A common mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4, occurring in small tetragonal crystals. The color is variable, usually brown to reddish brown, but also colorless, pale yellowish, green, or blue. A red variety, used as a gem, is called hyacinth. Zircon contains trace amounts of uranium and thorium and therefore can be used for radiometric datings. Also called jargon.
From Ger. Zirkon, from Ar. zarqun "cinnabar, bright red," from Pers. zargun "gold-colored," from zar→ gold + -gun "resembling; manner, fashion; color" (Mid.Pers. gônak "kind, species;" Av. gaona- "color").
A metallic chemical element; symbol Zr. Atomic number 40; atomic weight 91.22; melting point about 1,852°C; boiling point 4,377°C; specific gravity 6.5 at 20°C. Zirconium was discovered in the mineral zirconia by the German chemist Martin-Heinrich Klaproth in 1789. It was first isolated by the Swedish chemist Jons Jacob Berzelius in 1824 in an impure state and finally by the chemists D. Lely Jr. and L. Hamburger in a pure state in 1914.
From → zircon.
zirconium oxide, ZrO
Fr.: oxide de zirconium