zircon

[zur-kon]
noun
a common mineral, zirconium silicate, ZrSiO 4 , occurring in small tetragonal crystals or grains of various colors, usually opaque: used as a refractory when opaque and as a gem when transparent.

Origin:
1785–95; < German Zirkon; see jargon2

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World English Dictionary
zircon (ˈzɜːkɒn)
 
n
a reddish-brown, grey, green, blue, or colourless hard mineral consisting of zirconium silicate in tetragonal crystalline form with hafnium and some rare earths as impurities. It occurs principally in igneous rocks and is an important source of zirconium, zirconia, and hafnia: it is used as a gemstone and a refractory. Formula: ZrSiO4
 
[C18: from German Zirkon, from French jargon, via Italian and Arabic, from Persian zargūn golden]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

zircon
1794, from Ger. Zirkon (cf. Fr. jargon, It. giargone), from Arabic zarqun "cinnabar, bright red," from Pers. zargun "gold-colored," from Avestan zari- "gold-colored," from zar "gold." Zirconium, metallic chemical element, first attested 1808, coined by Ger. chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-1817)
in 1789; so called because it was found in zircon.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
zircon   (zûr'kŏn')  Pronunciation Key 
A brown, reddish to bluish, gray, green, or colorless tetragonal mineral that occurs in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, and especially in sand. The colorless varieties are valued as gems. Chemical formula: ZrSiO4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Mineral sands, such as zircon, sit under a tarpaulin.
The ash contains minerals such as zircon that can be dated precisely from the
  radioactive decay of some of their components.
Illegal logging and gold and zircon mining are other threats.
Production of zirconium is from two ore minerals, zircon and baddeleyite.
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