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Jonelle DeFelice October 03, 2017 09:04PM
HI all

Wicked quick question about a little specimen of yellow fluorite I picked up on Ebay that is from the El Hammam Mine.

The seller only listed it as fluorite, and I am trying to figure out if the reddish/brownish areas are an actual mineral, or staining of some kind. If it IS staining, can cleaners like Iron Out, Isopropyl alcohol, and degreasers be safely used?

What could the other minerals be in this specimen? Someone warned me that if they are calcite, I'd have to be very careful.

Any tips from people familiar with material from this location?


(attached are two quick photos)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 09:05PM by Jonelle DeFelice.
Tomasz Praszkier October 03, 2017 09:09PM
This one is from Sidi Said or Sidi Ayed.
Andrew Debnam October 03, 2017 09:24PM
Jonelle if you search past forums you will find plenty of cleaning info- Go to the forum list of topics click on mineral cleaning and preparation and use the search function,19,28758,396550#msg-396550
Jonelle DeFelice October 03, 2017 09:33PM
ANDREW - yup, but since I don't know what the rest of the material is, I am not sure how to proceed
Tomasz - so "El Hamman" is a general area?
Scott Rider October 03, 2017 09:46PM
You can search for cleaning fluorite in that section Andrew mentioned. Location really doesn't matter. What you have is probably iron-oxide staining or some that are on top of the crystals, which are common from this location. However, I would not use Iron Out as it can dull the luster of the specimen. In all honesty, you specimen really looks fine as is, ableit maybe the images are not telling the whole story.
Kevin Conroy October 04, 2017 12:35AM
Jonelle, the iron stained crystals are quartz.
Jonelle DeFelice October 04, 2017 02:24PM
(clarification... I mentioned the location only because someone may know what minerals are commonly found with fluorite AT this location)

Kevin says QUARTZ! Someone on a FB page said CALCITE! (and you wonder why I get so befuddled learning this hobby!)


One thing I did learn last night, this specimen does fluoresce. I'll have to try and get a photo.
Rob Woodside October 05, 2017 02:35AM
Check the hardness of the 'quartz'. Look for cleavage and check with vinegar.At least it is only iron staining which adds a colour, so quartz or not I'd leave it alone.
Tomasz Praszkier October 05, 2017 11:54AM
El Hammam is wrong location, its not from that mine, is from Sidi Said- Sidi Ayed area.
Colleen Thomson January 12, 2018 11:11PM
Hya Jonelle,
Tom is one of the resident experts on Morocco - if he says its from a particular locality - then it probably is!
And having collected there too - it certainly is! :-) I'm surprised your label says El Hammam - these are normally wrongly attributed to Aouli mine- lol.
Why would you want to remove the red colouration? Its one of the things thats indicative of the locality and quite attractive (though I agree that is in the eye of the beholder!).
Also - I believe that some of the Fe Oxide is INCLUDED within the quartz and you may NOT remove it. I also dont think it would improve your specimen.
Is it worth risking dulling or damaging those lovely yellow fluorites? Thats down to you.
Dont worry though - as collectors we are faced with exactly the same dilemma time and time again!
Enjoy :-)
Jonelle DeFelice January 15, 2018 06:17PM
Colleen - THANKS for your info! I have indeed decided to let it be. If just because my lack of experience may "kill" it!


Your post reminded me that I need to try and take a photo of the specimen fluorescing. I only have a small lamp so it takes a lot of puttering around and "photo-shopping" to get a decent image worthy of sharing.
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