Zircon is a zirconium silicate mineral with a chemical composition of ZrSiO4. It is common throughout the world as a minor constituent of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Zircon is a popular gemstone that has been used for nearly 2000 years. It occurs in a wide range of colours and has a brightness and fire that rivals those of diamond. Colourless zircon is sometimes used as a lower-cost alternative for diamond. Zircon should not be confused with cubic zirconia, which is a man-made material. Zircon is present in most soils and clastic sediments. Zircon-rich sediments are mined and the recovered zircon is used to produce zirconium metal and zirconium dioxide. These are used in a wide variety of manufactured products and industrial processes - ""