Zircon

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Zircon
Zircon crystals.jpg
Chemical name Zirconium silicate
Chemical formula ZrSiO4
Identification
Colors Colorless, yellow, grey, red, green, brown, black
Crystal habit Dipyramidal prismatic
Crystal system Tetragonal
Cleavage Poor/Indistinct
Fracture Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness 7.5
Name origin The name comes from its containing the element, zirconium; which was named from the Arabic, zar and gun, meaning gold and color.
Specific gravity 4.6–4.7
Streak White


Zircon is a mineral, gem, and birthstone. It has a density of 4.7 grams/cm3.

Zircons are commercially mined for the metal zirconium. "More than 95% of current world production of zirconia and zirconium chemicals comes from processing of zircon. Zircon is processed in a number of locations world wide but China currently dominates supply of processed zirconium products and world output is around 96,000 tonnes." [1] Zircon is one of the three birthstones for December; the other two are Tanzanite and Turquoise. [2]

  • "Zircon is often confused with Cubic Zirconia. Cubic Zirconia, a synthetic, inexpensive Diamond simulant, resembles colorless Zircon and has a similar sounding name. However, the two are totally separate materials, and have no connection with each other." [3]
  • "Zircon resembles diamond in luster and fire and colorless zircons have been mistaken for diamonds by experienced jewelers."

Notable occurances are located in Seiland, Norway; Pakistan; Russia; Bancroft and Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and New Jersey and Colorado, USA.[4] Zircon belongs to the Silicates mineral class.

Zircon and Creationism

Zircon has recently become a subject of interest for Creationists. Studies of the rate at which radioactive particles in the zircon release helium have shown that the zircons found today contain far to much helium to be more than 14,000 years old. [5] This has been used to support the idea of a young Earth.

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