Zircon, not to be confused with cubic zirconia, is a fascinating gem. Stones mined in Australia are the oldest mineral on earth – dated at 4.4 billion years old! It is the small inclusions of radioactive uranium or thorium in some Zircon that allows it to be dated.

Another of the ‘rainbow’ stones that has a wide variety of natural colours, Zircon is also one of the clearest. Colourless Zircon is highly reflective and known for its brilliance and flashes of colour – called fire. This makes it a very suitable alternative to diamond.

With Mohs hardness of 6 to 7.5 it is durable and can be used in most jewellery settings. However, it is susceptible to UV light which can alter its colour. Care should be taken not to overexpose it to sunlight – or to wear it when getting gel nail treatments or on a sunbed! If there is a high level of radioactive inclusions, this generally causes degradation of the crystal structure of Zircon and results in a low quality gem.

Zircon is associated with all the chakras. It is used by crystal healers to alleviate many physical and mental ailments. In the metaphysical world, it is valued as a cure for both nightmares and insomnia and promotes restful sleep. Zircon helps cope with loss and grief, and engenders enthusiasm for life and work. Zircon is used as a meditation aid and in developing psychic intuition. It is said to clear negative energy and has a protective aura. Other properties attributed to zircon are that it can attract wisdom, success, honour and wealth. Zircon is also credited with helping one become more organized.

With its wide range of colours and positive attributes, Zircon is a gemstone with general appeal.