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Antique Genuine Natural Russian Two and One-Half Carat Faceted Burnt Cognac Orange Colored Zircon Faceted Marquise Cut Semi-Precious Gemstone.

CLASSIFICATION: Marquise Cut Faceted Orange Zircon.

ORIGIN: Russia. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 12mm. Width: 5 1/2 mm. Depth: 4mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: Approximately 2.46 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstone as a ring, pendant, or into earrings.

DETAIL: A remarkably gorgeous, sparkling, one-of-a-kind marquise cut burnt cognac orange colored faceted zircon with all the flash and brilliance of a diamond. Renown for the production of the fabled gemstones and jewelry of Russian Czars from the Medieval through Renaissance and Victorian Eras, this gemstone was hand cut and hand polished by a Russian artisan. This stunningly brilliant gemstone was hand faceted into this sparkling marquise in the 19th century for use in indigenous jewelry. It looks ever so much like an orange colored diamond. Zircon was used for centuries as a diamond substitute, and in general can easily fool most anyone, even many jewelers, into believing that they are diamonds. They are exceeding difficult to distinguish from the highest quality diamonds due to their high refractive index.

The trained eye will easily discern from the photo that the gemstone has been hand-faceted. The coarseness of the 19th century faceting is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment. Unlike today's computer controlled machine processes, the cut and finish of gemstones such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-faceted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.

This gemstone possesses superb luster and sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent, but it is not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". To the eye it is indeed flawless; however magnified 500%, as it is here, you might be able to pick out one or two slight imperfections (included material) within the gemstone, barely perceptible even at such high magnification, and as well occasional irregularities in the faceting and finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY: The word zircon originated in the 18th century from the Persian word "Zargon", which means "gold colored", due to the yellow color of the zircon gemstones found there. In history the first references are in Hindu mythology, many thousands of years old. In Europe in the Middle Ages zircon was also worn by travelers as a protective amulet, and was believed to ward off lightning strokes. It was believed to drive away plagues, evil spirits, and nightmares. Zircon occurs in a rainbow of colors including blue, yellow, green, brown, orange and colorless. Over the years, zircon has been called by many names. The name "hyacinth" or "jacinth" was used for reddish brown zircon. "Jargon", or "jargoon", described lighter yellow to nearly colorless zircons.

Historically the colorless form of Zircon, known as "Matara diamond", has been the most popular and the most costly. White zircon as it is called today looks more like diamond than any other natural stone due the high refractive index of zircon. These physical properties cause zircon to come very close to diamonds in fire and brilliancy. Blue zircon was immensely popular in the 1880's and was used extensively in Victorian jewelry. In fact, jewelry from this period is a principal source today of blue zircons over five carats. Blue zircon and colorless zircon remain the most sought after and costly forms of zircon. Colorless zircon is occasionally confused with "cubic zirconia" due to the fact that both have been used a substitutes for diamonds. Cubic zirconia is a man-made synthetic gemstones. Zircon is a natural gemstone.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".