Natural zircon today suffers on account of the similarity of its name to cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation. Many people are unaware that there is a beautiful natural gemstone called zircon.
Zircon occurs in a wide range of colors, but for many years the most popular was the colorless variety, which looks more like diamond than any other natural stone because of its brilliance and dispersion. Today the most popular color is blue zircon, which is considered an alternative birthstone for December. Most blue zircon is a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. The blue color occurs when heating brownish colored zircons from certain locations.
Zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and other countries. Cambodia is arguably the world’s premiere source for gorgeous zircon. Sixty-three miles north of Angkor Wat, close to the Cambodian-Thai border, lay the mines of Preah Vihear, the source of some of the world’s finest blue zircon. Remote, primitive and stunningly beautiful, Ratanakiri is another major center for Cambodian Zircon. Ratanakiri literally means “Gemstone Mountain”.
Treatments: All blue zircon has been heat-treated. There are natural colors of zircon though, such as green and yellow.