Fluorite Stone Properties and Meaning

The mineral fluorite with shades of red and green colour. In a mineral display cabinet

 

What Exactly is Fluorite?


Fluorite represents one of the widest colour ranges of any natural mineral and colours are often bright and vibrant.  Although described as the world's most colourful mineral, in its purest form it's actually colourless.  Impurities in the crystals are the reason for them changing colour and heat from radiation can also be a contributing factor.  With that said it should be noted that if the stone is exposed to heat or bright sunlight its colour will fade.  Although hues of yellow, green, blue and purple are the most common, fluorite can also be white, blue, red or brown.  Crystals tend to be transparent or translucent with a vitreous or glass-like lustre.  When void of impurities it consists of 51.1% calcium and 48.9% fluorine but with impurities comes small amounts of silicon, aluminium and magnesium.  Inclusions of gasses and fluids such as petroleum and water are also sometimes present. 

Although crystals tend to be well formed and often occur as cubes, fluorite also occurs in massive form which means its crystals have intergrown hence their individual structure is not visible.  Its ability to fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light is well known and the word 'fluorescent' comes from fluorite because it was the first mineral in which the phenomenon was observed.  It's caused because of specific impurities within the crystal structure but interestingly not all fluorite will fluoresce even if the stone is obtained from the same locality.

 

 

Notable Occurrences of Fluorite


Although fluorite can be found in a wide range of different geological environments and in many places around the world, only a handful of localities have produced large quantities of fine grade gemstones.  Some of the finest specimens come from England particularly Durham, Cornwall and Cumberland.  Castleton in Derbyshire is famous for a rare variety known as Derbyshire Blue John which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.  It occurs in massive form, exhibits bands of yellow and purple colour and is now almost completely mined out hence is extremely rare.

Other notable deposits can be found in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Mexico and Canada.  The state of Illinois in the USA was once the world's largest producer but the last mine closed in 1995. The Illinois general assembly passed a resolution in 1965 declaring fluorite as its official state mineral

 

 

green fluorite mineral on display in the Smithsonian Museum

Green Fluorite | Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Photo: Stone Mania ©

 

 

 

More Fluorite Facts


The name fluorite originates from the Latin word 'fluere' meaning 'to flow' because it has a very low melting point.  This name is a reference to the ease in which the mineral melts when being used as a flux in the smelting and refining of metals.  Fluorite is widely used in industry and is referred to as fluorspar.  It's used in the manufacture of fibreglass, ceramics and opaque glass and is also used in the chemical, iron and steel industries.  The mineral form of calcium fluoride, it's the main source of natural fluorine which is used for the fluoridation of water, in toothpaste because of its ability to fight cavities and in Teflon where it helps provide the non stick surface of cooking pans.  Fluorite is known to have been used in Ancient Egypt and was also mined by the Romans.  Two fluorite cups which date from around 50 - 100 AD are housed in the British Museum.


 

 

large fluorite mineral specimen in a museum display cabinet
Fluorite | London's Natural History Museum. Photo: Stone Mania ©

 

 

This exceptionally colourful mineral is a favourite with collectors and enthusiasts and is also popular as a lapidary material.  It is however soft and fragile so will fracture or break easily.  On Mohs scale of mineral hardness fluorite grades 4 so stones must be handled very carefully. 

When used for crystal healing fluorite with violet or purple colour is said to aid meditation, when hints of light blue are present it helps with patience, contentment and happiness. Dark blue coloured stones are said to attract a change in circumstances and psychic ability and green has a positive influence over matters of employment, money, growth and fertility. Yellow fluorite is known for strengthening intellect and study stamina and orange is often linked with energy, stimulation and stamina (both physical and spiritual) as well as the ability to cope in times of crisis. Fluorite carries an energy that can bring calm to chaos and helps to restore a balance within the four levels that make us human, the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Stones are often placed around computers and in the workplace in order to reduce electromagnetic stress and relieve negative forces.

The photo at the top of the page is courtesy of Steve (Singingstone48). 

 

 

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Further Reading

Additional Information
World's Most Colourful Mineral
Facts from Geology.com