and some red zircon can make people smart and wise, can drive away plague and evil, and so on. Some people now use zircon (lapis lazuli and turquoise together) as the birthstone in December, symbolizing "good luck and success."

Olive green zircon: The success stone of your career, can bring you unexpected good luck in your career.

Fruit green zircon: make you young, keep a relaxed and happy mood. Yellow gold zircon: Wangcai.

Champagne zircon: elegant temperament is displayed at any time, a symbol of nobility.

White zircon: pure and safe. Purple orchid, purple red zircon: make the mind smarter and clearer.

Light blue zircon: interpersonal relationships are multiplying


Although the value of zircon is inferior to diamond in some respects, it is still very advantageous compared to other low- and medium-grade gemstone jewelry. The price of zircon is low and everyone can enjoy it. And expensive diamonds are not affordable for most people. Compared with this, zircon is still very cost-effective, and it is also quite popular in the jewelry industry. Today, among young people who are chasing trends, you can see the epitome of zircon rings and zircon necklaces at any time. As long as you choose the right zircon accessories, it can shine like a diamond.