|Zircon is known since the Middle Ages. The oldest known zircons are from Western Australia, with an age of 4.4 billion years. The name probably comes from the Persian word “zargun” which means “gold-colored,” although zircon comes in a wide range of different colors. The most popular zircon-color is blue.Most blue gemstones come in a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, violet, yellow, brown, and orange. Due to its high refractive index and strong dispersion, zircon has great brilliance and intensive fire. The luster is vitreous to a brilliant sheen. Although relatively hard (rating 6.5-7.5 on Mohs scale) zircon is brittle and therefore sensitive to knocks and pressure. The gem has the tendency to wear along facet edges. Its use in rings should therefore be limited to protective settings or occasional wear jewelry. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully.Zircon is a birthstone for those who are born in December.
Colorless stones are brilliant cut. They can fraudulently been offered for “matura” diamond. On the other hand, natural zircon can be confused with synthetic cubic zirconia, a common diamond look-alike. Colored stones get a brilliant or step (emerald) cut.
Round stones are often given a “zircon” cut which is similar to a standard round brilliant cut with an extra row of facets at the edges.
Zircon location and deposits
Common Zircon treatments
The Zircon zodiac, myth & legend
Hindu poets wrote of the “Kalpa Tree”, the ultimate gift to the gods, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon.
In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages one believed that the cosmos reflects in the gemstones. The zircon is assigned to planet Pluto. The esoteric movement revived the ancient believe and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.
The healing powers of gems remain a controversial issue, but are mentioned for centuries by healers, shamans and medicine men. Whether it’s a fact or a placebo effect doesn’t matter, if it helps. The safest approach is to wear the gemstone in skin contact to the troubled part of the body. Zircon is said to be of help for varicose veins, blisters and testicles problems.
-information re-blogged from Gemselect.com
Making wax models of the pair of wedding bands I’m working on for my brother’s upcoming wedding this summer is both easy and requires skilled hands. The wax is like a soft plastic, so it’s durable and can take hard work and tools. But working in 3-D has never been something I’ve been adept with.
Carving or sculpting something to be later cast in metal requires you to “see” the final shape in the wax. You have to have a kind of x-ray vision to know what parts of the material you’ll need to remove, and what needs to stay.
I started carving the ladies band first, and will model the mens on it. The whole set is based (as you’ll know if you’d happened on parts 1 & 2 of this series) on my mother’s engagement ring; a beautiful yellow gold solitaire, with a simple band that just has a simple, gentle peaked edge along the top.
Once the main shape is carved with rough rasps, a finer one is used to smooth out lines and ridges.
Finally (and I’m not quite there yet) a very fine rasp followed by rubbing with denim cloth or pantyhose will polish the wax to a lovely finish. The great thing about casting in wax is that if you finish the wax perfectly and with a lot of care, it requires only minimal cleanup and hand-finishing once the metal version comes out of the casting tank.
I love this because it’s sooo true! Cartoon from Washington Post C 1993