Zircons are the oldest known mineral on Earth with specimens from Western Australia dating over 4.4 billion years old. They contain trace amounts of uranium & thorium which makes it possible to date then using modern radiometric dating processes such as uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating, fission-track dating, cathodoluminescence. Through the dating process modern analytics also found Zircons to contain water & remains of biotic life, leading to the conclusion that water & life where present on the Earth upon crystallisation over 4 billion years ago.

Some Zircons contain radioactive impurities these crystals are subject to metamictization (internal radiation damage), this disrupts the crystal structure & can potentially render the crystal amorphous, completely void of crystalline structure. This is believed to be the reason for the highly variable properties of Zircon. As the crystal modifies, the internal radiation damage can cause a decrease in density, structural degradation & colour changes, adversely affecting light refraction. Generally radioactive stones are green, brown or black. These radioactive forms of Zircon must be heated to stabilise them for gemstone use. The colour, crystal structure & transparency can be restored through various heat treatments.

The process of heat treating gemstone Zircons is some what common in the gem trade & not reserved to only the radioactive variety. Heating brown stones to 800 to 1000 °C can render then colourless & also create blue tones. Heat treated stones can exhibit photosensitive property & fade through prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Zircon primarily occurs in igneous rocks, through the metamorphism of zircon-bearing igneous rocks it can be found in metamorphic rocks. Zircon is highly resistant to chemical alteration and abrasion, when Zircon bearing rocks weather & erode Zircons will be dispersed & become part of the sedimentary rocks. Zircons can endure for billions of years undergoing many cycles of uplift, weathering, erosion & deposition. Although minute Zircon crystals are common large Zircon crystals are rare. Large crystals of high clarity are used as gemstones.

Zircons high refractive index & colour dispersion makes it an excellent gemstone, its brilliants rivals that of Diamonds. Colourless stones exhibiting gem quality are often used as a Diamond substitute, these are referred to with the market name of Matura or Matara Diamonds. Zircon exhibits double refraction & bottom facets viewed through the top cut will appear double, Diamond does not have this property & it is good test for distinguishing between the two. Zircons should not be confused with Cubic Zirconia, which is a man made product created from yttrium or calcium zirconium oxide.

The name Zircon has derived from the Persian zargun, meaning "gold-hued". Steeped in antiquity this crystal has been mined for over two thousand years & highly prized as a gemstone. Modern industrial uses are vast primarily in the form of zirconium metal & zirconia - zirconium dioxide, their high temperature resistance, ability to withstand corrosion & lack of neutron interaction have extensive applications such as piping material inside nuclear reactors, in spacecrafts, jet engines, tank engines, in refractories & as foundry tools/castings, ceramics, golf clubs, knife blades, dental crowns & as an abrasive material. 

Metaphysical Properties
The ancient wise one, as there is no older crystal formed on Earth this crystal carries with it a very special vibration. Zircon has a multi dimensional energy it is not bound by the laws of man & can be used for all levels of energy work or discovery, there is no limit to its capabilities.

It connects the heart & soul freeing the mind & opening it to endless possibility. Keeping truth illuminated it enhancing the ability to see the truth in all aspects of existence, gifting great wisdom to those whom are willing to listen & learn. It imparts a solid resonance of endurance & resilience helping one stay focused during tough times. Zircon shows problems as a gift, an opportunity for growth & not an obstacle to it. It helps to build & fortify great inner strength boosting courage & fearlessness to break the chains that bind.

Zircon gives clarity showing the truth behind fear & judgment both internal & external, guiding one to a place of compassion & understanding. It helps boost confidence while reducing vulnerability to negative forces. With its gift of clarity it strengthens the mind to recognise & reject false or oppressive realities that may be forced upon one by the self or external parties. Aiding one to keep an open heart particularly while under personal attacks, it teaches how to rise above negativity from ignorant close minded individuals & not take their lack of understanding or acceptance personally. It teaches one to formulate their own concepts of life & accept but not adopt the different perceptions of others that you do not resonate with. Dissolves anger associated with mistreatment & unfairness allowing the release of residual pain, trauma or anguish from unpleasant experiences. This helps one to not get stuck in a time replay loop but to let go & move on taking the lessons to grow without pain that stifles growth.

Zircon removes the illusion of duality showing light & dark as equally valuable parts of evolution. It teaches deep gratitude for life’s cycles & how to embrace the transitions between growth stages. Historically considered to hold great magic it was used as a traveling amulet for guidance & protection. It is said to invoke the presence of guardian angels & guardian spirits. Eastern cultures have long believed wearing Zircon endowed the wearer with wisdom, honor & riches. It is also excellent for abundance magic & manifesting. It helps to generate & sustain the vibrations of love, gratitude & abundance making it great for meditation & magical practices. 

Crystal Healing
Healers will find it very useful for tracking energy blockage issues & excellent for isolating & removing root causes.

Group: Nesosilicate
Crystal System: Tetragonal
Composition: ZrSiO4
Form/Habit: tabular to prismatic crystals, irregular grains, massive
Hardness: 6.5-7.5
Cleavage: Indistinct
Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven
Lustre: Vitreous to adamantine; greasy when metamict
Streak: White
Specific Gravity: 3.93–4.73
Transparency: Transparent to opaque
R.I: 1.810-2.024
Colour: Colourless, yellow, brown, green, blue, gray, red & violet.
Birefringence: δ = 0.047–0.055
Pleochroism: Weak yellow tones
Strunz Classification: 9.AD.30
Other Characteristics: Fluorescent & radioactive, may form pleochroic halos.

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