Zircon is a well-known and colorful mineral that is prominent in the gemstone/jewelry trade, and is a source of the metal Zirconium. With a wide variety of colors and shades; blue, green, yellow, red, brown and colorless, along with adamantine (diamond-like) luster and durability (7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale), it is a very desirable gem. In fact, when colorless and transparent, and with its luster and fire (reflected prism of colors), it has often been mistaken for Diamond by many an experienced jeweler. Note: Zircon should not be confused with the artificially created simulant Cubic Zirconia.
The crystal system for Zircon is tetragonal, often forming short stubby crystals, as well as prismatic crystals typically terminated with a pyramidal termination. These crystals may be doubly terminated, resembling an octahedron. Other forms include grainy, fibrous aggregates and massive.
Zircon is found throughout the world. Notable localities for quality specimens include Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Pakistan, Russia, Norway and the USA (California, Colorado).