Zircon is said to have been derived from the Arabic word "Zirk" which means "Jewel" though some say that it comes from the Arabic "Zarqun" which means "Red" or from the Persian word "Zargun" which means "Golden". Nevertheless, it was in 1783 that Abraham Werner gave this precious stone the name Zircon.

In Sanskrit it is known as Rahuratna, the stone of the nodes of the moon or the dragons of the solar and lunar eclipses. These dragons are the two kundalini serpents, and the two snakes of the Caduceus of Mercury.

Zircon is a natural mineral with a zirconium silicate chemical composition and is the main source of the element zirconium. It is a lustrous white-gray metal resembling titanium.

Not many people know about zircon even though it is a natural stone and is rarer than a diamond. Not only that but it has been in the earth for 4.5 billion years proving that zircon lasts forever instead of the heavily commercialised and propagated diamonds.

Zircon has a high refractive index (1.810 to 2.024), which is somewhat close to that of diamond (2.417 to 2.419). It also has a double refraction. This means that light entering the gemstone splits into two rays of light and you get double the sparkle of that of a diamond. Hence, zircon comes also with an impressive fire or dispersion which is the ability to split white light into many spectral colors.

Zircon has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is transparent to translucent with a vitreous to brilliant sheen luster.

Blue Zircon has a very weak light-orange fluorescence and the red and brown Zircon has a weak, dark-yellow fluorescence.

Zircon can also exhibit tenebrescence. This describes the ability of the mineral to change colour after it is exposed to sunlight, darkness, or under incandescent light. Some specimens can change from orange to colorless when left in the sun then slowly return to orange when kept in the dark.

Zircon is often confused with the lab-created material known as Cubic Zirconia. This is because both of these gemstones have a close resemblance to colorless diamonds. However, it is the synthetic Cubic Zirconia that has remained the main competitor of colorless diamond since 1976, the year that its commercial production began. Another synthetic gemstone that is competing with the colorless diamond is Moissanite.

The affordable white zircon is often sold as “Matura Diamond”. This is unscrupulous marketing which intentionally misleads consumers into thinking that they are buying a "diamond".

Zircon comes in a variety of colors such as colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, black, green and blue. The various colors are due to traces of impurities.

The light electric blue zircon with pleochroism (which looks green in one direction) is the most sought after. It comes from Cambodia or Burma, and the blue is obtained by heat treatment. Thus, this blue is not its natural color. Blue zircons are nearly always naturally brown before being heat-treated.

Another zircon that is often heat-treated is the Yellow Zircon and this is done to improve its color. Nonetheless, untreated specimens of yellow zircon can sometimes be found.

The colorless zircon for some unknown reason is the least popular.

Green zircon is extremely rare. The green color is caused by minute radioactive elements of uranium and thorium and sometimes it is also heated to lighten the green color.

The rose and rose-orange zircon from Tanzania and orange and orange-brown zircon from Cambodia are rare.

Trade names for zircon include:

Canary zircon which is yellow in color just like the canary bird.

Chocolate zircon is brown in color.

Ratanakari zircon is a blue zircon named after the Cambodian mine where it is found.

Mashewa zircon is an orange variety from the Mashewa mine in Tanzania.

Hyacinth is the yellow, orange and red zircon which is also known as "hyacinth", from the flower hyacinthus, its name of ancient Greek origin.

Jargoon or jargon (occasionally in old writings jargounce and jacounce) is a name applied by gemologists to those zircons which are fine enough to be cut as gemstones, but are not of the red color which characterizes the hyacinth or jacinth. Some of the finest jargoons are green, others brown and yellow, whilst some are colorless.

Zircon is as old as the earth itself. For example, a zircon found in Australia in 2014 was found to be 4.5 billion years old.

Zircon is one of the key minerals used by geologists for geochronology. As zircon contain traces of radioactive elements, its radioactive isotopes can determine the geologic history of the Earth and extraterrestrial bodies. Due to this, geoscientists have created the discipline of "zirconology".

Most zircon gemstone come free from inclusions. That is to say, these inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye and can only be seen under magnification. The most valuable zircons are transparent to translucent with that dazzling birefringence that makes them different from other gemstones.

During the Middle Ages, Zircon was believed to be able to help the wearer to sleep and to ward off nightmares.

It was also believed that Zircon gives honor, wisdom and prosperity to its owner.

Each color in Zircon have different metaphysical and healing properties. For example, the colorless zircon is great for purifying the mind.

White Zircon is believed to bring good fortune to those born under the sign of Taurus and Libra.

Zircons are one of three birthstones for the month of December.

Zircon can be found in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka, in Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and Nigeria. Sri Lanka and Cambodia providing premium priced clear stones and Cambodia also being the source of the finest blue varieties.