Natural gemstone, inexpensive, a lot of fire, rich yellow shades, high luster
Relatively soft, double refractive, naturally radioactive
Zircon, is a Persian word for “golden colored”
One of the intriguing characteristics of zircon is that is exhibits a very large range of values for basic properties such as density, hardness and refractive index.
Zircon has a density of 3.93 to 4.73, a hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 and a refractive index of 1.810 to 2.024 - extraordinary wide ranges of properties in a single variety.
Zircon has a shady reputation - in the past it was commonly used by crooks to take advantage of unsuspecting people thinking they were buying real diamonds.
For a diamond replacement a colorless, yellow, brown and orange zircon are popular. Zircon is the original "fake" diamond - in the 19th century cushion cut zircons were widely used by swindlers and crooks to deceive people into thinking that they are buying a diamond. Brazilian diamonds flooding the market were low color and could be easily mistaken with light yellow zircons by unsuspecting buyers. Fake diamonds featured in various crime novels of that time were mostly zircons.
Naturally brown, red, and gray Zircons are the most common, and the colorless ones are very rare. Colorless zircon is usually brilliant cut, while colored ones are often emerald cut.