Zircon is named after the Arabic word Zargun, (derived from the Persian words: zar meaning gold and gun meaning colour). However, zircon can be a variety of colours: white, orange, yellow, yellowish brown, purplish red, light red, blue and green, and sometimes it is colourless. Some zircon crystals are of gemstone quality. Zircon's hardness makes it useful as an abrasive. The melting point of zircon is over 2500� C, so it is used in the steel industry to line blast furnaces. Because zircon products are resistant to corrosion and heat, they are used in engines, electronics, spacecraft and the ceramics industry. Zircon products are also used in computer disc drives, for lightweight warmth and protection in clothing, and in many domestic products such as ballpoint pens and wear-resistant knives.

Zircon contains the metal zirconium, which is extremely hard and resistant to corrosion. Zirconium is used in nuclear reactors and chemical processing plants.

The Properties of Zircon
Chemical Formula: ZrSiO4
Colour: Many
Hardness: 7.5
Relative density: 4.6-4.7

NEXT: Monazite, or do the next quiz question.

Minerals Downunder Iron Contents