Red Zircons cut into a really super flashy and popular finished stone so the price for this rough has been going nuts lately. I've been offered a few parcels of really outstanding material but the price has just been too much. So here's where I did some thinking and came up with the common element between all of the reds being sold, heat treatment. Now if you see a rose colored Zircon like this one:
It's a pretty safe assumption that it's been cooked even if the seller doesn't say it. So why pay for heat treatment on these if you can do it yourself? And you can do it yourself but be careful and take appropriate precautions. There are videos on facebook showing a faceted Zircon being heated on a conventional electric stove top although I'd recommend doing it in a pan with a glass lid.
Anyway, Long story short, I was able to get a shipment of unheated red Zircon facet rough. These are all extremely dark but can be heated to a lighter color. I recommend first faceting your stone and then doing the heat treating so you can stop at whatever level or color you want. Zircon's just about the only stone that can take a rapid heating and cooling so I would NOT try this with any other stone. Here are a couple of video's of my friend Steve Ulstowski, of New Era Gems, heat treating one of these on a electric burner- Pete
I've been asked about the difference between the Cambodian and Nigerian Blue Zircons. Specifically, the difference in how they cut and the appearance of the cut stones. From my experience with them, so far I cannot tell of any difference :)
A stunning Rhodolite cut by my good friend Christiane Morin