Zircon or is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate and its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO4. A common empirical formula showing some of the range of substitution in zircon is (Zr1–y, REEy)(SiO4)1–x(OH)4x–y. Zircon forms in silicate melts with large proportions of high field strength incompatible elements. For example, hafnium is almost always present in quantities ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and green. Colorless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as “Matura diamond”.
The name derives from the Persian zargun meaning gold-hued. This word is corrupted into “jargoon“, a term applied to light-colored zircons. The English word “zircon” is derived from “Zirkon,” which is the German adaptation of this word. Yellow, orange and red zircon is also known as “hyacinth“, from the flower hyacinthus, whose name is of Ancient Greek origin
Zircon occurs in many colors, including reddish brown, yellow, green, blue, gray and colorless. The color of zircons can sometimes be changed by heat treatment. Common brown zircons can be transformed into colorless and blue zircons by heating to 800 to 1000 °C. In geological settings, the development of pink, red, and purple zircon occurs after hundreds of millions of years, if the crystal has sufficient trace elements to produce color centers. Color in this red or pink series is annealed in geological conditions above temperatures of around 400 °C.[