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Posted by Rock Currier  
Rock Currier April 21, 2009 09:37AM
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Click here to view Best Minerals Z and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

ZirconZrSiO4 tetragonal
Zircon, Mogok, Sagaing District, Mandalay Division, Burma (Myanmar) 2.6cm across

Zircon, Ontario, Canada ~30cm wide
Zircon Gilgut, Pakistan 5cm wide
Zircon, Seiland Island, Norway 3cm wide

Zircons have been know since antiquity. The word zircon comes from Arabic and in turn from the Persian word zargun (zar=gold & gun=color) which is typical of the color of many gemmy zircons. Mindat currently lists 4425 localities for zircon (December 2013). There are undoubtedly many more. Zircon is found through out the earths crusts though usually in millimeter or sub-millimeter sizes. It commonly forms tetragonal prisms although sometimes the prism are short or entirely absent giving crystals consisting on only bipyramids. It is frequently found as well formed crystals and the habit of its crystals usually depends on the conditions of formation. In granite pegmatites they tend to be long and columnar and In alkaline pegmatites, short and pyramidal. Zircons display a broad range of colors; red, orange-red, orange, reddish-brown, yellow, gray, green, more rarely blue, and most rarely colorless. Colored zircons are often pleochroic, sometimes strongly so and the color is often zonal. The nature of their color is connected with electron-hole centers and ionic admixture: yellow – iron (Fe3+), red and light blue – uranium (U4+), green – zirconium (Zr4+) and also cadmium (Gd3+), thorium, hafnium.1 Australia provides almost 40% of the industrial demand for Zircon. This is supplied from the mining of sand deposits, usually from beach sands that are rich in tiny crystals of zircons whose origin is the weathering of zircon rich rocks. Zircons are usually easily separated from sand by gravimetric methods. Most of the demand for the mineral is for use as an opacifier in ceramics with some small part of zircon production diverted to make compounds of zirconium including zirconium oxide which is one of the most refractory materials know.

Zircon crystals usually occur in sub millimeter size crystals in igneous rocks, but are also found in larger sizes, especially in pegmatites. The zircon variety called cyrtolite can form large clusters which typically show sub-parallel crystal forms. These can be up to 30 cm and probably larger. Zircons especially the cyrtolite variety contain uranium, thorium and rare earth elements. The decay of uranium and thorium in zircons, cause them, especially old ones, to be metamict. Because of this the properties of zircons vary considerably depending on how much of their crystalline structure has been destroyed by radiation (alpha particles). Zircons are sometimes classed as high, intermediate and low zircons which correlate to the amount of damage their internal structures have suffered. High zircons have a specific gravity of 4.65 to 4.71 which lowers to 3.04-4.10 in low zircons. The refractive index of high zircon is O=1.924 to 1.933 and E=1.983 down to 1.992 to n=1.78 to 1.84 for low zircon. The beneficence in high zircon is 0.058 to 0.059 and almost nothing in low, highly metamict zircons.2
2. Mineralogy for Amateurs, Sinkankas p.541.

Zircons are sometimes found in transparent crystals and make fine faceted gems of various colors which are often improved by heat treatments, some of which have been known from antiquity. The object of the heat treatments was to create more beautiful colors in the zircons and also often to create white colorless zircons which could be used as a diamond simulant. For may years, before the advent of cubic zirconia, moissanite and other man made diamond simulants, zircons were commonly used as a diamond substitute, hence there are countless thousands of small white zircons scattered around the world in jewelry. Jewelers have been taught to look downward through the tables of suspected zircons for the extreme birefringence of zircon which readily shows itself in the doubling of pavilion facets in the stone. The table of the stone is the big flat facet on the top and the pavilion is the pointed bottom of the stone. In zircons, the facet junctions of the pavilion facets will be doubled and it makes the stone look blurry. With a 10x loupe (a small magnifying glass) this property can be seen instantly. Most of them did not start life as white zircons but were yellow or some other color and were made white by heat treatment. Usually they were heated to about 1000 degrees centigrade and cooled slowly. Many of the exact heating methods were held as trade secrets by various families and companies engaged the diamond stimulant trade. White zircons almost always contain a fair amount of hafnium which replaces some of the zirconium in its structure. By heating the zircons, often the crystal structure becomes "annealed" and damaged parts of their structure are returned more nearly to their original state. This has the added benefit of increasing the refractive index of the stone and making it look more like a diamond. Other physical properties are also changed. The heating of metamict minerals is a technique often used when studying them. The yellow to red to brown varieties of zircon are sometimes called hyacinth but many other names have been given to various colors of zircons. The American Museum of Natural History in New York City has a perfect blue-green faceted zircon of 208 ct.4

Zircons have become important to geologists for their role in studying and understanding the geological processes that have shaped the earth. This is because of the high melting point of zircon which is about 2500 degrees centigrade; they have great resistivity to chemical attack and toughness in standing up to erosional forces. Below are comments by Peter Nancarrow that illustrate these properties.

"Zircon is considered by many people to be perhaps the most durable and long lasting of all the minerals found in the earths crust. "Weathering" covers a variety of decomposition processes, including water solution, acid rain attack, organic processes (e.g. action of products of leaf decay, lichen digestion etc.) freeze/thaw, solar heating etc, and a mineral that is resistant to one or other or even any chemical attack, may not be resistant to a mechanical process such as rapid thermal expansion. I am not considering brittleness or abrasion resistance here; the effects on particles of being ground about by a glacier or between boulders in a scree, being rolled along a stream bed, or washed about on a beach are not weathering processes sensu stricto; those processes come under the heading "erosion" rather than "weathering". The latter is defined as "The process by which rocks are broken down and decomposed by the action of external agencies such as wind, rain, temperature changes, plants, and bacteria. An essential feature of the process is that it affects rocks in situ; no transportation is involved. This is the factor which distinguishes it clearly from erosion." (Whiten & Brooks, 1972).

I am reminded of the occasion when I was working in the X-ray analysis section of a geochemical laboratory and one of our analysts brought me a specimen to be identified. He had been trying to get a sample of granite into solution for a whole-rock analysis, to include those elements which could not be measured by XRF, particularly Be & Li, but he was left with a small residue of fine sandy pink material in the bottom a test tube which he had been unable to dissolve, even in super heated concentrated HF! (Using a Teflon "bomb" in a high-pressure autoclave). Everything else, all the quartz, topaz, tourmaline, cassiterite etc., was gone. Under the microscope I could see that the sample consisted of lustrous tetragonal crystals with absolutely no indication of even the first stages of solvent attack; they had sharp-pointed terminations and crystal edges and bright lustrous faces with no etching features. The only pitting could be attributed to the solution of what had been exposed inclusions embedded in the crystal faces, but even these apparent weaknesses in the integrity of the crystal surfaces had not let one of the most corrosive of acids do its work. Yes, you guessed right; that concentrate consisted of zircon, and nothing but zircon!

So, all those factors considered, I would certainly have to agree that my vote for the mineral "most resistant to weathering" would certainly be for zircon. With regards to its subsequent resistance to erosive processes, it's pretty hard, (Mohs 71/2) and not particularly brittle either; I just put a zircon crystal on an anvil and hit it several times with a hammer! It took a rather harder blow to crack it than would be required for a similarly sized quartz crystal."

Because of zircon often contains uranium and thorium due to their ability to survive geological processes they have become important to scientists trying to unravel and study the history of the earth. They are particularly suitable for age dating using uranium-lead (U-Pb), fission-track, and U+Th/He techniques. Oxygen isotope studies of some zircons give indications that there may have been water on the surface of the earth as far back as 4.4 billion years ago although there is still debate about this.2,3
2. Wilde S.A., Valley J.W., Peck W.H. and Graham C.M. (2001). "Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago". Nature 409 (6817): 175–8.
3. Wilde S.A., Valley J.W., Peck W.H. and Graham C.M. (2001). "Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago". Nature 409 (6817): 175–8.

You ultimately will decide which localities produce the best specimens. But I think it possible to speak kind words about the quality of specimens from four localities and would direct your attention those exampled above. Although there is not one from the wonderful Mud Tank, Australian locality, they are a bit rough for my taste, I would love to have one of these giants in my collection but alas I am still waiting to find one. Many tiny crystals of zircons are so perfect and wonderful that I could not but include many photos of them in this article. Those who may revise this article in the years to come may have a different viewpoint and may not include as many. I have also included a rather large selection of tiny French alluvial zircons that have been collected by a few dedicated individuals who are passionate about them. They are mostly each from different streams, rivers, beaches and a pond. No one know for certain where they were formed except in a general sense. Somewhere up stream or river is the only logical answer. I have included them on a whim and hope you enjoy them too.

ZirconAfghanistanAfghanistan, Konar Province (Kunar Province; Konarh Province; Konarha Province; Nuristan)

Zircon 5.4cm tall

ZirconAfghanistanKonar Province (Kunar Province; Konarh Province; Konarha Province; Nuristan), Chapa Dara District, Dara-i-Pech pegmatite field (Darra-i-Pech; Darra-e-Pech; Pech; Peech; Page)

Zircon 7.2cm tall
Zircon on quartz 2cm tall

ZirconAfghanistanKonar Province (Kunar Province; Konarh Province; Konarha Province; Nuristan), Dara-i-Pech District (Pech District), Manogay (Mano Gai; Manugie; Managi)

Zircon 5.3cm tall

ZirconAustraliaNorthern Territory, Central Desert Shire, Harts Range (Harts Ranges; Hartz Range; Hartz Ranges), Mud Tank

Zircon 25cm wide
Zircon 3.2cm tall
Zircon 2.4cm wide
Zircon 11.5cm tall
Zircon 10.1cm tall
Zircon 10cm wide
Zircon 7cm wide
Zircon 9.3cm wied

This locality has produced some of the largest know zircons.

ZirconAustraliaTasmania, Blue Tier district, Branxholm

Largest zircon xl. ~1cm wide

ZirconAustraliaTasmania, Boat Harbour, Sister's Creek

Zircon ~1.5cm wide

ZirconAustraliaVictoria, Camperdown, Lake Bullen Merri (Bullenmerri)

Zircon FOV 1.2cm

ZirconAustraliaVictoria, Carapooee, Alluvial gold mine

Rounded zircon FOV 2.7cm
Rounded zircons FOV 2.5cm

Auriferous sands often contain zircons. These have been well rounded by being tumbled by errosional forces, but still intact.

ZirconAustraliaWestern Australia, Mukinbudin Shire, Mukinbudin, Mukinbudin Feldspar Quarries

Zircon var. crytolite 4.5cm wide

ZirconAustriaSalzburg, Lungau, Murwinkel, Schellgaden, Gestell quarry (Ofen quarry)

Zircon FOV 1.5mm

ZirconBrazilMinas Gerais, Poços de Caldas alkaline complex

Zircon 3.3cm wide

ZirconBrazilTocantins, Peixe alkaline complex

Zircon 3.3cm tall
Zircon 2.7cm tall
Zircon 1,9cm wide
Zircon 5.2cm wide

Zircon 1,6cm wide
Zircon 2.8cm wide
Zircon 2cm wide

There are two principal localities in Brazil that have produced substantial quantities of zircons about which collectors can speak kindly. Those are the Peixe alkaline complex in Tocantins, Brazil and the other is the Poços de Caldas alkaline complex in Minas Gerais.

ZirconBurma (Myanmar)Mandalay Division, Pyin-Oo-Lwin District, Mogok Township

Zircon 1.9cm tall
Zircon 4.3cm tall
Zircon 1.6cm wide
Zircon wide
Zircon 1.5cm wide
Zircon 4cm wide

Burma (Myanmar)
Mandalay Division, Pyin-Oo-Lwin District, Thabeikkyin Township, Thabeikkyin (Thabeitkyin)

Zircon 3.4cm tall


Zircon 2.5cm tall

ZirconCanadaOntario, Haliburton Co., Cardiff Township, Kemp prospect (Kemp property; Kemp uranium mine)

Zircon 1cm tall

ZirconCanadaOntario, Haliburton Co., Monmouth Township, Tory Hill, Saranac Mine (Zircon and Pegmatite Showings)

Zircon 2.5cm tall
Zircon 2cm tall

ZirconCanadaOntario, Hastings Co., Dungannon Township

Zircon var. cyrtolite ~7cm tall

Zircon var. cyrtoliteCanadaOntario, Hastings Co., Dungannon Township, Davis Quarry

Zircon 1.7cm wide
Zircon 4.5cm tall
Zircon 2cm tall
Zircon 3.5cm tall

ZirconCanadaOntario, Hastings Co., Faraday Township, Silver Crater Mine (Basin Property)

Zircon 2.2cm wide
A 4cm zircon in calcite

Zircon var. cyrtoliteCanadaOntario, Hastings Co., Monteagle Township, Hybla, MacDonald mine

Zircon 3.4cm wide
Zircon 2.2cm wide

ZirconCanadaOntario, Lanark Co., Drummond Township, North Burgess, McLaren mine

1.7cm zircon xl in pyroxine

ZirconCanadaOntario, Nipissing District, Murchison Township, Madawaska, J.G. Gole Quarry

Zircon 3.7cm tall
Zircon 2.6cm tall

ZirconCanadaOntario, Renfrew Co., Brudenell Township, Kuehl Lake

A 2.5cm zircon in feldspar

ZirconCanadaOntario, Renfrew Co., Lyndoch Township

Zircon 7cm wide

ZirconCanada, Québec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Témiscamingue RCM, Les Lacs-du-Témiscamingue

Zircon 2.5cm tall

ZirconCanadaQuébec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Témiscamingue RCM, Les Lacs-du-Témiscamingue, Kipawa alkaline complex

Zircon 2.7cm tall
Zircon 2cm wide
Zircon & mosandrite 1.5cm wide
Zircon & katophorite 3.5cm

ZirconCanadaQuébec, Montérégie, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Poudrette quarry (Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Desourdy quarry; Carrière Mont Saint-Hilaire)

1.5cm zircon, natrolite, & siderite
Zircon FOV 4mm

Zircon 2.3cm tall
Zircon & brookite & 3cm tall
Zircon ~1.5cm tall
Zircon ~3cm tall
Zircon, siderite, albite ~3cm wide
Zircon 5cm tall
Zircon 2mm tall

Zircon the French alluvials
FranceAquitaine, Auvergne, Brittany, Centre and Limousin.

Zircon 2mm wide
Zircon 1.1mm

0.6mm Zircon crystal
Zircon 1.1mm
Zircon crystal 1mm
Zircon 5mm wide
Zircon crystal 1.8cm wide
Zircon 2mm
Zircon crystal 2mm tall
Zircon crystal 0.5mm tall

Zircon crystal 1.5mm wide
Zircon including amphabole 0.9mm
Zircon crystal 0.8mm tall
Zircon 0.7mm

Zircon crystal 0.8mm long
Zircon crystal 1mm
Zircon crystal 0.5mm
Zircon crystal 0.7mm tall

Zircon crystal 0.4mm
Zircon crystal 0.25mm tall
Zircon 0.3mm tall
Zircon crystal 0.35mm wide
Zircon crystal 1.5mm tall
Zircon crystal 0.3mm tall

ZirconGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel, Laach lake volcanic complex

Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 3mm

ZirconGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel, Mayen, Ettringen, Bellerberg volcano

Zircon in leucite-tephrite 5cm wide

ZirconGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel, Mayen, Ettringen, Bellerberg volcano, Caspar quarry

Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 3mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon ROV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm
Zircon FOV 2mm

ZirconGermanyRhineland-Palatinate, Eifel, Mendig, Niedermendig, Basalt quarries (incl. Michels Quarry; Bous Quarry; Geilen Quarry)

Zircon FOV 10mm
12 mm zircon in matrix
A 6mm zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyCampania, Naples Province, Somma-Vesuvius Complex, Monte Somma

1.62mm group of zircons on matrix

0.95mm Zircon xl on matrix
2.21mm group of zircon on matrix

ZirconItalyCampania, Naples Province, Somma-Vesuvius Complex, Monte Somma, Ercolano, San Vito, San Vito quarry

1.86mm zircon xl. on matrix
~1.2mm zircon xl. in matrix
Zircon,britholite(Ce) FOV 1mm

ZirconItalyLatium, Rome Province, Bracciano Lake, Anguillara

0.7mm zircon x. in matrix

ZirconItalyLatium, Rome Province, Sacrofano Caldera, Campagnano di Roma, Mt Cavalluccio

0.9m zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyLatium, Viterbo Province, Bassano Romano

0.2mm Zircon crystal
0.92 zircon xl. in matrix
.06mm zircon

ZirconItalyPiedmont, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Mergozzo, Nibbio mine

1.77mm zircon in matrix
2.36mm zircon in matrix
1.42mm zircon in matrix
2.19mm zircon in matrix
3mm zircon in matrix
3mm zircon in matrix
Zircon in matrix 3.2cm wide
2cm Zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyPiedmont, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Ossola Valley, Verbania, Grande valley

3.4cm zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyPiedmont, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Premosello Chiovenda, Cuzzago-Proman pegmatite veins

9.8mm Zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyTrentino-Alto Adige, Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Vizze Valley (Pfitsch valley), Burgum Alp

1.5 mm zircon on matrix
3.3 mm zircon on matrix
1.9 mm zircon on matrix
1.09 mm zircon on matrix

1.73 mm zircon with vesuvianite
2.16 mm zircon in matrix

ZirconItalyTrentino-Alto Adige, Trento Province, Fassa Valley, Monzoni Mts, Toal d'Allochèt (Alochet)

2 mm zircon on epidote

ZirconItalyTuscany, Grosseto Province, Pitigliano, Case Collina (Toscopomici quarry)

1.65 mm zircon on matrix

ZirconItalyVeneto, Vicenza Province, Astico Valley, Cogollo del Cengio, Cengio Mt., Quarry near Contrada Schiri

1mm zircon on quartz

ZirconItalyVeneto, Vicenza Province, Valdagno, Novale, Contrada Rossati di Sotto, Fosse di Novale

Zircon 7mm tall

ZirconItalyVeneto, Vicenza Province, Valli del Pasubio, Staro, Contrada Cubi

205 mm zircon in matrix

ZirconMadagascarAntananarivo Province, Itasy Region, Soavinandriana District, Mahavelona Commune, Ambatofotsy pegmatite

Zircon 4cm wide
Zircon 3cm tall

ZirconMadagascarAntananarivo Province, Vakinankaratra Region, Betafo District

Zircon & scapolite ~7cm wide

ZirconMadagascarAntananarivo Province, Vakinankaratra Region, Betafo District, Fidirana Commune, Ambatofotsikely pegmatite

Zircon 2.5cm wide

ZirconMadagascarFianarantsoa Province, Horombe Region, Iakora District, Sakasoa phlogopite mine

Zircon ~6cm long

ZirconMadagascarTuléar Province (Toliara), Androy Region, Bekily District, Beraketa Commune

Zircon 4cm tall

ZirconMadagascarTuléar Province (Toliara), Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region), Amboasary District, Maromby Commune, Ambonaivo Group, Ambonaivo thorianite deposit (Amboanaivo)

Zircon, scapolite, calcite & diopside 6cm wide

ZirconMadagascarTuléar Province (Toliara), Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region), Amboasary District, Tranomaro Commune

Zircon 4.5cm tall
Zircon 4.1cm tall

ZirconMadagascarTuléar Province (Toliara), Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region), Betroka District

Zircon & calcite ~12cm wide

ZirconMadagascarTuléar Province (Toliara), Anosy Region (Fort Dauphin Region), Betroka District, Ambatomivary Commune, Ambatomivary (Ambatomivahy; Ambatomivany)

Zircon on calcite 4cm wide

ZirconMalawiBlantyre District, Tambani area

Zircon ~3cm wide

ZirconMalawiKasungu District, North Nyasa Alkaline Province, Kasungu-Chipala Hill

Zircon 7cm

ZirconMalawiZomba District, Mount Malosa

Zircon & aegirine ~13cm tall
2 cm zircon with aegirine
Zircon & aegirine 4.7cm wide
Zircon 2.5cm wide
Zircon & microcline 8.3cm wide
Zircon 3cm wide
Zircon, aegirine & microcline 2.9cm tall
Zircon & aegirine 5.2cm tall
Zircon 3.1cm tall
Zircon 2.4cm tall

This locality has produced thousand of fine specimens of aegirine and many of them are associated with zircons, though most of them are less than a cm.

ZirconMexicoOaxaca, Mun. de La Pe, La Panchita, La Panchita Mine

Zircon ~7cm tall

ZirconMongoliaArhangay Aimag, Hangai highland, Tariat, Shavaryn Tsaram

Zircon 1.6cm wide
Zircon 1.3cm

ZirconMozambiqueTete Province

Zircon 8mm wide

ZirconMozambique, Tete Province, Tete, Monte Salambidua

Zircon 1cm wide
Zircon 1,3cm wide

ZirconNorwayFinnmark, Alta, Seiland Island, Store Kufjord (Thorfjord; Thurfjord)

Zircon & biotite 6cm wide
Zircon 4.5cm tall
Zircon 1.4cm tall
Zircon 7.5cm wide
Zircon 2.5cm wide
Zircon & biotite 2.4cm wide
Zircon 7cm tall
3cm zircons on biotite
Zircon on biotite ~6.5cm tall
Zircon on albite 5.8cm wide
Zircon 5cm wide

ZirconNorwayTelemark, Porsgrunn, Langesundsfjorden

Zircon 1.9cm tall

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Astor District (Astore District), Astor Valley (Astore Valley)

Zircon on calcite 2.3cm wide

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Astor District (Astore District), Astor valley (Astore valley), Harchu (Harchoo)

Zircon, quartz 2.1cm wide
Zircon 2.1cm wide
Zircon, quartz 2.6cm wide

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Baltistan, Skardu District, Haramosh Mts.

Zircon 5.6cm wide

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Baltistan, Skardu District, Haramosh Mts., Stak Nala

Zircon 4.1cm wide
Zircon 4.4cm tall

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Diamar District (Diamir District), Chilas

Zircon 2.7cm tall

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Diamar District (Diamir District), Chilas, Raikot (Raikoot)

Zircon 3.1cm tall
Zircon 3.1cm tall

ZirconPakistanGilgit-Baltistan (Northern Areas), Gilgit District, Gilgit

Zircon 3.7cm wide
Zircon 3.3cm wide

ZirconPakistanKhyber Pakhtunkhwa (North-West Frontier Province), Peshawar, Hameed Abad Kafoor Dheri, Zagi Mountain (Zegi Mountain; "Shinwaro")

Zircon 3.1cm across

ZirconPortugalAzores District, San Miguel Island

Zircon& Pyrochlore FOV 0.1mm

ZirconPortugalAzores District, San Miguel Island, Água de Pau volcano (Fogo volcano)

1.3mm zircon cluster

ZirconPortugalPortalegre District, Alter do Chão, Alter Pedroso

Zircon 7.5cm wide

ZirconRussiaNorthern Region, Murmanskaja Oblast', Kola Peninsula, Khibiny Massif, Kukisvumchorr Mt, Marchenko Peak

Zircon 2.4cm wide

ZirconRussiaNorthern Region, Murmanskaja Oblast', Kola Peninsula, Lovozero Massif, Vavnbed Mt, Pegmatite №24

Zircon & albite 3cm tall
Zircon, ilmenite on albite 7cm

Zircon 4cm
Zircon 4cm
Zircon & albite 4.5cm wide
Zircon 3.5cm wide

Zircon on albite 8cm tall
Zricon 4cm

ZirconRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Ilmen Mts

Zircon in matrix ~8cm wide

ZirconRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Kasli, Potaniny Gory, Vermiculite quarry

Zircon 2.2cm wide

ZirconRussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Vishnevye Mts (Vishnyovye; Cherry)

Zircon 8cm wide
Zircon 9cm tall
Zircon 1.2cm wide
Zircon 1.2cm tall
Zircon 2.0cm wide
Zircon & quartz 4cm wide
Zircon 8cm wide
Zircon 8.2cm wide
Zircon 8.5cm wide
Zircon 4.3cm wide
Zircon 4.7cm wide
Zircon in matrix 5cm wide

ZirconSri LankaSabaragamuwa Province, Ratnapura District, Embilipitiya (Embilipitya; Ambilipitiya)

Zircon 5.4cm wide

ZirconSri LankaSabaragamuwa Province, Ratnapura District, Embilipitiya (Embilipitya; Ambilipitiya), Giant Crystal Quarry

Zircon 6cm wide
Zircon 11cm wide
Zircon 4.5cm wide

Zircon 4.5cm wide

ZirconSri LankaSabaragamuwa Province, Ratnapura District, Ratnapura

Zircon 4.5cm wide
Zircon 2.4cm wide
Zircon 2.2cm wide

ZirconSri LankaSabaragamuwa Province, Ratnapura District, Ratnapura, Gem gravels

Zircon 1cm

ZirconSri LankaUva Province, Kollana

Zircon 7cm tall

ZirconSwitzerlandTicino (Tessin), Centovalli, Gridone - Monte Limidario area

Zircon 3.6cm tall

ZirconTajikistanViloyati Mukhtori Gorno-Badakhshan (Viloyati Badakhshoni Kuni), Pamir Mts

Zircon 2.5cm wide

ZirconTanzaniaRukwa Region, Nkasi District, Rweko

Zircon 2.5cm tall
Zircon 1.1cm wide

ZirconTanzaniaTanga Region

Zircon 2.8cm wide

ZirconUSACalifornia, Los Angeles Co., San Gabriel Mts, Pacoima Canyon, Pacoima Canyon pegmatite locality (Pacoima Canyon Allanite pegmatite; Allanite locality)

Zircon 5cm tall

ZirconUSAColorado, Chaffee Co., Buena Vista, Trout Creek Pass pegmatite District, Clora May Mine (Mina Blanca; Clara May Lode)

Zircon 5cm wide

ZirconUSAColorado, El Paso Co., Cheyenne District (St. Peters Dome District), St Peters Dome

Zircon 1.9cm wide
Zircon 4.2cm wide
Zircon ~5cm wide

ZirconUSAColorado, El Paso Co., Colorado Springs, North Cheyenne Cañon-Helen Hunt Falls area

Zircon 2.6cm wide
Zircon 3.5cm wide

ZirconUSAColorado, Fremont Co., Cotopaxi District, Cotopaxi feldspar mine (Henry pegmatite)

Zircon 8cm wide

ZirconUSAColorado, Jefferson Co., South Platte Pegmatite District, Butterfield pegmatites

Zircon 4.5cm wide

ZirconUSAConnecticut, Fairfield Co., Ridgefield, Branchville, Fillow Quarry (Branchville Quarry; Branchville Mica Mine; Smith Mine)

Zircon & muscovite 9cm wide

ZirconUSANew Hampshire, Carroll Co., Conway, North Conway, Hurricane Mountain localities

Zircon on microcline 1.7cm tall

ZirconUSANew Hampshire, Sullivan Co., Acworth, Beryl Mountain Quarry (Beryl Hill; William's ledge)

Zircon 2.8cm tall

ZirconUSANew Jersey, Sussex Co., Byram Township, Cranberry Lake, BEMCO prospect (Charlotte Mine)

Zircon 2cm wide

ZirconUSANew Jersey, Sussex Co., Franklin Mining District, Franklin

Zircon ~3cm tall
Zircon 3.5cm wide

ZirconUSANew York, Lewis Co., Diana Township, Natural Bridge station, Farr property

Zircon in microcline ~6cm wide

This specimen is from an old classical locality and your rarely see specimens from here any more.

ZirconUSANorth Carolina, Henderson Co.

Zircon 1.6cm tall
Zircon 1.6cm wide

ZirconUSANorth Carolina, Henderson Co., Tuxedo

Zircon & quartz 6.3cm wide

ZirconUSANorth Carolina, Henderson Co., Zirconia Pegmatite District, Tuxedo, Freeman Mine

Zircon 1.1cm wide

ZirconUSAOklahoma, Comanche Co., Indiahoma

Zircon 1.2cm wide

ZirconUSAOklahoma, Comanche Co., Wichita National Wildlife Refuge, Crystal King Zircon mine (Ashton location)

Zircon 3.5cm wide
Zircon 2.8cm wide
Zircon 3.1cm tall
Zircon 2.2cm tall
Zircon 3cm tall

ZirconUSASouth Carolina, Greenville Co., Tigerville Prospect

Zircon & riebeckite 3.3cm wide
Zircon 2.18cm wide
Zircon 35cm wide

ZirconUSATexas, Llano Co., Bluffton, Baringer Hill (Barringer Hill)

Zircon 1.4cm wide
Zircon & fergusonite 1cm wide

ZirconVietnamLam Dong Province

~1 cm zircona

Click here to view Best Minerals Z and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

First Edition of Best Minerals Zircon finished December 2013 by Rock Currier
Reviewed by Debbie Woolf

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 41 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2014 12:47AM by Rock Currier.
Anonymous User April 21, 2009 11:12AM
More from Ontario;
McLaren mine (Perth) - gemmy zircs (one image pictured in article)
Kuehl lake - huge zircs (one image pictured in article)
Lake Clear mines - twinned zircs (one from the Smart mine pictured in article)
Meany mine (no zircons in data base)
Smart mine

From Quebec;
Chemin White roadcut which produced narrow pink xls to 8cm long (usually repaired specimens) None pictured
Bryson, near Grand Calumet (probably Pontiac Co.) unusual short crystals with complex terminations to ~3 cm. None pictured

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2013 11:57AM by Rock Currier.
Pavel Kartashov April 21, 2009 01:52PM
Dear Rock,
there is the single zircon locality - zircon point on Vavnbed Mt. So You had subdivide specimens from the same locality on two groups - with complete and incomplete labels. :)
Kind regards,
Karsten Eig April 21, 2009 04:00PM
The area name of "Langesundsfjorden, Porsgrunn, Telemark, Norway" would better be simply stated as "Langesundsfjorden area, Norway". Langesundsfjorden is a fjord which partly divides the two counties of Vestfold and Telemark, and the pegmatites are found distributed throughout the area. Porsgrunn is simply a town in south Telemark.
Rock Currier April 21, 2009 07:34PM
Thanks guys. Already I can see the article getting better. The zircon entry like many others I put there to act as a place marker and a lighting rod to try and locate someone interested enough in zircons to take it upon themselves to write the article and select the pictures for the article. I am pretty sure that there is someone out there who could do a better job on the article than I. I started writing these articles some years ago and arbitrarily decided to start with the minerals starting with A. I wrote a few hundred pages about them and as I went along, my ideas about what should be included and not included (not to be included became less and less) underwent a lot of changes so by the time I came to the end of all the A minerals in Fleischer's, I needed to go back and make changes in most of what I had written. Then I got the idea that all this should be transfered to a Wikipedia type project because it became obvious that just one or even a few people could not do the job very well. Once on mindat, the project has been further changing because of the ability to import images easily and the ideas and suggestions of others. We will just have to keep working and see where the project goes. The more articles that are written and the more contributions that are made, the stronger and more useful and authoritative it will become. Perhaps in ten or twenty years it will become something really good and useful.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Ralph Bottrill April 22, 2009 03:08AM
A good start but there are a couple Australian localities that should be there, eg Mud tank (eg - there are a lot of duplicate photos there too!)
Also Sisters Ck (I will see if I can find a better image):

Knut Eldjarn October 07, 2009 06:09PM

The photo from Rob Lavinsky said to be "zircon crystals altering to eudialyte" from Kangerdluarssuq in Greenland looks like a photo of ordinary eudialyte crystals from the area. Zircon is very resistent to weathering and geochemical alterations and I cannot rember seeing any pseudomorphs after zircon crystals - let alone "zircon altering to eudialyte". There are zircons in the Ilimaussaq complex and also at Narssarsuk in Greenland, but I have never seen any large or spectacular crystals or specimens.

The listing of a photo of zircon under the heading of "Kåfjord copper mines" is also misleading as the text of the photo clearly states that it is from the island of Seiland.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2009 06:11PM by Knut Eldjarn.
Rock Currier October 08, 2009 01:54AM
Thanks for the heads up. When the article gets written we will probably not include those images. The links listed were just grabed in haste from the gallery without much thought applied to them. Often when creating the article some of the images are thrown out and or others added. Then of course the help we get in the threads like yours are invaluable in helping I and the other authors stay out of trouble. Would you like to work on an article here? Like perhaps Zircon, this mineral? I would be only too glad to turn it over to you. What is above is just a place holder rather than the start of an article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Vítězslav Snášel September 10, 2010 07:10AM
Hi Rock,
here you have some photos Zircons from Shavaryn Tsaram, Mongolia

Knut Eldjarn September 10, 2010 07:29AM

You have listed the Kåfjord copper mines near Alta as a Zircon locality refering to a picture of a typical crystal from the Seiland pegmatites. The Kåfjord copper mines is NOT a locality for Zircons.

Rock Currier September 11, 2010 05:17AM

Your first image does not have anything in the image or caption to tell how large the zircon crystal is. Can you tell us something about the locality of Shavaryn Tsaram, Mongolia ?

Can you tell us something about the Seiland pegmatites and the zircons that come from there?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Vítězslav Snášel September 11, 2010 06:36AM
Hi Rock, - exactly size spec. is 16mm x 10mm x 8mm - I fix it and give the description of the photo :)

here is size spec. 13x8x5mm - I now fix too.

I can not write more about the site Shavaryn Tsaram because I was not there.
A two sample Zircon I have from my friend Jindrich Kynický, , who was in the area.


Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2010 06:49AM by Vítězslav Snášel.
Luiz Alberto Dias Menezes, Fo. September 11, 2010 02:48PM

The only 2 correct localities for the Brazilian zircons are:

- Peixe alkhaline complex, Tocantins state (I am not sure about Natividade, Peixe alkhaline complex; I will check if Natividade is the right name of the city where the alkhaline complex is located)

- Poços (should be pronounced "possos") de Caldas, Minas Gerais - it is also a big alkhaline complex

All others are 100% wrong; it is crazy, some are coimpletely absurd, like Sapucaia mine, Campos Verdes de Goiás and Brumado; all these specimens came from Peixe; Poços de Caldas complex was mined from the 1940's until the late 1980's for zirconium ore but now all mines are closed.

Anonymous User July 13, 2013 12:36PM
Some more Canadian localities that have produced high-quality zircon crystal specimens are:
Smart mine, Lake Clear, Renfrew Co., Ontario (we have one poor photo used in the article)
Turner's Island, Lake Clear, Renfrew Co., Ontario (we have no images of zircons from this locality)
Kuehl Lake, Brudenell Twp., Renfrew Co., Ontario (we have one OK photo)
McLaren mine, Otty Lake, Lanark Co., Ontario (we have one so so photo used in the article)
Silver Queen mine, Murphy's Point, Lanark Co., Ontario (we have no images at all for this locality)
Seybold mine, Wilson's Corners, Quebec (we have no images of zircons from this locality)
Saranac mine, Tory Hill, Ontario (we have used two images of zircons from this locality in the article)
Mathilda Lake, Harrington, Argenteuil Co., Quebec (we have no pictures of zircons from this locality)

I hope this information is helpful

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2013 12:42PM by Rock Currier.
Anonymous User July 13, 2013 12:42PM
Also, from New York State:
Natural Bridge, (Diana), Lewis County (we have one zircon pictured in the article, but it is not outstanding)
Rossie, St. Lawrence County (We have no images of zircons from this locality)
Various pegmatites, Bedford, Westchester Co. (we have pictures of a few zircons from Bedford, but they are pretty nasty looking things and I am not sure we should include them in the Best Minerals article.
Scott Farm, Fine, St. Lawrence Co. (we have no images of zircons from this locality.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2013 12:55PM by Rock Currier.
David Dugan December 04, 2013 07:18PM

Just wanted to point out that the photograph under Shigar Valley, Pakstan is of a Pyromorphite, not a Zircon.

Rock Currier December 04, 2013 10:26PM
You are correct. I have fixed it. I can't believe you clicked on all those links to see the pictures in that stub of an article. I will have to make zircon my next Best Minerals article to work on. Sometimes it is daunting to contemplate the vast amount of work that yet needs to be done. But I am starting to come to terms with what it is like to be working on a project that can never be finished.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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