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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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See our: blue zirkon jewelry.

A fanciful name given to the blue variety of zircon. They are so called from a supposed resemblance to starlight, being named by George F. Kunz (1856-1932), an American gem expert. The bright vivid blue color was obtained by heating the original dark-brown stones in primitive ovens with fluxes. These stones were quite popular in the thirties of last century. Starlite, being a variety of zircon, is not to be confused with cubic zirconia, a synthetic substance with a completely different chemical composition.

The earliest use of zircon as a gemstone is unknown, but carved zircons have been found in some of the most ancient archaeological sites. The name zircon either derives from the Arabic word zarqun, meaning vermilion, or from the Persian "zargun" or "zarkun" meaning red, or or a combination of the ancient Persian words "zar" (gold) and "gun" (color) meaning golden-colored. These words are corrupted into "jargoon", a term applied to light-colored zircons. Zircon has appeared in literature throughout history under a variety of names. Most of these designations are no longer in use, but some are still associated with specific colors.Yellow zircon is called hyacinth, from a word of East Indian origin; in the Middle Ages all yellow stones of East Indian origin were called hyacinth, but today this term is restricted to the yellow zircons.

Zircon is regarded as the traditional birthstone for December.

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