The role of the standard is critical to the derivation of reliable U-Pb zircon ages by micro-beam analysis. For maximum reliability, it is critically important that the utilised standard be homogeneous at all scales of analysis. It is equally important that the standard has been precisely and accurately dated by an independent technique. This study reports the emergence of a new zircon standard that meets those criteria, as demonstrated by Sensitive High Resolution Ion MicroProbe (SHRIMP), isotope dilution thermal ionisation mass-spectrometry (IDTIMS) and excimer laser ablation- inductively coupled plasma-mass-spectrometry (ELA-ICP-MS) documentation. The TEMORA 1 zircon standard derives from the Middledale Gabbroic Diorite, a high-level mafic stock within the Palaeozoic Lachlan Orogen of eastern Australia. Its 206Pb/238U IDTIMS age has been determined to be 416.75??0.24 Ma (95% confidence limits), based on measurement errors alone. Spike-calibration uncertainty limits the accuracy to 416.8??1.1 Ma for U-Pb intercomparisons between different laboratories that do not use a common spike. ?? 2003 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.