Fluorite or fluorspar represents calcium fluoride in its mineral form, belonging to the halide group of minerals. Even though complicated isometric and octahedral forms are common, this mineral uses the isometric cubic system to crystallize. This mineral comes in a diversity of radiant colors for which it is highly prized, besides its glass- like luster.
Derivation of Name
Fluorite is derived from “Fluo, “ a Latin noun word that means “of a flow or stream of water.” In its verbal form “Fluere” or ‘Fluor” means “to flow”.
The mineral Fluorite occurs in nature as a vein deposit, mainly with metallic minerals, wherein it habitually forms a component of the gangue (the neighboring "host-rock" in which precious minerals occur) and could be coupled with Galena, Barite, Quartz, Sphalerite and Calcite. This mineral is often found in deposits of hydrothermal origin and has been renowned as a primary mineral in granites, other igneous rocks and also as a regular minor element of limestone and dolostone.
Fluorite is a gorgeous gemstone occurring in every color. Often, it can be multicolored having two or additional contrasting colors within one gemstone. The colorful Fluorite gemstone frequently demonstrates banding patterns. Big, flawless crystals are quite common, which can make very big and completely clear gemstones. However, because of its very low hardness and faultless cleavage, it cannot be utilized as a main gemstone. It is usually cut expressly for professional collectors.
Worldwide reserves of fluorite are projected to be 230 million tones. It occurs in South Africa, Mexico, Mongolia, China, Namibia, Russia and Spain. One of the major deposits of fluorspar in North America is found in the Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland, Canada.
This colorful mineral retains its colors in ultraviolet and visible light, and has decorative plus lapidary (relating to gemstone cutting, engraving or polishing) utility. It is employed as a flux for smelting. It also finds use for the manufacturing of enamels. The purest form of fluorite is a source of fluoride, needed for the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid, which is the intermediary source for most chemicals containing fluorine. Optically clear fluorite lenses demonstrate low dispersion and show a reduced amount of chromatic aberration, thus making them helpful in telescopes and microscopes. Fluorite optics are also practiced in the far-ultraviolet range where usual glasses are too absorbent for use.
Color is very variable and time and again can be a deep purple, green, blue, or yellow; also reddish orange, brown, pink, white and colorless.
Mohs scale hardness
4 (defining mineral)