The Mineral Zircon




Belonging to the Nesosilicate group, zircon including Yellow Zircon has a chemical name, “zirconium silicate.”   Zircon is born out of melting silicate and is characterized by a good proportion of incompatible elements of good field strength, including Hafnium that is present 1 - 4 percent. Zircon has a tetragonal crystal system and its colorless samples are used as gem stones to substitute diamond.  They are also referred to as "Matura diamond".      

Chemical Formula  
Zirconium silicate ZrSiO4

Derivation of Name  
It derives its name from the Persian “zargun”, which means golden-colored.  Zargun got corrupted to "jargoon", a term referring to zircons of light color.  In English the word "zircon" is a derivative of "Zirkon," the German version of this word. Red zircon is known as "hyacinth", because of the flower Hyacinthus, getting its name from Ancient Greek.

Traces of zircon are often associated with mineral constituents of most Felsic and  granite rocks. It is rarely found inside mafic rocks and too rarely inside ultramafic rocks other than a group of Ultrapotassic intrusive rocks like Kimberlites, Lamprophyre and Carbonatites, wherein zircon may occasionally be located as a trace mineral due abnormal magma genesis of such rocks.            

Zircon reminds you of diamond as far as luster goes and professional jewelers are known to have mistaken colorless or blazing zircons as diamonds. Zircon could substitute for very attractive, yet affordable gemstones. It occurs in greens and browns which can be transformed into attractive golden and blue colors through heat treatment. The same way, you can get colorless material. It is the birthstone for December born people. 

Its chief sources include Seiland (A Norvegian Island), Norway; Russia; Bancroft and Sudbury; Pakistan; Canada; New Jersey and Colorado, USA.   

Of late, introduction of imitation diamond has adversely affected the reputation of Zircon. You should understand that zircon is Zirconium Silicate (ZrSiO4) which is different from artificial gem material, Cubic Zirconia, which is zirconium oxide (ZrO2). Having known that, zircon has been exploited as an imitation diamond for evil and non-ethical reasons. Attractive specimen of zircon mineral is rare. Nevertheless, superior specimens of zircon in good shape can be availed of, and they are in much demand.  A typical zircon crystal is a tetragonal prism having four sided pyramids at its each end.

Natural zircon comes in colorless, red, brown, yellow-golden, green and blue color.

Specific Gravity


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