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Fluorite

This page kindly sponsored by Jesse Fisher
Formula:
CaF2
System:
Isometric
Colour:
Purple, lilac, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Dull
Hardness:
4
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1797 by Carlo Antonio Galeani Napione from the Latin, fluere = "to flow" (for its use as a flux). The term fluorescence is derived from fluorite, which will often markedly exhibit this effect. The element fluorine also derives its name from fluorite, a major source for the element.
Fluorite Group.

Fluorite is found as a common gangue mineral in hydrothermal veins, especially those containing lead and zinc minerals. It is also found in some greisens, granites, pegmatites and high-temperature veins, and as a component of some marbles and other metamorphic rocks.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Fluorite.

Classification of Fluorite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
3.AB.25

3 : HALIDES
A : Simple halides, without H2O
B : M:X = 1:2
Dana 7th ed.:
9.2.1.1
9.2.1.1

9 : NORMAL HALIDES
2 : AX2
8.4.7

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
4 : Halides of the alkaline earths and Mg
mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-1576.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

First Recorded Occurrence of Fluorite

Year of Discovery:
1529

Occurrences of Fluorite

Geological Setting:
Hydrothermal veins; cavities in sedimentary rocks; as a cementing material in sandstones; as hot springs deposits.

Physical Properties of Fluorite

Vitreous, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent
Comment:
Dull when massive
Colour:
Purple, lilac, golden-yellow, green, colourless, blue, pink, champagne, brown.
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
4
Hardness Data:
Mohs hardness reference species
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {111}, very easy.
Parting:
Indistinct parting or cleavage on {011} at times.
Fracture:
Splintery, Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
3.175 - 3.56 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.181 g/cm3 (Calculated)
Comment:
Normal range 3.175-3.184, increasing density with rare earth substitution.

Crystallography of Fluorite

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Fm3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.4626Å
Unit Cell Volume:
V 163.00 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Usually cubes, {001}; less often octahedrons, {111}; rarely dodecahedrons{011}. Also some hexoctahedrons and tetrahexahedrons. Combinations of these forms common, cube corners and edges are often modified. {001} usually smooth and lustrous, {111} rough and dull. Crystals distorted at times by unequal development of faces, as of {013}. Often markedly composite; minute cubes aggregated to form an octahedron at times, or as an overgrowth of crystals upon the corners of an earlier formed crystal of differing habit. Massive; compact; earthy, columnar (rare), or in globular aggregates; botryoidal (rare).
Twinning:
On {111}, usually as interpenetrating cubes (e.g., Strzegom, Poland), but also as contact spinel twins (e.g. Naica, Mexico and Chumar Bakhoor, Pakistan).

Crystallographic forms of Fluorite

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Fluorite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Fluorite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Fluorite no.3 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Fluorite no.12 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Fluorite no.45 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Fluorite no.66 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
Epitaxi Comments:
Siderite upon fluorite with siderite [0001] parallel to fluorite [111].

Pyrite upon fluorite with parallel axes.

Quartz upon fluorite.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.16(90)
1.932(100)
1.647(30)
1.366(10)
1.253(10)
1.115(20)
1.051(10)
0.684(10)

Optical Data of Fluorite

Type:
Isotropic
RI values:
n = 1.433 - 1.448
Birefringence:
None
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.000 - Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
None
Comments:
Frequently exhibits very weak anomalous birefringence, especially in cleaved, cut or pressed crystals. The birefringence is usually distributed in lamellae parallel to [001].

Chemical Properties of Fluorite

Formula:
CaF2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
CAS Registry number:
7789-75-5

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society
Analytical Data:
Minute cavities filled with gas, water, or an organic liquid are often present. May contain free fluorine and calcium due to radioactive decay (Wölsendorf, Germany) that emits an odor of HF and ozone upon grinding.
Common Impurities:
Y,Ce,Si,Al,Fe,Mg,Eu,Sm,O,ORG,Cl,TR

Relationship of Fluorite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
3.AB.FluorocronitePbF2
3.AB.05TolbachiteCuCl2
3.AB.10CocciniteHgI2
3.AB.15SellaiteMgF2
3.AB.20ChloromagnesiteMgCl2
3.AB.20Lawrencite(Fe2+,Ni)Cl2
3.AB.20ScacchiteMnCl2
3.AB.25FrankdicksoniteBaF2
3.AB.25StrontiofluoriteSrF2
3.AB.30Tveitite-(Y)(Y, Na)6Ca6Ca6F42
3.AB.35Gagarinite-(Y)NaCaYF6
3.AB.35Gagarinite-(Ce)Na(REExCa1-x)(REEyCa1-y)F6
3.AB.35Polezhaevaite-(Ce)NaSrCeF6
8.4.1SellaiteMgF2
8.4.2NeighboriteNaMgF3
8.4.3BischofiteMgCl2 · 6H2O
8.4.4KorshunovskiteMg2Cl(OH)3 · 4H2O
8.4.5CarnalliteKMgCl3 · 6H2O
8.4.6TachyhydriteCaMg2Cl6 · 12H2O
8.4.8SinjariteCaCl2 · 2H2O
8.4.9AntarcticiteCaCl2 · 6H2O
8.4.10ChlorocalciteKCaCl3
8.4.11RorisiteCaFCl
8.4.12JarliteNa(Sr,Na)7MgAl6F32(OH,H2O)2
8.4.13CalcjarliteNa(Ca,Sr)3Al3(OH)2F14
8.4.14TikhonenkoviteSr[AlF4(OH)(H2O)]
8.4.15AcuminiteSr[AlF4(OH)(H2O)]
8.4.16FrankdicksoniteBaF2
8.4.17UsoviteBa2CaMgAl2F14
8.4.18BøgvaditeNa2SrBa2Al4F20

Other Names for Fluorite

Other Information

Blue under LW-UV, due to erbium; other colors caused by different activators (white & cream - organic matter). Red (Mapimi, Mexico), pink (Doña Ana claims, AZ), white (Sterling Hill, NJ)
May also be phosphorescent.
Thermal Behaviour:
Melting point 1360°C.
Other Information:
May be thermoluminescent or triboluminescent.

Decomposed by H2SO4; slightly soluble in hot HCl. Slightly soluble in water (0.016 grams per liter at 18°.
Special Storage/
Display Requirements:
Some specimens are light sensitive.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Flux in steel making; source of fluorine

References for Fluorite

Reference List:
Exner (1873) Härte an Krystallflächen, Wien, 31, 34.

Pockels (1889) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 37: 144, 372.

Martens (1901) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 6: 616.

Paschen (1901) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 4: 302.

Hintze (1912): 1(2B): 2384.

Bragg (1914) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: 89: 468.

Goldschmidt (1918): 4: 8.

Steinmetz (1925) Zs. Kr. 61: 380.

Doelter (1930): 4(3): 228.

Goebel (1930) Konigliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna: 139: 373.

Holzgang (1930) Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Frauenfeld: 10: 374.

Obernauer (1932) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 66: 89.

Iimori (1933) Science Papers Institute of Physics and Chemistry Res. Tokyo: 20: 189.

Matossi and Brix (1934) Zeitschrift für Physik, Brunswick, Berlin: 92: 303

Haberlandt and Schiener (1935) Zs. Kr.: 90: 193.

Tousey (1936) Physical Review, a Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics: 50: 1057.

Hoffmann (1937) Che, Erde: 11: 368.

Schaake (1937) Zs. Kr.: 98: 281.

Przibram (1938) Nature: 141: 970.

Bradistilov and Stranski (1940) Zs. Kr.: 103: 1.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 29-37.

Isetti, G. (1959): Ricerche sulla colorazione delle fluoriti; Nota I. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma pp. 19-29.

Rigault G., Ferraris G. (1961-1962): Ricerche sulla fluorite rosea del Monte Bianco. Atti Acc. Sci. Torino Classe Sci. Fis. Mat. Nat. 96, 517. [on pink colour]

Ferraris, G. (1963): Ricerche sul colore della fluorite di Castelsilano (Catanzaro). Rendiconti della Società Mineralogica Italiana. 19, 99-108. [http://rruff.info/rdsmi/V19/V19.html] [on green colour]

Barabanov, V.F. and Goncharov, G.N. (1967) Dependence of luminescence spectra of fluorite on its genesis. Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR: 173: 132-135.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: eighth edition. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1819 pp.: 380.

Fluorite - The Collector's Choice. Extra Lapis - English No. 9 126pp.

Ottens, B. (2010): Kugelfluorit aus indischen Basalten. Lapis, 35 (10), 13-19; 90 (in German). [on spherical fluorite]

Van der Meersche, E. (2014): Kristallformen von Fluorit - Crystal forms. Author’s publishing, 296 pp. (bilingual German-English).

Internet Links for Fluorite

Specimens:
The following Fluorite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Fluorite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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