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A brown to colorless mineral, ZrSiO4, which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gem.
[German Zirkon (originally in obsolete scientific German Zirkonerde, zirconium oxide, coined by German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817), who first isolated it from a jacinth), probably partly from Arabic zarqūn, minium, bright red (from Persian zargūn, gold-colored, from Middle Persian zargōn, golden : zarr, zar-, golden from Old Iranian *zarna-; see ghel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + gōn, color, from Old Iranian *gaona-; akin to Sanskrit guṇaḥ, string, thread, quality), and partly from European terms for "jacinth" such as French jargon (from Old French jargonce, ultimately from Latin hyacinthus; see hyacinth).]
(Minerals) a reddish-brown, grey, green, blue, or colourless hard mineral consisting of zirconium silicate in tetragonal crystalline form with hafnium and some rare earths as impurities. It occurs principally in igneous rocks and is an important source of zirconium, zirconia, and hafnia: it is used as a gemstone and a refractory. Formula: ZrSiO4
[C18: from German Zirkon, from French jargon, via Italian and Arabic, from Persian zargūn golden]
a mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4, occurring in small tetragonal crystals or grains of various colors, usu. opaque: used as a gem when transparent.
[1785–95; < German Zirkon]
A brown, reddish to bluish, gray, green, or colorless mineral that is a silicate of zirconium and occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and especially in sand. The colorless varieties are valued as gems.
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|Noun||1.||zircon - a common mineral occurring in small crystals; chief source of zirconium; used as a refractory when opaque and as a gem when transparent|
atomic number 40, zirconium, Zr - a lustrous grey strong metallic element resembling titanium; it is used in nuclear reactors as a neutron absorber; it occurs in baddeleyite but is obtained chiefly from zircon
mineral - solid homogeneous inorganic substances occurring in nature having a definite chemical composition