Blue Zircon: A Captivating December Birthstone,

Blue Zircon: A Captivating December Birthstone

Welcome to The Bench Jewellery blog, where we explore popular gemstones found in modern and historical jewellery design. As the year winds down, December brings with it two special birthstones: blue zircon and tanzanite. In this article, we’ll focus on blue zircon, renowned for its vivid hues and sparkling clarity. This gem is not just a birthstone but a jewel rich in history and allure. In this article, we'll delve into what makes blue zircon so special, from its origins to its place in both historical and modern settings.

What is Blue Zircon?

Blue zircon, sometimes mistaken for its synthetic counterpart cubic zirconia, is a natural gemstone known for its high refractive index and exceptional brilliance. It's a variety of the mineral zircon, which comes in a variety of colours, but it's the blue tones, ranging from pastel to a deep azure, that make it particularly coveted.

Sourcing Blue Zircon

This gemstone is found in several locations around the world, with Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand being notable sources. The most prized blue zircons come from Cambodia, where the gemstone is often found in alluvial deposits. The mining process for blue zircon is often done by hand, making it a labour-intensive endeavour.

Historical Popularity and Modern Appeal

Historically, blue zircon was believed to have healing properties and was used to ward off evil. In the Middle Ages, it was particularly popular for its supposed ability to induce sleep and ward off spirits. Today, its popularity is driven more by its aesthetic appeal – its striking blue colour and brilliant lustre make it a favourite for jewellery, especially for those seeking a unique and vibrant alternative to more traditional gems.

Despite its captivating beauty and historical significance, this gem doesn't have the same level of fame in historical jewellery pieces as some other gemstones like diamonds, rubies, or sapphires. This is partly due to its lesser-known status and the fact that it was often overshadowed by these more prominent gemstones in historical jewellery.

The inclusion of blue zircon in the modern list of birthstones (standardized in 1912) provided a boost to its popularity, as it became more widely recognized and sought after for its association with those born in December.

Interesting Facts About Blue Zircon

  • Age: Some zircon crystals are among the oldest elements on earth, dating back over 4.4 billion years.
  • Double Refraction: Blue zircon exhibits a property known as double refraction, where light splits into two paths as it passes through the gem, enhancing its sparkle.
  • Color Variety: Heat treatment is often used to enhance or change the colour of zircon, with the most desired shade being a vivid blue.
  • Durability: While zircon is a hard gemstone, it can be brittle and prone to chipping, making it essential to set it carefully in jewellery.

Additional Noteworthy Aspects

  • Versatility in Design: At The Bench Jewellery, we appreciate blue zircon's versatility. It can be cut into various shapes and styles, fitting beautifully into everything from vintage designs to modern, minimalist pieces.
  • Care Tips: To maintain its brilliance, blue zircon should be cleaned with mild soap and water and stored separately to avoid scratches.
  • Symbolism: As a December birthstone, it's often associated with prosperity and wisdom, making it a thoughtful gift for those born in this month.

Blue zircon is more than just a birthstone for December. Its rich history, unique properties, and stunning appearance make it a gemstone that stands out in any jewellery collection. Whether you're in Kamloops, Chilliwack, or Kelowna, our shops at The Bench Jewellery are equipped to help you find or create the perfect blue zircon piece. From design to repair and restoration, we're here to bring the beauty of blue zircon into your life.

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We hope you enjoyed this exploration of blue zircon. Visit our Resources page for more birthstone and gemstone insights from The Bench Jewellery, including an intro to birthstones and insights into the other December birthstone, tanzanite.