Zircon

Zircon

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Zircon is a unique type of mineral it is a crystalline mineral that occurs in igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. Its main chemical constituent is zirconium silicate ZrSiO4 thus it is sometimes referred to as zirconium silicate. The origin of the name zircon is diverse and has been a subject of several discussions, but in general it is a name that can be coined from different languages. Zircon has a special type of lustre because of its unique crystalline structure, and it appears to be very transparent and translucent in nature.

Zircon can occur as a colourful or colourless mineral. Its colour is dependent on the nature of occurrence and amount of heat applied to it. It can come in green, blue, red, brown, grey and yellow. Zircon that appears in yellow colour is known as hyacinth while the colourless types are known as Matura diamonds. Subjected to higher amounts of heat Zircon tends to change colour to a very shiny colour which is always substituted or misrepresented at times as diamond.

Zircon is found in many types rocks, therefore, it is regarded by many mineralogists as the most important mineral of all time. It is also found to contain some radioactive properties due to the presence of radioactive elements within it. Zircon also can be seen in granular form along streams and in sand. Zircon hardly grows very large though there are some exceptional cases where it grows beyond it normal sizes, and this is always possible because of impurities deposited within its structure.

Zircon is a very useful mineral in many aspects of geology. It is used as an effective tool in radiometric dating, also as a substitute for diamond and used for decorations. One of its major uses, however, is its use as a gemstone. Zircon is mined all over the world ranging from Sri-Lanka, USA, Brazil, Australia etc. with Australia being the one with the highest mining.

Additional Resources

Yule   Alabaster   Aluminium Oxide

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