One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mineral occurring as prismatic crystals, typically brown but sometimes in translucent varieties of gem quality. It consists of zirconium silicate and is the chief ore of zirconium.
- ‘Quartz is associated most commonly with aegirine and potassium feldspar as well as zircon.’
- ‘Sillimanite, cordierite, apatite, monazite and zircon are also present.’
- ‘Even resistant minerals such as zircon have been found to be etched by bacteria.’
- ‘In the andesitic rocks zircon is less abundant than in the porphyroids.’
- ‘Among his other discoveries were large zircon crystals found in a small tunnel in North Cheyenne Canyon.’
- ‘A honey-colored to brown zircon continues to be mined that can be heat-treated to lighten the color.’
Late 18th century: from German Zirkon; compare with jargon.
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