The name has been derived from zircone, a semi precious stone which contains zirconium silicate, ZrSiO4. This in turn was derived from the Persian word ‘zar-gun’, meaning golden coloured. The orange red variety is called hyacint and the green bluish variation is called sterlite. It was first discovered in 1789.
The metal is not affected by neutron, hence its use in the atomic industries. It is also used in flashlights, jet planes and rockets. Its reactions are allotropic. The colour is dull black, even after being plated. Zirconium increases resistance against corrosion and it also increases the lifespan of heating elements.
Leadzirconate-nitrate, Pb2ZrO4TiO4, is piezoelectric.