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The Mineralogy of Zirconium

General Properties
Atomic Number:40
Standard atomic weight (Ar):91.224(2)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d2 5s2
Zirconium crystal bar and cube
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.33
Atomic Radius:206 pm
Ionic Radius:72 pm (+4)
1st Ionization energy:640 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-41 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:2128 K
Boiling Point:4682 K
Density:6.51 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Zirconium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
94Zr17.38%>1.1x1017yβ-β- ?94Mo
β− ?96Nb
Main ions of Zirconium
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1789
Discovered By:
Martin Heinrich Klaproth
Year Isolated:1824
Isolated By:
Jöns Jakob Berzelius
Named For:
after zircon (persian - zargun) meaning "gold-colored"
CPK color coding:#94E0E0
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitrideszirconium nitrideZrN+3
Sulfideszirconium disulphideZrS2+4
Selenideszirconium diselenideZrSe2+4
Tellurideszirconium ditellurideZrTe2+4
Hydrideszirconium dihydrideZrH2+2
Fluorideszirconium tetrafluorideZrF4+4
Chlorideszirconium dichlorideZrCl2+2
zirconium tetrachlorideZrCl4+4
Bromideszirconium tribromideZrBr3+3
zirconium tetrabromideZrBr4+4
Iodideszirconium diiodideZrI2+2
zirconium triiodideZrI3+3
zirconium tetraiodideZrI4+4
Oxideszirconium dioxideZrO2+4Baddeleyite
Mineral Diversity of Zirconium
4. Oxides 12 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 2 valid mineral species
6. Borates1 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 1 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates8 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 77 valid mineral species
Total:101 valid species containing essential Zirconium
Geochemistry of Zirconium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Zr4+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Zr4+ is concentrated in deep-sea ferromanganese nodules relative to seawater.
Elemental Abundance for Zirconium
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.65 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.4 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)1.62 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.00 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)2.10 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.90 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)2.40 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)3 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)2.6 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)1.12 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.14 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)1.14 x 10-5 (6.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Zirconium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Zirconium and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Zirconium and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Zirconium.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Zirconium% of Zr mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen130 minerals with Zr and O100.00%31.24% higher
Silicon96 minerals with Zr and Si73.85%166.66% higher
Sodium80 minerals with Zr and Na61.54%225.91% higher
Hydrogen73 minerals with Zr and H56.15%4.64% higher
Calcium69 minerals with Zr and Ca53.08%116.23% higher
Titanium43 minerals with Zr and Ti33.08%380.33% higher
Iron42 minerals with Zr and Fe32.31%41.89% higher
Manganese34 minerals with Zr and Mn26.15%126.78% higher
Potassium26 minerals with Zr and K20.00%106.97% higher
Chlorine21 minerals with Zr and Cl16.15%114.93% higher
Niobium21 minerals with Zr and Nb16.15%379.47% higher
Strontium18 minerals with Zr and Sr13.85%392.09% higher
Fluorine17 minerals with Zr and F13.08%57.33% higher
Cerium11 minerals with Zr and Ce8.46%156.79% higher
Lithium11 minerals with Zr and Li8.46%277.76% higher
Phosphorus10 minerals with Zr and P7.69%30.16% lower
Carbon9 minerals with Zr and C6.92%6.27% lower
Aluminium9 minerals with Zr and Al6.92%65.05% lower
Magnesium8 minerals with Zr and Mg6.15%55.20% lower
Yttrium8 minerals with Zr and Y6.15%135.77% higher
Barium6 minerals with Zr and Ba4.62%0.27% lower
Lanthanum4 minerals with Zr and La3.08%80.67% higher
Tungsten3 minerals with Zr and W2.31%204.05% higher
Zinc3 minerals with Zr and Zn2.31%56.71% lower
Tin3 minerals with Zr and Sn2.31%25.92% higher
Scandium3 minerals with Zr and Sc2.31%679.13% higher
Beryllium3 minerals with Zr and Be2.31%3.88% higher
Boron3 minerals with Zr and B2.31%54.50% lower
Chromium3 minerals with Zr and Cr2.31%40.07% higher
Antimony2 minerals with Zr and Sb1.54%68.52% lower
Caesium2 minerals with Zr and Cs1.54%246.28% higher
Sulfur1 mineral with Zr and S0.77%96.05% lower
Tantalum1 mineral with Zr and Ta0.77%43.08% lower
Lead1 mineral with Zr and Pb0.77%91.95% lower
Thorium1 mineral with Zr and Th0.77%13.43% lower
Uranium1 mineral with Zr and U0.77%83.89% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Zr Relative Frequency
Yttrium << Zirconium >> Niobium

Most widespread minerals containing Zirconium
This list of minerals containing Zirconium is built from the locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Zirconium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
CatapleiiteNa2Zr(Si3O9) · 2H2OMonoclinic115
ElpiditeNa2ZrSi6O15 · 3H2OOrthorhombic41
Steenstrupine-(Ce)Na14Mn2+2(Fe3+,Mn3+)2Ce6(Zr,Th)(Si6O18)2(PO4)6(HPO4)(OH)2 · 2H2OTrigonal36

Localities with greatest number of different Zirconium mineral species
map should go here
1Poudrette quarry (De-Mix quarry; Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Carrière Mont Saint-Hilaire; MSH), Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada38 Zr minerals
2Strange Lake complex (Lac Brisson complex), Québec & Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada12 Zr minerals
Ilímaussaq complex, Narsaq, Kujalleq, Greenland11 Zr minerals
4Wind Mountain, Cornudas Mts, Otero Co., New Mexico, USA11 Zr minerals
5Alluaiv Mt, Lovozero Massif, Murmanskaya Oblast', Northern Region, Russia11 Zr minerals
6Demix-Varennes quarry, Saint-Amable sill, Varennes & St-Amable, Lajemmerais RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada10 Zr minerals
Saint-Amable sill, Varennes & St-Amable, Lajemmerais RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada10 Zr minerals
8Koashva Open Pit (Vostochnyi Mine), Koashva Mt, Khibiny Massif, Murmanskaya Oblast', Northern Region, Russia10 Zr minerals

Important ores of Zirconium
NameFormulaCrystal System

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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