|Fluorite is a mineral with a veritable bouquet of brilliant colors that range from purple, blue, green, yellow, colorless, brown, pink, black to reddish orange. Fluorite deserves the title "The Most Colorful Mineral in the World" by all means. Fluorite glows when heated and fluoresces under ultraviolet light. Fluorite, with a hardness rating of 4 on Mohs scale, is a soft stone that should only be used for pendants, brooches or earrings. The origin of the word fluorite comes from the Latin verb to flow. Ancient Romans believed that drinking alcoholic beverages from vessels carved of fluorite prevented drunkenness.
Where is Fluorite found?
Common Fluorite treatments
Fluorite legends & lore
Fluorite is a mineral with a veritable bouquet of brilliant colors. Fluorite is well known for its smooth luster and rich variety of colors. The range of common colors for fluorite start from the hallmark color purple, then to blue, green, yellow, colorless, brown, pink, black and reddish orange. Intermediate pastels between the previously mentioned colors are also possible. It is easy to see why fluorite earns the reputation as "The Most Colorful Mineral in the World".
Most specimens of fluorite have a single color, but a significant percentage of fluorites have multiple colors and the colors are arranged in bands or zones.
"Blue John" is a fluorite variety banded with colors and white, found only in Derbyshire, England.
Fluorite, with a hardness rating of 4 on Mohs scale, is a soft stone that should only be used for pendants, brooches or earrings.
The rich purple color is by far fluorite's most famous and popular color. It easily competes with the beautiful purple of amethyst. The blue, green and yellow varieties of fluorite are also deeply colored, popular and attractive. The colorless variety is not as well received as the colored varieties, but their rarity still makes them sought after by collectors. The rare colors of pink, reddish orange (rose) and even black are attractive and in demand.
Fluorite is frequently fluorescent under ultraviolet light (UV) and, like its normal light colors, its fluorescent colors are extremely variable. Typically it fluoresces blue but other fluorescent colors include yellow, green, red, white and purple. Some specimens have the added effect of simultaneously having a different color under long wave UV light from its color under short-wave UV light.
Another characteristic of fluorite is its thermo luminescence. Thermo luminescence is the ability to glow when heated. A variety of fluorite known as "chlorophane" (which means to show green) can demonstrate this property very well and will even thermoluminesce while the specimen is held in a person's hand activated by the person's own body heat (of course in a dark room, as it is not bright enough to be seen in daylight). The thermo luminescence is green to blue-green and can be produced on the coils of a heater or electric stove top. Once seen, the glow will fade away and can no longer be seen in the same specimen again.
Fluorite has a vitreous luster and should be free of inclusions.
Fluorite comes in various shapes and cuts. Because of the low hardness (4 Mohs scale) and its tendency to chip, cutters have to work very carefully.
Fluorite location and deposits
Deposits are found in Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
Chlorophane (which means to show green) fluorite is found in very limited quantities at Amelia Court House, Virginia; Franklin, New Jersey and the Bluebird Mine, Arizona, USA; Gilgit, Pakistan; Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and at Nerchinsk in the Ural Mountains, Russia.
Common Fluorite treatments
Color can be changed with gamma rays.
As a lesser-known gemstone, fluorite hasn't gained fame as of yet. As a mineral it reached the Olympus as "The Most Colorful Mineral in the World".
Color: Colorless, all colors
Chemical composition: CaF, calcium fluoride
Crystal system: (Cubic) cubes, octahedra
Hardness: 4 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 3.00 - 3.25
Refractive index: 1.434
Color of streak: White
Absorption spectrum: 634, 610, 582, 445, 427
Fluorescence: Strong; blue-violet
The Fluorite zodiac, myth & legend
The origin of the word fluorite comes from the Latin verb to flow and reflects today's use of fluorite as a flux in steel and aluminum processing. It was originally referred to as fluorspar by miners and is still called that today. Fluorite is also used as a source of fluorine for fluorinated water.
Many people believe it has a calming effect on the body. During the eighteenth century it was ground into powder and mixed with water to treat kidney disease. That may have been based on ancient Roman believes that drinking alcoholic beverages from vessels carved of fluorite prevented drunkenness.