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 Fluorite

 

Gemstone :
Fluorite

Birthstone Month :
Fluorite is associated with the birthstone month of February.

Zodiac :
Fluorite is associated with the zodiac signs of Capricorn and Pisces.

Chemical Symbol :
CaF2

Chemical Make-up :
Fluorite is a Calcium Fluoride. Pure Fluorite is in fact colorless, with the various colors resulting from tiny amounts of other elements substituting the Calcium in its crystal structure.

History & Lore :
The name Fluorite is derived from the Latin 'fleure' meaning “to flow”, and refers to its use as a flux in smelting, and to the fact that it is relatively easy to melt. Fluorite was originally referred to as fluorospar by miners, and is still in fact sometimes referenced using this name today.

Fluorite is used industrially as a flux in the smelting of metallic ores such as steel, and in the manufacture of certain glasses, enamels and porcelains. Fluorite is also used as a source of Fluorine for hydrofluoric acid and fluorinated water. The element Fluorine in fact get is name from Fluorite, which is Fluorines only common mineral.

Blue John or Derbyshire spar is one of the most famous Fluorite varieties and has been used since Roman times in the making of vases and other ornamental objects. This material was mined in the county of Derbyshire, England, and typically exhibited a banded pattern of blue, violet, and purple.

Fluorite is the state mineral of Illinois, United States.

 

Fluorite is believed to not only balance and focus positive energies but to absorb, alter, and release negative energies. Fluorite has long been believed to enhance intuition, creativity, concentration, and the wearer's sense of order. In addition to this, Fluorite is an aid to promoting healing, and can give protection against numerous types of diseases.

Availability :
Fluorite is a common mineral that can be found in a plethora of colors and sizes.

Sources :
There are known deposits of Fluorite in Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Russia, and the United States.

Evaluation :
Fluorite is rated at 4 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and is not commonly fashioned into gems. Fluorites low hardness and good cleavage significantly reduce its desirability for everyday wear. Fluorite is most suitable for pendants and earrings which are not subject to wear and possible knocks / abuse.

The color of Fluorite is extremely variable, ranging through blue, green, yellow, colorless, brown, pink, black, and purple. Purple is by far the most famous and popular color. Intermediate pastels between the previously mentioned colors are also possible.

Though most specimens of Fluorite will display a single color, it is potentially possible for a specimen to display up to four or five different color zones or patterns. It is this banded Fluorite that is most often seen in the gemstone market. In addition to this, some specimens of Fluorite will have fluorescent qualities from rare elements, un-bonded Fluorine, or organic matter within the crystal. The term fluorescent is actually derived from the word Fluorite. All of these factors will leave no doubt as to why Fluorite has earned the reputation as “The Most Colorful Mineral in the World.” Though Fluorite's low hardness and good cleavage has limited its use in jewelry, its variable colorations and large sizes have nonetheless captivated jewelry designers and carvers the world over.

Common Cuts :
Because of Fluorite's low hardness it's not commonly fashioned into gems because it would not be able to maintain an unblemished polish with normal jewelry use. It is however a popular lapidary material and is often fashioned into spheres, dishes, vases, carvings and ornamental objects.

Routine Enhancements :
There are no known enhancements for Fluorite.

Care & Cleaning :
Because of Fluorite's fragility, special care should be taken both when wearing and storing so as to avoid any unnecessary damage. Fluorite can simply be cleaned using soapy, room temperature water and a soft brush to remove any collected dust or grease. It is recommended that ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners, household chemicals, and prolonged exposure to excessive heat are all avoided as these can cause permanent damage and coloration changes to the stone.

Fluorite jewelry should always be stored in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items to avoid scratching and chipping.

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