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What is Fluorite, Physical Properties of Fluorite

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Source:
2020/11/13 10:08
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What is Fluorite?

Fluorite is an important industrial mineral composed of calcium and fluorine (CaF2). It is used in a wide variety of chemical, metallurgical, and ceramic processes. Specimens with exceptional diaphaneity and color are cut into gems or used to make ornamental objects.

Fluorite is deposited in veins by hydrothermal processes. In these rocks it often occurs as a gangue mineral associated with metallic ores. Fluorite is also found in the fractures and cavities of some limestones and dolomites. It is a very common rock-forming mineral found in many parts of the world. In the mining industry, fluorite is often called "fluorspar."

Physical Properties of Fluorite

Chemical Classification

Halide

Color

Typically purple, green, and yellow. Also colorless, blue, red, and black.

Streak

White

Luster

Vitreous

Diaphaneity

Transparent to translucent

Cleavage

Four directions of perfect cleavage

Mohs Hardness

4

Specific Gravity

3.2

Diagnostic Properties

Cleavage, hardness, specific gravity, color

Chemical Composition

CaF2

Crystal System

Isometric

Uses

Numerous uses in the metallurgical, ceramics, and chemical industries. A source of fluorine, hydrofluoric acid, metallurgical flux. High-clarity pieces are used to make lenses for microscopes, telescopes, and cameras.

 

Physical Properties of Fluorite

Fluorite is very easy to identify if you consider cleavage, hardness, and specific gravity. It is the only common mineral that has four directions of perfect cleavage, often breaking into pieces with the shape of an octahedron. It is also the mineral used for a hardness of four in the Mohs Hardness Scale. Finally, it has a specific gravity of 3.2, which is detectably higher than most other minerals.

Although color is not a reliable property for mineral identification, the characteristic purple, green, and yellow translucent-to-transparent appearance of fluorite is an immediate visual clue for the mineral.