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Zircon Silicates

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Zircon - just a gemstone?

The trivial name zircon denotes zirconium silicate (occasionally also named zirconium silicate). Zirconium silicate is the only stable compound in the ZrO₂-SiO₂ system.

 

Structurally, zirconium silicate belongs to the insular silicates.

 

It is the naturally occurring, fine-grained mineral zircon (ZrSiO₄). It is also referred to as zircon sand. Its theoretical chemical composition is 67.23 % ZrO₂ and 32.77 % SiO₂ .

Zircon is formed by weathering and leaching. Zircon is found in nature as secondary mineral enrichment, as so-called "heavy mineral soaps". They occur in clayey sediments with sand and gravel. The largest mining areas are located near the coast. The largest deposits are in Australia and South Africa. In total, deposits are known in 12 countries.

 

Mohs hardness 7.5

Density 4.6 to 4.7 (g/cm³)

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