This mineral was also known in the past as jargon (from the Persian zargun); the name evolved into the word zircon, now applied to the entire mineral species.
Appearance The color may vary from a rather pale yellow to canary yellow, gold, or greenish yellow. It has the typical, striking luster of zircon. It is most often given a round or oval, mixed cut. Like most zircons, it has delicate, brittle edges.
Distinctive features Strong birefringence, easily seen with a lens, will readily distinguish it from yellow sapphire which it can resemble, and from recent artificial products, such as YAG and cubic zirconia, which may also be yellow, but are singly refractive.
The brittleness of the facet edges is also characteristic. It has the physical properties of high zircon and the absorption spectrum is normally distinctive.
Occurrence Yellow zircons come mainly from Sri Lanka and Cambodia, although those from the latter country are said to be obtained by heat treatment of brown or red brown stones.
Value Somewhat modest, lower than that of the blue and red varieties.
Simulants and synthetics Yellow-colored artificial products like YAG and cubic zirconia have been marketed very recently as zircon and, hence, can be spoken of as imitations. It is not at present manufactured synthetically.