Fluorite

"The Most Colorful Mineral in the World"

By: Leslie

One of the many colors fluorite may be

CHEMISTRY

  • Chemical formula: CaF2
  • Chemical name: Calcium Fluoride
  • Calcium and fluorine make up fluorite
  • It's crystal shape is Isometric (picture below)

PROPERTIES

  • Fluorite can be a wide range of colors. Some are violet, blue, green, yellow, pink, colorless, reddish orange, white, or brown
  • It's density is 3.181 g/cm3
  • Fluorite has a vitreous luster
  • It has a hardness of 4
  • The streak is white
  • Cleavage is perfect in 4 directions forming octahedrons (picture above)
  • Fluorite can be dangerous if you add acid, it is fluorescent, may be thermoluminescent (glows when heated), may be phosphorescent (glows after ultraviolet light is removed),  may show triboluminescence (glows when crushed, struck, scratched or in some instances rubbed)

MINERAL GROUP

  • Fluorite belongs to the Halides group which falls under the Nonsilicates
  • The Halides are usually simply ordered structures, which means they generally fairly symmetric. Most are soft, they can be transparent, not usually very dense, they show good cleavage, and are generally bright colored
  • Some other Halides are chlorargyrite, halite, and sal ammoniac

Chloragrgyrite, halite, and sal ammoniac

USES AND IMPORTANCE

  • Fluorite is used in the production of aluminum, enamel, cooking utensils, some types of glass, hydrofluoric acid, fluoride, and pottery
  • It can be used in jewelry but not very often because of its low level of hardness
  • Without fluorite you may not be able to brush your teeth! (Many toothpastes have fluoride which is made with fluorite, including the one below), it may be hard to find some of the utensils you use to make your favorite meal, and some pottery you have in your house may not exist!

Toothpaste containing fluoride

LOCATION

  • Fluorite is can be found in England, Mexico, and Canada. In the United States it can be found in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and Colorado
  • One company that mines fluorite is Rachana Global

Some of the locations in Illinois that Fluorite is mined

RESOURCES

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