Good afternoon everyone! A few months ago we started a new rubric: the history of the material, and we have already talked about lapislazuli, amber, turquese, aquamarine, etc. Well, today is time for a new story, new inspiration, new “hero” of our post. Today I want to talk about the zirconia.
Zirconia – is a precious gem related to minerals from the subgroup of island silicates . On East it is called “the younger brother of the diamond”, because it is very similar to its strong iridescent sheen. Even there is an opinion that zirconia – isn’t the natural stone, but artificially grown, such a piece of colored glass. It is probable that this opinion has been formed on the fact of the similarity to the natural mineral called cubic zirconia (Cubic Zirconia), which is a synthetic stone.
The mineral wasn’t known to contain a new element until 1789, when Klaproth analyzed a jargon from the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He named the new element Zirkonerde (zirconia).
Humphry Davy attempted to isolate this new element in 1808 through electrolysis, but failed. Zirconium metal was first obtained in an impure form in 1824 by Berzelius by heating a mixture of potassium and potassium zirconium fluoride in an iron tube.
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Natural zirconia stone can be yellow, brown, orange (jargon) or red (hiacynt) color. After the heat treatment a part colorless and yellowish zircons acquires the most beautiful bright turquoise color. Zirconia of such color is called (Starlite).
Zirconia stone name comes from the Persian word zargun – means “golden color”.
“Zar” in Persian means “gold” in the “gun” – color .
The crystal bar process (also known as the Iodide Process), discovered by Anton Eduard van Arkel and Jan Hendrik de Boer in 1925, was the first industrial process for the commercial production of metallic zirconium. The process involves the formation and subsequent thermal decomposition of zirconium tetraiodide. This method was superseded in 1945 by the much cheaper Kroll process developed by William Justin Kroll, in which zirconium tetrachloride is reduced by magnesium.
Zirconia can compete with lots of well-known beautiful jewels. The colorless samples are vying even with diamond for the nobility and splendor of this mineral. Very beautiful are grass-green stones and a blue-green coloration – dazzlingly bright and really rare in other gemstones.
Zirconia – is a magmatic mineral, encountered in granites, syenites and other breeds common in pegmatites. In almost all the types of igneous rocks this mineral is present.
Zirconia is widespread in Russia, Norway, Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar. Just in case, other commonnames of the mineral : hiacint and azora.
According to the Greek myth, which 2000 years ago was recounted in the “Metamorphoses” by Ovid, Hyacinth – was a beautiful young man, son of the Sparta king Amykles, friend and favorite of the god Apollo. God of wind Zephyr was very jealous of their friendship and also was enamored of a young man Hyacinth. Because of the jealousy changed the flight of a disc, released from Apollo mighty hand, when he taught his friend a sports game. Heavy disc bounced off the ground and got into in the head of Hyacinthe. Dead boy dropped, the blood spurted on his curls and the ground. Apollo whispered over the body of his friend in despair : “In my heart you’ll live forever, because we live eternally in the memory of the people.” Bloodied curls Hyacinth turned into flowers, and drops of his blood became the fossilized gems. This is the fairy story of the red zirconia appearance.
A small fraction of the zirconia is converted to the metal, which finds various niche applications. Because of zirconium’s excellent resistance to corrosion, it is often used as an alloying agent in materials that are exposed to aggressive environments, such as surgical appliances, light filaments and watch cases.
The jewelry apply colorless zircons, obtained by thermal treatment of yellow or brown stone. Popular blue and some golden-yellow zircons also prepared by heating.
It is believed that Zirconia helps with coronary heart disease. Some lithotherapists ascribe to zirconia a feature to stimulate the thyroid gland and liver. Blue stones sometimes are used in the treatment of obesity, since they greatly reduce the appetite. Stones in black color facilitate for colds caused by supercooling of the organism. In some countries, folk healers recommend to wear items with zirconia to get rid of insomnia and nightmares.
The most beautiful stones are considered to be golden-yellow ones and stones in a red hue. You can choose rings with red Swarovski zirconia elements in different types of gold in the online store nammu.com :
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