DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Zircon, a neo-silicate mineral with chemical formula ZrSiO4, is a common mineral constituent of most granite and felsic igneous rocks, in which it occurs dissipated, or as small crystals. Its crystal system is tetragonal. Large crystals are more rare and usually found in pegmatites, in which they are of honey-brown colour and have a characteristic prismatic habitat, as evident in this photo. Zircons are much appreciated as semi-precious stones. Actual width of the lump in this photo is 16 cm, provenance unknown.
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