4.4 billion years old & protection against evil
December babies, listen up! Your month actually has multiple accepted birthstones (turquoise, topaz, tanzanite, and zircon.) Let’s talk about zircon. According to a Jewish legend, an angel was sent to the Garden of Eden to watch over Adam and Eve. That angel was named Zircon. This might be one of the reasons that the stone is associated with purity, integrity, honor, and chastity. Zircon is also said to offer the wearer protection from evil and enemies, and even help relieve pain, heal illness, & prevent nightmares.
The oldest rock ever discovered was a 4.375 billion year old zircon, found in Australia. That’s almost as old as the planet itself! The oldest diamonds are only 3.3 billion years old – zircon has them beat, no contest. Zircon is one of the toughest minerals on the planet (they’d have to be, to survive for billions of years) and they’ve been recording geologic events the whole time. Zircon contains uranium, a radioactive element, that changes the stone’s chemical structure and color over time. This gives us insight into the conditions on Earth as life first began forming.
Zircon comes in an array of colors, including brown, green, orange, yellow, red, and even clear. Clear zircon is one of the most brilliant gems, and was frequently used as a diamond alternative in the 19th century. (Although their names are similar, cubic zirconia is entirely different – a manmade diamond imitation.) The most popular is the sparkling blue-green version. Many zircons are heat treated to achieve this desired shade that is most associated with December’s birthstone.