A Geoscience Digital Image Library

DescriptionZircon, ZrSiO4, is a tetragonal mineral (ideal crystals have a square cross section when viewed in one direction) but it does not show here. Zircon is found in magmatic, metamorphic, pegmatitic, and alluvial rock environments. Zircon is the principle ore mineral for zirconium, and some zircon crystals are beautiful enough to be gems. Zircon is NOT the same material as the artificial gem material Cubic Zirconia. However, zircon has been used as a diamond simulant because it resembles diamond in luster and fire and colorless zircons have been mistaken for diamonds. These 1 cm long crystals are from Minas Gerais, Brazil, a world famous mineral collecting area. Zircon is named from its containing the element, zirconium; which was named from the Arabic, zargun meaning “gold color”.
LocationBrazil ▹ Minas Gerais
PhotographerShannon Heinle. 2001-03-26.
CollectionUniversity of North Dakota Mineralogy Collection.
Key wordszircon, cubic zirconia, zirconium
Tech details163 KB. Hand specimen. Fujifilm FinePix S1Pro digital camera; 60mm AF Nikon micro lens.
GeoDIL number255