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Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
May 06, 2009 10:40AM
First Edition: David Von Bargen 2011Second Edition: Rock Currier June 2012


Click here to view Best Minerals Fluorite, Missouri to Wyoming and here to view Best Minerals Fluorite and here for Best Minerals F and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.


Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?



FluoriteUnited StatesCaF2 Cubic

Fluorite, Minerva No. 1 Mine,Cave-in-Rock Illinois, USA 8.1cm tall

There are something more than 3800 fluorite localities for the United States currently listed on mindat (20120) though few of them produce specimens of interest to collectors. Though a number of the specimen localities produce outstanding fluorite specimens it is generally agreed that the best fluorites in the USA are found in Southern Illinois, which has produced many tons of fine specimens. These are usually labeled Cave in Rock, Illinois or Hardin Co., Illinois. Many fluorite specimens have been produced from various Mississippi Valley type deposits in sedimentary rocks. Especially those found in the zinc mines near Elmwood Tennessee. Other fine specimens have been produced from various limestone and dolomite quarries throughout the midwestern region of the USA. Fluorite is found in pegmatites from Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Significant fluorite from hydrothermal veins has been found in New Mexico, Colorado, Montana and Utah, although the better specimen producing states are Colorado and New Mexico. Most of the other states have localities where fluorite is found, although many of these are only of interest to people collecting specimens from a particular state The southern Illinois material has produced faceted stones, while the Bingham New Mexico blue fluorite has been used for cabochons (neither of which are well suited for jewelry because of the softness of the mineral.


FluoriteUSAAlaska, Sitka Borough, Kuiu Island

Fluorite 2.5cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 3.8cm tall


FluoriteUSAAlaska, Sitka Borough, Kuiu Island, Rocky Pass

Fluorite 6cm wide
Fluorite 2.5cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 5.1cm tall
Fluorite 2.5cm

Fluorite 3.7cm wide


The fluorite from this locality is found in veins that intrude the Cornwallis limestone on the northern end of Kuiu Island in southeast Alaska. The deposit was discovered by Gary McWilliams in 1984. The veins are composed mainly of quartz and secondarily of fluorite. The locality was discovered in 1984 by Gary McWilliams who had a boat and would take collectors collecting at various localities off the coast of Alaska.


FluoriteUSAAlaska, Wrangell-Petersburg Borough, Chatham Strait, Zarembo Island

Fluorite 5cm wide
Fluorite ~6cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 6cm wide


FluoriteUSAArizona

Arizona has had only minor commercial production of fluorite, less than 50,000 tons. In pegmatites to the NE of Congress Junction, Arizona, there are dodecahedral crystals to three to four feet across though hardly of specimen quality.


FluoriteUSAArizona, Cochise Co., Tombstone Hills, Tombstone District, Tombstone

Wulfenite & Wulfenite 3.7cm wide



The specimen above is probably from the Toughnut Mine. These are rare creatures and you will rarely see one in a collection.


FluoriteUSAArizona, Cochise Co., Tombstone Hills, Tombstone District, Empire Mine

Fluorite 12cm wide
UV image of specimen on left


FluoriteUSAArizona, Cochise Co., Tombstone Hills, Tombstone District, Tombstone, Toughnut Mine (Tough Nut Mine; Northwest Mine; Hoodoo stopes; Tombstone group)

Fluorite & Wulfenite 7.5cm tall




FluoriteUSAArizona, Graham Co., Aravaipa District, Santa Teresa Mts.

Fluorite on Quartz 6.1cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 4.1cm tall


FluoriteUSAArizona, Graham Co., Aravaipa District, Santa Teresa Mts, Klondyke, Ten Strike Mine (Tenstrike Mine; Ten Strike group; Stone and Dempsey; Klondyke Mining Co.; Lone Pine Lead; Cassidy and Rubal)

Fluorite & Quartz 2.6cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 10.9cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 5cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 6cm tall


FluoriteUSAArizona, La Paz Co., Buckskin Mts

Fluorite & Calcite? 5.4cm wide
Fluorite 3.3cm wide


FluoriteUSAArizona, La Paz Co., Buckskin Mts, Heson Mine (Hesson Mine)

Fluorite ~8cm wide
Fluorite & Cerussite 10.3cm wide
Fluorite 3.4cm wide


FluoriteUSAArizona, La Paz Co., Trigo Mts, Trigo Mountains District (Cibola District)

Fluorite & Quartz 6cm wide




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, Union Pass District), Oatman District (San Francisco District)

Fluorite & Quartz 4.8cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz ~8cm wide

Fluorite on Quartz 5cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 9.5cm wide


FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, San Francisco District, Oatman District (San Francisco District; Union Pass District), Homestake-Jack Pot Mine (Homestake prospect; Jack Pot Mine; Homestake Mine; Lucky Budge group)

Fluorite on Quartz 8.7 cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 6cm wide
Fluorite 3.2cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 5cm wide

Fluorite & Quartz 6.3cm wide
UV image of specimen on left
Fluorite on Quartz 4.4cm wide



FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, Oatman District (San Francisco District; Union Pass District), San Francisco District, Oatman, Moss Mine, Moss vein

Fluorite 6.8cm




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, Oatman District (San Francisco District; Union Pass District), Silver Creek area, Skinner lode

Fluorite 3.5cm wide
Fluorite 7.5cm wide
Fluorite 7.5cm wide
Fluorite 4.3cm wide
Fluorite ~7cm wide
Fluorite ~3cm tall


FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, Oatman District (San Francisco District; Union Pass District), Union Pass District (Katherine District), Katherine Mine (Catherine Mine; Illinois Mine; Mohawk Extension Patented Mine)

Fluorite 7cm tall




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Cerbat Mts (Cerbat Range), White Hills, Gold Basin District, Buckskin Mine (Golconda patented claim 3027)

Fluorite on Quartz 7.5cm wide




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Black Mts, Oatman District (San Francisco District; Union Pass District), Hardy Mine (Hardy vein; Miller Mine; Parsons Mine; Keynote Mine)

Fluorite on Quartz 4.5cm wide




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Homestake claims

Fluorite 7cm wide




FluoriteUSAArizona, Mohave Co., Oregon Mine

Fluorite on Quartz 5.4cm




FluoriteUSAArizona, Pima Co., Sierrita Mts, Papago District (Sierrita District), Black Dike Mine (Black Dike group; Black Dike claim; Black Dike deposit; Black Dyke Mine; Big Dike; Bobson group; Big Dike Apex & Ajax)

Fluorite 12cm wide




FluoriteUSAArizona, Pinal Co., Mammoth District, Tiger, St. Anthony deposit, Mammoth-Saint Anthony Mine (Mammoth-St Anthony Mine; Mammoth Mine; St. Anthony Mine)

Fluorite 3.5cm tall




FluoriteArizonaArizona, Yavapai Co., Eureka District, Bagdad

Fluorite 2.8cm tall




FluoriteUSAArizona, Yuma Co., Castle Dome Mts, Castle Dome District

Fluorite 5.3cm wide
Fluorite 4.5cm wide
Fluorite 10cm wide


There were never many specimens of fluorite from this locality and those that were saved were collected by field collectors from the mines after they were closed. A few of them were associated with nice small wulfenite crystals a millimeter or two across.


FluoriteUSACalifornia, Los Angeles Co., San Gabriel Mts, Azusa (Dalton), Felix Mine

Fluorite on Quartz 8cm wide
Fluorite 5.8cm wide
Fluorite 5.3cm wide
Fluorite 5.4cm wide
Fluorite 5.2cm wide
Fluorite ~8cm wide
Fluorite 9cm wide
back side of left
Fluorite 5.8cm wide
Fluorite 6.5cm wide
.
Fluorite 9.2cm wide
Fluorite 7.2cm wide
Fluorite 8.7cm wide


The Felix mine should probably be more accurately called the Felix Prospect. It is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains slightly above the foothill community of Azusa, California. Even in the 70s it was difficult to find any sign of mine or prospect workings. For years it has been a minor local locality that was popular for field trips by local collectors and gem and mineral societies. You would just start digging away the vegetation and dirt in the hillside into the decomposed granite and if you were lucky you would find a vein that would produce fluorite crystals, though they were not sharp and shiny or very large, you usually managed to come away with a flat or two of very modest specimens. They were all iron stained and the ones pictures above are some of the champions for the deposit. You could collect there many times and not find specimens as nice as those pictured here.



FluoriteUSACalifornia, Sierra Co., Sierra Co., Chloride Placer Mine (Small Fry # 3; Golden Slide)

Fluorite 8.3cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, USA
Colorado has produced fluorite in the amount of 2.5 million tons. The major production areas were the Jamestown, Brown's Canyon, Northgate and Wagon Wheel districts. The last significant commercial production was from North Park (shut down in 1973). The Jamestown specimens are rapidly bleached by sunlight and also usually are thermoluminescent. As far as fluorite specimens go the best ones come from the pegmatites and miarolitic cavities often associated with amazonite, smoky quartz and rarely with topaz and aquamarine.



FluoriteUSAColorado, Chaffee Co., Mt Antero

Fluorite & Phenacite 10.1cm tall
Fluorite & Quartz 2.2cm wide
Fluorite 5.5cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 2.9cm wide
Fluorite 12.5cm wide
Fluorite 3.4cm wide
Fluorite 2.9cm wide
Fluorite 2.2cm tall
Fluorite & Phenacite ~3.5cm wide
Fluorite ~6cm wide

Crystals from the pegmatites and miarolitic cavities range in size from 1mm to 20cm. The colors include purple, green and clear octahedrons and cubes. In 1982 about 100 light green to violet fluorite specimens were collected from a Mt Antero pegmatite.


FluoriteUSAColorado, Chaffee Co., Mt White

Fluorite 8.1cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Clear Creek Co., Dailey District (Jones Pass District), Urad mine

Fluorite 11cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Clear Creek Co., Georgetown District

Fluorite 3cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, El Paso Co., Crystal Park

Fluorite 3cm tall




FluoriteUSAColorado, El Paso Co., Pikes Peak

Fluorite on Microcline 4cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Fremont Co., Canon City District

Fluorite 8.5cm tall
Fluorite 6cm wide

The "mine" produced botyroidal groups up to 20cm across in purplish to bluish shades of gray (specimens have a tendency to lose water and turn opaque). Several hundred specimens were found by Don Knowles in the 1980's. The specimens occurred in vugs up to 13 feet in size.


FluoriteUSAColorado, Lake Co., Climax District, Climax, Climax Mine (Climax Open Pit Mine)

Fluorite on Quartz 4cm tall
Fluorite on Calcite ~5cm tall
Fluorite 5cm wide



FluoriteUSAColorado, Lake Co., Leadville District

Fluorite & Galena 11cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Mesa Co., Genevieve Barite Mine

Fluorite on Barite 5cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Mesa Co., Unaweep District, Unaweep Canyon, Copper Creek District, Amethyst Queen Claim

Fluorite & Quartz 5cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 7cm wide
Fluorite 5.9cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Mesa Co., Unaweep District, Unaweep Canyon, Nancy Hanks Gulch, Nancy Hanks Mine (Nancy Hanks claim)

Fluorite 4.4cm wide
Fluorite 13.5cm wide
Fluorite 8cm tall
Fluorite 4.4cm wide

Fluorite 12.6cm wide
UV image of specimen on left


FluoriteUSAColorado, Ouray Co., Ouray District (Uncompahgre District), Ouray, Bear Creek Canyon, Grizzly Bear Mine, Zanett tunnel

Fluorite on Quartz 4.5cm tall




FluoriteUSAColorado, Ouray Co., Sneffels District (Mount Sneffels District), Ouray, Camp Bird Mine

Fluorite 4.4cm tall
Fluorite & Calcite, different view of left


FluoriteUSAColorado, Park and Teller Cos., Crystal Peak area

Fluorite on Microcline 4.8cm wide
Fluorite 3.3cm wide
Fluorite & Microcline 6.4cm tall
Fluorite, Microcline & Quartz 4.9cm wide

Fluorite crystals are sometimes found in the pegmatites that occur in the granite of the area and is associated with amazonite, smoky quartz, and sometimes goethite. Usually the amazonite specimens pockets are found in areas of decomposed or partially decomposed granite. The granite of Crystal Peak is surrounded swarms of small pegmatites and they will probably still be digging amazonite, smoky quartz and fluorite from this locality for a hundred years. Fluorite cubes are the most common habit, followed by octahedrally modified cubes and rarely octahedrons up to 10cm in size. The crystal faces usually show some etching by late solutions. Colors include lavender (common), pale green or colorless. The crystals are commonly colored zoned with cores being dark purple to black. Almost all the specimens are found in pockets that have been infiltrated with fine grained iron minerals, and it can be challenging to clean them without further etching the crystals.



FluoriteUSAColorado, Teller Co., Crystal Peak area, Dreamtime Claim

Fluorite, Microcline, Quartz 6.5cm tall
Fluorite & Quartz 5cm wide
Fluorite on Microcline 5.9cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Park Co., Alma District, Mount Bross, Sweet Home Mine (Home Sweet Home Mine)

Fluorite on Quartz 15cm wide
Fluorite Quartz & Tetrahedrite 5.4cm wide
Fluorite ~3cm tall
Fluorite 5.5cm center
Fluorite on Quartz 5.4cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz, another view of left
Fluorite & Chalcopyrite 5.6cm wide
Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 4.2 cm wide
Fluorite 7.2cm wide

Although much better known for it's rhodochrosite specimens, it did produce some nice small fluorite crystals. During specimen recovery of the rhodochrosite, several hundred specimens of fluorite were produced. Cyrstals of clear, blue, green, yellow and zoned crystals have been found. The primary habit is cubes, dodecahedral modifications of cubes, cube penetration twins, dodecahedrons and rare octahedrons. The mine is a small one and has been mined exclusively for specimens of rhodochrosite. The reason that so many specimen of fluorite from this locality are shown is that anything that looked like a decent specimen was saved. This would definitely not be the case from a mine that was mined for industrial purposes.



FluoriteUSAColorado, Park Co., Lake George (Badger Flats) Beryllium Area (Mountain Dale), Boomer Mine (East Boomer; Outhouse Lode; Mammoth Lode; Florman Shaft)

Fluorite & Quartz ~10cm wide




FluoriteUSAColorado, Saguache Co., Bonanza District (Kerber Creek District), Eagle Mine (Eagle-Hawk Mine Eagle and Hawk Claims)

Fluorite, Dolomite & Quartz 7.5cm tall




FluoriteUnited StatesColorado, San Juan Co., Animas District

Fluorite 5.2cm tall




FluoriteUSAColorado, San Juan Co., Animas District, Howardsville, American Tunnel Mine (Gold King Mine)

Fluorite & Rhodochrosite ~11cm wide
Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 9cm tall
Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 6.6cm wide
Fluorite on Rhodochrosite 9.2cm wide


The American Tunnel and the Sunnyside mine produced good specimens of rhodochrosite and fluorite for many years. The miners used to save the specimens and sell them to mineral dealers and rock shops far and wide. The 11 cm specimen pictured above is probably the all time champion fluorite/rhodochrosite specimen from the mine and was formerly in the collection of Josephine Scripps of La Jolla, California.


FluoriteUSAColorado, San Juan Co., Eureka District, Gladstone, Sunnyside Mine (American Tunnel; Mogul Mine; Washington Mine; Belle Creole; Gold Prince; Brenneman Mine; Sunnyside Mine Group)

Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 6.6cm wide
Fluorite 3.6cm wide
Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 5cm
Fluorite & Rhodochrosite 5.4cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 12.2cm wide
Fluorite 22.2cm wide


FluoriteUSAColorado, Teller Co., Cripple Creek District, Cripple Creek

Fluorite on Quartz 4.9cm wide




FluoriteUSAConnecticut, Fairfield Co., Trumbull, Old Mine Plaza construction site

Fluorite on Calcite 11.5cm wide
Fluorite on Calcite 8.8cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 5cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 8cm wide
Fluorite 8cm tall
Fluorite 7.6cm wide


FluoriteUSAConnecticut, Litchfield Co., Thomaston, Thomaston Dam railroad cut

Fluorite, Calcite etc. 8.6cm wide
Fluorite 9.9cm wide


The locality produced better specimen than those pictured here. Perhaps someone will provide us with images of better specimens.


FluoriteUSAConnecticut, Middlesex Co., Durham, Reed's Gap Quarry (New Haven Trap Rock quarry; Tilcon Durham quarry)

This quarry has produced sharp green & purple Fluorite octahedrons growing on Quartz crystals.


FluoriteUSAIdaho, Custer Co., Bay Horse District, Garden Creek Mine (Garden Creek Silver)

Fluorite ~5cm tall




FluoriteUSAIdaho, Custer Co., Keystone Mountain

Fluorite ~9cm wide




FluoriteIllinoisThe Illinois -Kentucky Fluorspar District encompasses an area of approximately 1000 square miles. The first mention of fluorite from the area was in the American Journal of Science in 1818 from near Shawneetown, Illinois, but carved artifacts by the prehistoric peoples have been found. Mining began in the Kentucky portion of the Illinois-Kentucky fluorspar district in the 1830's at the Columbia mine, which produced galena (they were attempting to mine for silver), but was not particularly successful. Andrew Jackson was one of the investors in this mine. The large fluorspar deposits were worthless until the 1870's when the demand for fluorite in the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid, glasses, enamels and a metallurgical flux increased. This production rapidly increased in 1889 when fluorite became an important flux for the Bessemer production of iron. The production of fluorite in Kentucky peaked in the early 1940's when Illinois became the leading state in the production of fluorite. By the early 1990's, imports accounted for more than 90% of US usage. In 1985, the last fluorite mine in Kentucky closed and mining in Illinois ceased in 1995. From 1873 to 1985, Western Kentucky Fluorspar District has produced about 3.5 million tons of fluorspar, 70,000 tons of zinc, 12,500 tons of lead, and 45,000 tons of barite concentrate. Illinois produced about 8 million tons of fluorspar (primarily from about 20 large mines). In 1906, one company sold a ton of specimen grade fluorite for $60.

There are two primary types of fluorite ore in the region, vertical veins (Kentucky and Illinois) which can reach depths of a thousand feet and replacements of some sedimentary beds (Southern Illinois). The fluorite was deposited from hydrothermal waters that varied in temperature from about 60 to 150 degrees C. The host rocks for the replacement deposits are limestones and dolomites from the upper Valmeyern and lower Chesterian Mississippi era. Structurally, the area is the most highly faulted area in the region. Associated minerals include calcite, barite, galena, sphalerite, strontianite, celestite, benstonite, alstonite, quartz, witherite and bitumen.

Colors include clear, white, yellow, green, rose, purple and various shades of blue. Crystals will often exhibit phantoms of different colors. The color changes in the crystals can be correlated across the entire district. The first deposited fluorites were yellow in color, and later generations were usually colored some shade of blue or purple. White fluorite is more common in the vein deposits. Clear (optical grade) fluorite was found in the Crystal mine and green fluorite was found in the Rose mine on Hick's Dome. The dominant crystal habit is the cube. They have been found in crystals to 20 cm. Most of the mines did not produce fluorescent specimens with the exception of fluorite from Pope county. The associated hydrocarbons will often fluoresce a pale yellow.

Fluorite from the Rosiclare Mining Company was exhibited in the 1900 Paris World Exposition (along with lead ore, sandstone and limestone). Although there were articles about the fluorite mines in the 1930's, mineral specimens were not widely available until after WWII. There were probably millions of specimens sold during this period, from large matrix pieces to cleaved octahedrons (a popular tourist item). The miners usually had a full lunch bucket in and a full lunch bucket of specimens out each day. Named mine specimens are common from the Rosiclare and Bethel levels of the Annabelle Lee mine, Rosiclare level Denton mine, Rosiclare level Minerva No. 1 mine, Davis/Deardorff mine, Crystal mine, and Mahoning Mine No.7.

All of the specimens pictured below are from one mine or another in the Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District. Specimens from the Kentucky side of the river are very few in number compared to those from the Illinois side and that is probably why it is called the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District rather then the Kentucky-Illinois Fluorspar District.



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co.

Fluorite 7.4cm tall
Fluorite 12.5 cm wide
.
Fluorite, cut & polished 7.9cm wide
Fluorite 10cm wide
Fluorite UV image of left
Fluorite 7.9cm tall
Fluorite 6.4cm tall
Fluorite 8.5cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 5.7cm wide
Fluorite 8.4cm tall
Fluorite 13.4cm wide
.
Fluorite & Calcite2.8cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 12cm wide

The Illinois -Kentucky Fluorspar District has produced hundreds of thousands of specimens over the years. During the process of dispersal and sale frequently the only information that was carried with them was Fluorite, Illinois. Since there are hardly any other fluorite localities in Illinois, and the name of the mine was not retained, most collectors simply put on their labels that the specimens are from Cave In Rock or Hardin County, Illinois since that is where most of the specimens came from and they would have a better than 90% chance of having an accurate locality.

The Illinois -Kentucky Fluorspar District encompasses an area of approximately 1000 square miles. The first mention of fluorite from the area was in the American Journal of Science in 1818 from near Shawneetown, Illinois, but carved artifacts by the prehistoric peoples have been found. Mining began in the Kentucky portion of the Illinois-Kentucky fluorspar district in the 1830's at the Columbia mine, which produced galena (they were attempting to mine for silver), but was not particularly successful. Andrew Jackson was one of the investors in this mine. The large fluorspar deposits were worthless until the 1870's when the demand for fluorite in the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid, glasses, enamels and a metallurgical flux increased. This production rapidly increased in 1889 when fluorite became an important flux for the Bessemer production of iron. The production of fluorite in Kentucky peaked in the early 1940's when Illinois became the leading state in the production of fluorite. By the early 1990's, imports accounted for more than 90% of US usage. In 1985, the last fluorite mine in Kentucky closed and mining in Illinois ceased in 1995. From 1873 to 1985, Western Kentucky Fluorspar District has produced about 3.5 million tons of fluorspar, 70,000 tons of zinc, 12,500 tons of lead, and 45,000 tons of barite concentrate. Illinois produced about 8 million tons of fluorspar (primarily from about 20 large mines). In 1906, one company sold a ton of specimen grade fluorite for $60.

There are two primary types of fluorite ore in the region, vertical veins (Kentucky and Illinois) which can reach depths of a thousand feet and replacements of some sedimentary beds (Southern Illinois). The fluorite was deposited from hydrothermal waters that varied in temperature from about 60 to 150 degrees C. The host rocks for the replacement deposits are limestones and dolomites from the upper Valmeyern and lower Chesterian Mississippi era. Structurally, the area is the most highly faulted area in the region. Associated minerals include calcite, barite, galena, sphalerite, strontianite, celestite, benstonite, alstonite, quartz, witherite and bitumen.

Colors include clear, white, yellow, green, rose, purple and various shades of blue. Crystals will often exhibit phantoms of different colors. The color changes in the crystals can be correlated across the entire district. The first deposited fluorites were yellow in color, and later generations were usually colored some shade of blue or purple. White fluorite is more common in the vein deposits. Clear (optical grade) fluorite was found in the Crystal mine and green fluorite was found in the Rose mine on Hick's Dome. The dominant crystal habit is the cube. They have been found in crystals to 20 cm. Most of the mines did not produce fluorescent specimens with the exception of fluorite from Pope county. The associated hydrocarbons will often fluoresce a pale yellow.

Fluorite from the Rosiclare Mining Company was exhibited in the 1900 Paris World Exposition (along with lead ore, sandstone and limestone). Although there were articles about the fluorite mines in the 1930's, mineral specimens were not widely available until after WWII. There were probably millions of specimens sold during this period, from large matrix pieces to cleaved octahedrons (a popular tourist item). The miners usually had a full lunch bucket in and a full lunch bucket out each day. Named mine specimens are common from the Rosiclare and Bethel levels of the Annabelle Lee mine, Rosiclare level Denton mine, Rosiclare level Minerva No. 1 mine, Davis/Deardorff mine, Crystal mine, and Mahoning Mine No.7.

All of the specimens pictured below are from one mine or another in the Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District. Specimens from the Kentucky side of the river are very few in number compared to those from the Illinois side and that is probably why it is called the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District rather then the Kentucky-Illinois Fluorspar District.



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock

Fluorite 11cm wide
Fluorite 8cm wide
Fluorite on Quartz 6cm wide
Fluorite 10cm wide

Fluorite & Calcite 6.2cm tall
Fluorite & Calcite 9.8cm wide
Fluorite 9cm wide
Fluorite 12cm wide
Fluorite 5.1cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 11.8cm wide
Fluorite 18.7cm tall
Fluorite & Sphalerite 10.3cm tall
Fluorite & Calcite ~5cm tall
Fluorite, Calcite ~7cm
Fluorite 11.8cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 13.6m wide
Fluorite 7.1cm wide
Fluorite, UV image of specimen on left
Fluorite & Calcite 11cm wide
Fluorite 11.9cm tall

Fluorite ~38cm wide
Fluorite ~40cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 6.2cm wide
Fluorite 12.5cm wide
Fluorite & Celestite 4.9cm tall
Fluorite 13cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 25cm wide
Fluorite 6.7cm wide>
9.2 cm wide
Fluorite 45 cm wide
Fluorite, cut & polished ~9cm wide, circa 1830?

The specimen pictured above if from the Gerald Troost collection circa 1830. It is really more of a lapidary specimen and is of more interest to historical mining buffs rather than something that would be sought after as a valuable specimen to mineral collectors. It undoubtedly came from one of the mines in the Cave in Rock area, but exactly which on will probably never be determined. It is shown here more for its historical significance rather than put forward as a particularly fine specimen.


Cave in Rock
Cave in Rock 1988
Palmer' rock shop Cave in Rock
Fluorite cleavage 5 cm
Fluorite cleavages up to 4cm
Fluorite octahedron, polished ~5.7cm

Cave in Rock is a small community near the mines and is rather rural as you can see from the above picture. This is where you would go when you were looking for fluorite specimens when the mines were running. The name Cave in Rock appears on countless specimens of fluorite from the surrounding mines. Large pieces of fluorite were so readily available that a cottage industry developed which produced octahedral fluorite cleavages for the tourist industry. This occupation was called chipping diamonds. While the mines were running, these octahedral cleavages, some of which can be seen just above, were available in almost any quantity in a variety of sizes and colors. To make these cleavage octahedrons required big relatively clean untwinned fluorite crystals. The heavily damaged fluorite crystals were reserved for this work. The makers would hold the damaged fluorite crystal in one hand and using a sharp chisel would strike the fluorite parallel to its plains of cleavage, again and again till they had a good looking cleavage octahedron. It took a bit of skill to do this as well as a knowledge of the crystallographic orientation of the cleavages in fluorite. I tried my hand at it for a while, but never got very good at it. Sometimes if twinned material was used, the 'diamonds' could not be made at all, or when they were made, the points of the octahedrons were sort of curved this way or that. The fluorite that produced this kind of cleavage octahedron was called coon tail fluorite. With the closing of the mines, the production of these "diamonds" is almost a thing of the past though you can now buy fluorite cleavage octahedrons from China that are made from Chinese fluorite, though the color range of them is rather more limited than those from Illinois.



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock, Hill-Ledford Mine

Fluorite on Quartz 10cm tall
Fluorite 7.6cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 13cm wide



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock, Victory Mine (Addision shaft)

Fluorite 4cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Minerva No. 1 Mine (Ozark-Mahoning No. 1 Mine) Ozark-Mahoning Group

Fluorite 4cm tall
Fluorite 11cm tall

Fluorite on Barite ~6cm
Fluorite ~5cm wide
Fluorite & Barite 6cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 8cm
Fluorite & Calcite 5.8 cm
Fluorite & Calcite 6.9cm wide
Fluorite 14.4 cm wide
Fluorite 13 cm wide
3.2cm Fluorite cube on Sphalerite
Fluorite 6.4cm wide
Fluorite 9cm tall
Fluorite 9cm tall
Fluorite 22cm wide
Fluorite 6.7cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 11cm wide
Fluorite 9cm tall
Fluorite & Calcite 7.5cm tall
Fluorite & Sphalerite 9cm wide
.
Fluorite & Calcite 7.4cm wide
Fluorite 16cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 7cm tall
Fluorite & Calcite 6.5cm wide
Fluorite 25cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 7.5cm tall
Fluorite 10cm wide
.
Fluorite 6.4cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 10m wide
Fluorite 6cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 6.1cm wide
Fluorite 8.2cm wide

Fluorite & Barite 9cm wide
Fluorite 11.5cm wide
Fluorite & Sphalerite 10cm tall
Fluorite 6cm tall

Fluorite & Calcite 13cm wide
Fluorite 14.4cm tall

One of the largest bedding replacement deposits at 20,000 feet long. Specimens produced before 1977 usually are labeled Minerva No. 1, while those after 1988 are labeled Ozark-Mahoning No. 1 This mine produced good specimens of witherite, bensonite, strontianite and barite in addition to the fluorite.



FluoriteUSACave-in-Rock Sub-District, Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Hardin Co., Illinois, USA

Fluorite 5 cm wide
Partially etched 18cm wide


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Cave-in-Rock, Hill-Ledford Mine

Fluorite, Quartz & Galena 10cm tall
Fluorite 14cm wide


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-In-Rock Sub-District, Ozark-Mahoning Group, Mahoning No. 4 Mine

Fluorite 5.5cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-In-Rock Sub-District, Ozark-Mahoning Group, Ozark-Mahoning Mine

Fluorite 11cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-In-Rock Sub-District, Ozark-Mahoning Group, Tower Rock Mine (Iron Hill)

Fluorite 10.9cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-In-Rock Sub-District, Ozark-Mahoning Group, W.L. Davis-Deardorff Mine

Fluorite on Quartz 9.5cm wide
Fluorite & Galena 10.6cm wide
Fluorite & Quartz 12.5cm wide
Fluorite 14cm wide
Fluorite on Sphaolerite 9.6cm wide



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Spar Mountain

Fluorite 7.3cm tall
Fluorite 5cm center



FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Spar Mountain, Austin Group, Green-Defender Mine

Fluorite ~8cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Spar Mountain, Austin Group, Lead Mine (Lead Adit Mine)

Fluorite ~10cm wide
Fluorite 5cm wide


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Spar Mountain, Hastie's Quarry

Fluorite ~8cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Cave-in-Rock Sub-District, Spar Mountain, Hastie's Quarry, Oxford Cut (Oxford-West Morrison Cut)

Fluorite 13cm wide




FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Harris Creek Sub-District

Fluorite 11cm wide
Fluorite 7.5cm wide
Fluorite 15.9cm wide


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Harris Creek Sub-District, Annabel Lee mine

Fluorite 6cm wide
Fluorite 6cm wide
Fluorite 6cm wide
Fluorite 5.6cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 8.1cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 11.5cm wide

Fluorite & Calcite 11.2cm tall
Fluorite & Barite 7.8cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 6cm wide
Fluorite 10cm wide
Fluorite 10.5cm tall
Fluorite 6.3cm tall
.
Fluorite 7.8cm wide

The mine was the last one opened and also the last mine closed in the district. It produced many fine specimens.


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Harris Creek Sub-District, Denton mine, Goose Creek Mine Group

Fluorite 4.7cm tall
Fluorite 8.9cm wide
Fluorite 11cm wide
Fluorite & calcite 6cm wide
Fluorite 10.5cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 12.7cm tall

Fluorite 10cm wide
Fluorite 7cm wide
Fluorite 8cm wide
Fluorite on Sphalerite 10.8cm tall
Fluorite on Calcite 9.4cm wide


FluoriteUSAIllinois, Hardin Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Rosiclare Sub-District

Fluorite & Calcite 7.2cm wide
Fluorite 13.9cm wide
Fluorite 16cm wide
Fluorite & Calcite 8cm wide


FluoriteUSAIndiana, Allen Co., Fort Wayne, May Stone and Sand Quarry

Fluorite 8cm wide
Fluorite 5cm tall
Fluorite ~4cm tall
Fluorite ~8cm wide

This limestone quarry was a popular collecting site for individuals and clubs in the 1960's to 1980's. It produced pale yellow fluorite cubes to 4cm on an edge.


FluoriteUSAIndiana, Harrison Co., Corydon, Corydon Stone Co. Quarry (Corydon Crushed Stone and Lime Quarry)

Fluorite, scale 100 microns



While the faces of fluorite crystals seem to be smooth, they often have growth hillocks and valleys over the surfaces



FluoriteUSAKentucky, Boyle Co., Danville, Caldwell Stone Company Quarry, Walker vein

Fluorite 8cm tall
Fluorite on Baryte 6cm wide
Fluorite ~8cm wide
Fluorite on Sphalerite 4.2cm wide

In general, the Kentucky fluorites tend to be much rarer than their Illinois counterparts and also are smaller and less colorful. These mines were at their peak production much earlier than those in Illinois and did not generally produce from replacement bodies.


FluoriteUSAKentucky, Crittenden Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Babb Group Fluorspar Mines (Guill; Kentucky - Babb; Delhi - Babb; Eagle - Babb - Barnes; E. Champion and Gio Taylor Properties Hardin 1955)

Fluorite & Calcite 7.5cm wide




FluoriteUSAKentucky, Crittenden Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Commodore Mine

Fluorite & Calcite 16cm tall




FluoriteUSAKentucky, Crittenden Co., Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District, Marion, Eureka Prospects (Eureka Mine)

Fluorite 8cm wide
Fluorite 7cm wide


FluoriteUSAKentucky, Jessamine Co., Nicholasville, Lexington Quarry Company Catnip Hill quarry

Fluorite & Barite ~5cm wide




FluoriteUSAKentucky, Woodford Co., Harrodsburg, Mundy's Landing, Faircloth Veins

Fluorite & Barite 8cm wide
Fluorite & Barite ~15cm wide
Fluorite 7cm tall



First Edition: David Von Bargen 2011Second Edition: Rock Currier June 2012


Click here to view Best Minerals Fluorite, Missouri to Wyoming and here to view Best Minerals Fluorite and here for Best Minerals F and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.


First Edition: David Von Bargen 2011Second Edition: Rock Currier June 2012



Edited 142 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2012 10:26PM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States
May 06, 2009 07:49PM
    
Hi Rock,

It seems no problem to find some decent Fluorite pictures from the Minerva No 1 Mine, Cave-In-Rock, Illinois.
I think this one is differently, and maybe you can use it to. http://www.mindat.org/photo-173688.html


Regards,
Mario Pauwels
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States
May 07, 2009 02:49AM
Mario, That is a cool picture and if I am eventually the one writing the article, I would use it, but I may not be the one writing the article, and I have reserved the privileged of selecting the pictures to the person who actually does the work of writing the article. In the past, the various authors have been quite open including good pictures that have been brought to their attention. This one will probably be no exception. Often what happens is that suggestions like yours will sit abound here in this thread till the author writes the article and then the author will use the suggestions and images suggested in the contributors of the thread to include in the article. It is quite rare that they choose not to. Thanks for the picture.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States
May 11, 2009 06:36PM
    
Following Mario's lead, here is another flourite photo on offer from the Elmwood mine

http://www.mindat.org/photo-200763.html

Thanks

Adam
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States
May 11, 2009 06:50PM
Adam. Yes that is a very good picture. Thanks

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States
March 29, 2010 11:33PM
    
You might show this neat 2.5 cm blue cube on dolomite, with a calcite crystal, from Walworth Quarry NY under Best of Species...Fluorite Walworth blue
Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 10, 2012 11:28PM
    
Rock,

Should I try to arrange to have a friend to take photos of some Thomaston Dam, CT specimens? Right now, it is sparsely represented. Also, do you want photos of micros (from any locality)?
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 11, 2012 01:02AM
Don,
I know the Thomaston Dam location Fluorites are pretty ratty, and I sort of winced when I had to use them, but hoped that someone like you might also feel a little embarrassed and step up and get some better specimens pictured in our database that we could use.

We do use a few micro images in our best minerals from time to time, but I find those are mostly by the guys that are doing those stacked images to create the images where more of the specimen is in focus than the old style of photomicrographs. I just hate using pictures where much of the images are out of focus. However, when we have nothing else, we will use them till better ones show up.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 11, 2012 12:19PM
    
Tom Mortimer is going to come to my house to photograph some New Hampshire minerals (including a 14 cm plate of pale green fluorite xls from the Stoddard Mine in Westmoreland). I'll ask him about photographing a 4.5 cm pale blue fluorite floater from Thomaston. If that falls through, I'll ask Peter Cristofono. Tom knows a guy who has an even better Thomaston specimen, but the guy's an odd duck and may not consent to having his specimen photographed. (I know he won't if I ask him).
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 11, 2012 08:55PM
Don,
Thanks for your effort. We like to have pictures of the entire specimen and not close up shots of it and we prefer that the the illumination be as close to natural "white" sunlight as possible although we to some extent can compensate for that with photoshop. I'm sure your guy knows enough to make sure that the entire specimen is in focus by using high F stops. It also helps the sharpness of the image a lot if the camera is on a tripod and hot hand held.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 11, 2012 10:03PM
    
To what specimen are you referring? The Stoddard fluorite plate photo shows the complete 14 cm specimen. Admittedly, it wasn't photographed from a camera on a tripod. The other Stoddard photos are NOT my specimens.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 08:49AM
I have included one Stoddard fluorite in the article, even though the quality of the specimen is low compared to many of the other images of USA fluorites: http://www.mindat.org/photo-85547.html. I am hoping you will be able to supply better and hopefully tell us something about the mine, its geology and its production of specimens.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 01:07PM
    
Is there going to be a separate article for "Fluorite, United States, Louisiana to Mississippi"? winking smiley
Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 01:45PM
    
The Stoddard operated in the early 1900's and supplied flux material for a steel mill in Worcester, Massachusetts. I believe the mill was a victim of the Great Depression. When the mill closed, so did the Stoddard. To my knowledge it was never operated as a specimen mine because almost all of the fluorite was pale green, translucent and not well crystallized. People collected there for many years just because the fluorite is so abundant. The owner closed the property several years ago after an overzealous collector from NY created 6 or 7 huge holes he didn't bother to fill. He did unearth several pieces of original mining equipment. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take them before the closure. The most interesting specimens I have are small, hoppered "spheres" and 2 sets of small transparent cubes with purple edges.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 03:05PM
http://www.mindat.org/photo-85428.html

perhaps this is useful...regards, joe
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 03:07PM
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 03:09PM
http://www.mindat.org/photo-150748.html

best regards, and good luck....joe
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 08:07PM
Dan,
When we have some images of fluorite with decent crystals from Louisiana or Mississippi we will include them. In fact mindat has only one locality for Louisiana and there are no images of the mineral from that locality. As for Mississippi, there are no fluorite localities on mindat for that state at all.

Do you in fact know of any localities in those states that have produced fluorite worth including in the article?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 08:45PM
Don, Thanks for your comments on the Stoddard mine. I have included the in the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Fluorite, United States, Alaska to Kentucky
June 12, 2012 10:15PM
    
Rock,

Peter has agreed to take pictures of specimens from Thomaston Dam & Stoddard. As for the history, I'm going to quote Stan Laurel: "That's another fine mess you've got me into, Ollie". The mine sent fluorite to the American Steel & Wire Co., a subsidiary of US Steel. The company lasted until the early 1970's and in1899 produced 96% of barbed wire used in the US. However, I haven't been able to track down the history of the Worcester steel mill itself (yet, I hope). I do know once it shut down the Stoddard Mine was no longer economically viable. I have no reports of production after the 1920's but I'm still searching.
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