Zinc: An abundant, lustrous, bluish-white, metallic element of the magnesium-cadmium group. Zinc is brittle at room temperature but malleable when heated. It is used to form a wide variety of alloys including Brass, Britannia, Bronze, various solders, and Nickel Silver. Because zinc is not easily oxidized in moist air it is used for sheeting, coating galvanized iron (and other metals), for electric fuses, anodes, meter cases, in roofing, gutters, and is also largely consumed in electric batteries.
Zircon: A common mineral occurring in small crystals which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gem used as a refractory when opaque and as a gemstone when transparent.. They are not man made stones like cubic zirconia are (see Cubic Zirconia Rings ). Although they are frequently color-treated, zircons occur naturally in clear, yellow, orange, brown and red. They are a chief source of zirconium. See Hyacinth.
Zoisite: Named after the man who discovered it, Von Zois, an Austrian mineralogist, Zoisite is opaque grayish or whitish mineral with green or black streaks occurring in rhombohedral crystals or columnar masses. It is a silicate of alumina and lime, similar to epidote, and is often found included with opaque ruby (corundum). Zoisite is found in Kenya, Norway, Austria, Western Australia, Italy, and North Carolina. There is a purple-blue variant of it discovered in Tanzania in 1967 called Tanzanite. Zoisite has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
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Cubic Zirconia, although discovered in 1937 by two german scientists, cubic zirconia only made its way to the public in the early 1970's, when russian scientists found a way to create it in a lab. Cubic Zirconia is formed through a complicated process from zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide. these two chemicals are melted together at almost 5000 degrees fahrenheit, and then carefully cooled to create flawless crystals. due to their clarity and brilliance, cubic zirconia stones are often compared to diamonds. cubic zirconia is extremely durable, and can come in almost every color of the rainbow. Almost all the rough CZ's in the market are composed of zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide, both of which are naturally white but combine to form a brilliant clear crystal. Like diamonds, the best cubic zirconia gems are colorless but colored forms are also manufactured. Vivid green CZ is sometimes referred to as C-OX, and CZ in numerous colors is frequently sold under various tradenames, such as the yellow CZ from Ceylon called "jargon". Cubic zirconia gemstones are cut in the same fashion as diamonds, and like diamonds the size of the gemstone is usually indicated by its weight in carats.