Good afternoon everyone! For some months we have started a section called” the history of the material”, and we are already talking about lapis lazuli, amber, turquoise, aquamarine, amethyst, among others.
Well, it’s time for a new story, a new inspiration, a new hero of our publication, today I want to tell you about zirconia.
Zirconia is a gemstone, family of minerals from the subgroup of island silicates. In the east, it is called” the little brother of the diamond” because it is very similar to its strong iridescent sheen. There is even an opinion that zirconia is not a natural stone, but it grew artificially. It is likely that this opinion has been formed based on the similarity with the natural mineral called cubic zirconia, which is synthetic.
It was not known that the ore contained a new element, but until 1789, whenKlaproth analyzed a jargon of the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He named the new element Zirkonerde (zirconia). Humphry Davy tried to isolate this new element in 1808, through electrolysis, but failed. The zirconium metal was first obtained in an impure form in 1824 by Berzelius, heating a mixture of potassium and potassium zirconium fluoride in an iron tube.
The natural zirconia stone can be yellow, brown, orange or red. After the heat treatment, the translucent and yellowish zirconia acquire the most beautiful and bright turquoise blue. The zirconia of this color is called Starlite.
The name of the zirconia stone comes from the Persian word zargun, which means golden color.
The glass 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 the zirconium tetrachloride.This method was replaced in 1945 by the more economical process of Kroll, developed by William Justin Kroll, in which zirconium tetrachloride is reduced by magnesium.
Zirconia stone can compete with heaps of recognized gems. The uncoloured specimens even rival the diamond for the nobility and splendor of this mineral. The grass green and blue-green stones are very beautiful, their luster is hypnotic and very rare to find in other stones.
Zirconia is a magmatic mineral, found in granite, sianito and other common varieties in pegmatites. This material is present in almost all types of igneous rocks.
Zirconia is expanded by Russia, Norway, Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar. Other common names of the mineral are: hyacinth and azora.
According to the Greek myth, which was counted 2000 in Ovid’s “Metamorphosis”, Hyacinth was a beautiful young man, son of the King of Sparta Amykles, friend and favorite of the god Apollo. The wind god Zephyr was very jealous of his friendship and he was also in love with a young Hyacinth. Due to the jealousy, he changed the flight of a disc dismissed of the powerful hand of Apollo while it taught a sport.