View synonyms for zircon


[ zur-kon ]


  1. a common mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO 4 , occurring in small tetragonal crystals or grains of various colors, usually opaque: used as a refractory when opaque and as a gem when transparent.


/ ˈzɜːkɒn /


  1. 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: ZrSiO 4


/ zûrkŏn′ /

  1. A brown, reddish to bluish, gray, green, or colorless tetragonal mineral that occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and especially in sand. The colorless varieties are valued as gems. Chemical formula: ZrSiO 4 .

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Word History and Origins

Origin of zircon1

First recorded in 1785–95; from German Zirkon, apparently ultimately from Italian giargone; jargon 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of zircon1

C18: from German Zirkon, from French jargon, via Italian and Arabic, from Persian zargūn golden

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Example Sentences

The new research focused on tiny traces of several elements in the old zircons.

Armstrong plans to continue studying zircons, in the hopes of finding more ways to exploit them for details about ancient quakes.

Most of the world’s Hadean zircons have been found in a just a dozen sites, and most of those are from a site in Australia.

For the zircons, the team measured the decay of uranium to lead, and in the sand, the researchers compared the abundances of radioactive argon isotopes with stable ones.

The study identified grains of the mineral zircon in a Martian meteorite that appeared to be “shocked” by high pressures, indicating large impacts on the Martian surface.

In mineralogy, the term is applied to crystallised yellow or brown zircon.

Zircon is also the source of oxide of zirconium used in making mantles for certain incandescent lights.

Other minerals, except apatite, zircon and magnetite, are typically absent.

Jargon or Zircon is a stone having a superficial resemblance to a diamond.

Zircon is itself a species of mineral and is a silicate of zirconium.


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More About Zircon

What does zircon mean?

Zircon is a common mineral whose colorless, transparent variety is used as a gemstone.

Zircon is most often opaque and can be reddish-brown, gray, green, or blue (the color of blue varieties is produced through heat treatment). Reddish-orange zircon is called hyacinth. A rare variety of zircon that can be yellowish, smoky, or colorless is called jargon. Some of zircon’s opaque varieties have practical applications, such as a refractory material for furnaces.

Zircon is sometimes called zirconium silicate and is the principal source of the metallic element zirconium.

Zircon is categorized as a semiprecious stone, which is a classification used for stones considered to have a lower value than those deemed precious.

Due to its similarity, zircon is sometimes used as a substitute for diamonds, which are much more expensive. It should not be confused with cubic zirconia, an artificially manufactured stone that is also used as a diamond substitute.

Zircon is one of the December birthstones. It is associated with the zodiac signs Sagitarrius and Capricorn.

Example: I didn’t want diamonds in my engagement ring, but I like a clear, natural stone, so I chose zircon.

Where does zircon come from?

The first records of the word zircon in English come from the late 1700s. It comes from the German Zirkon, from the French jargon, from the Persian zargūn, meaning “gold-colored.”

Zircon is found around the world. It occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and is especially found in sand. Zircon typically occurs in small crystals.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for zircon?

  • hyacinth (a reddish-orange variety of zircon)
  • jargon (a yellowish, smoky, or colorless variety of zircon)

What are some words that share a root or word element with zircon

What are some words that often get used in discussing zircon?

What are some words zircon may be commonly confused with?


How is zircon used in real life?

Transparent zircon is used as a substitute for diamonds, but artificial cubic zirconia is more popular as a diamond substitute.



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True or False?

The blue variety of zircon used as a gemstone gets its color from being heat treated.