Zircon is a very common mineral found on Earth, but also very rare and expensive because of its location and the ability to gather it. Making up a large portion of the Earth’s crust, it is rarely found in large form and needs to be separated from other minerals. The process of extraction can be dangerous due to the combustible nature of Zircon, but it is possible and new refinery methods have made the process safer and faster.
Zircon is often confused with the manmade cubic zirconia, and sometimes substituted for diamonds when it is found in gem form. The hardness and dispersion of zircon is similar to a diamond, and one of the closest minerals with these properties, but zircon has a double refraction whereas diamonds only have a single one. Its most popular use is in the metal alloy and chemical industry, where it is used in stabilizing other metals and as a chemical application for decorative purposes.
The refraction principles of Zircon make is a popular choice in many industries, including those that rely on diamonds for refraction purposes. It has also been used by the scientific industry to base radioactive dating of other minerals and organisms with because it is the oldest mineral ever dated on Earth. Zircon is able to withstand most of Earth’s geological processes making it the best known way to date and time other large Earth shifts like erosion and metamorphism.
Even though Zircon is so abundant, it is generally contained as small particles within the structure of other minerals. These particles can be isolated, and in this form Zircon will resemble fine sand. When it is found in larger segments it will range in color from colorless to gold, depending on the amount of heat that was present when it formed.About the Author:
Julia Lawrence thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
Follow Jules: LinkedIn, Google+