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Fluorite

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Fluorite Calcium Fluoride
CaF2 Fluorite is a mineral with a veritable bouquet of brilliant colors. Fluorite is well known and prized for its glassy luster and rich variety of colors. The range of common colors for fluorite starting from the hallmark color purple, then blue, green, yellow, colorless, brown, pink, black and reddish orange is amazing and is only rivaled in color range by quartz. Intermediate pastels between the previously mentioned colors are also possible. It is easy to see why fluorite earns the reputation as "The Most Colorful Mineral in the World".

The many colors of fluorite are truly wonderful. The rich purple color is by far fluorite's most famous and popular color. It easily competes with the beautiful purple of amethyst. Often specimens of fluorite and amethyst with similar shades of purple are used in mineral identification classes to illustrate the folly of using color as the sole means to identify minerals.

The blue, green and yellow varieties of fluorite are also deeply colored, popular and attractive. The colorless variety is not as well received as the colored varieties, but their rarity still makes them sought after by collectors. A brown variety found in Ohio and elsewhere has a distinctive iridescence that improves an otherwise poor color for fluorite. The rarer colors of pink, reddish orange (rose) and even black are usually very attractive and in demand.

Physical Properties of Fluorite

Color White or colorless, purple, blue, blue-green, yellow, brownish-yellow, or red.
Crystal habit Occurs as well-formed coarse sized crystals. Also as massive - granular.
Crystal system Isometric 4/m bar 3 2/m.
Cleavage [111] Perfect, [111] Perfect, [111] Perfect.
Fracture Uneven
Mohs Scale hardness 4
Luster Vitreous
Refractive index 1.433-1.435
Streak White
Specific gravity 3.18
Fusibility 3
Solubility Slightly in water
Other Sometimes phosphoresces when heated or scratched. Other varieties fluoresce beautifully.

Uses of Fluorite

The uses of fluorite are as follows:

Occurrences of Fluorite

Fluorite may occur as vein deposit, particularly with metallic minerals. It often forms a part of the gangue, "host-rock" without any worth, and may be associated with galena, sphalerite, barite, quartz, and calcite.

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