What’s in a Name?
The colorless variety of Zircon has often been aligned with Diamond, as noted above. With the advent of Cubic Zirconia (CZ, a zirconium dioxide), colorless Zircon (a zirconium silicate) became tagged to this very inexpensive diamond substitute, lessening its popularity and value as its own unique gem material.
The blue variety of Zircon is one of three birthstones for the month of December but overshadowed by Blue Topaz (very popular and very affordable), along with newcomer Tanzanite, also outpacing Zircon in popularity.
This under-appreciation and continuous reference as merely a substitute, imitation, or synthetic didn’t just occur with Zircon but also Spinel, as synthetic spinels were used in class rings and mother’s rings, pendants, and brooches, causing the natural gem to become less popular. Beautiful in its own right, the stigma of being related to an imitation or a synthetic material, along with its unusual sounding name, has kept Zircon from becoming more of a popular gem material.
We Need a Boost
Noor Mohamed realized this early on and has been wanting to rename the gem for more commercial use. With the help of two notable ICA and AGTA members, Ray Zajicek and Jeffrey Bilgore, the name Cambolite has been coined. Like Tanzanite and Tsavorite, the name Cambolite has its roots in its locality.