Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fluorite lego? No, actual crystals directly from Mother Nature

From various locations, in its amazing variety of colors and habits, Fluorite is a fantastic mineral. Let me start from a location I visited for several months, such as Naica, Chihuahua in Northern Mexico whose location is off the "Panamerican Freeway" between Camargo and Delicias. From this mine, fluorite and other beautiful crystals have been collected, and it became world famous for its recently discovered giant gypsum crystals cave. Naica produced unique crystals of fluorite that vary from a very pale pink to almost transparent specimens with pyrite crystals inside, some of these in my private collection. I worked in this mine while I was still in College back in the late 70's, and to tell you the truth, I really enjoyed it, as I was assistant of the most prominent Mineralogist in Mexico Dr Raul Ortiz Asiain, and my passion for minerals was already there.

Also, pictures of fluorite from Pointe Kurz (3600 m altitude), Mont Blanc Massif, Haute-Savoie, France, and finally from Caldera 3, Mina Moscona, Solís, Corvera, Asturias Spain


Chemical Formula: CaF2
Composition: Molecular Weight = 78.07 gm
Calcium 51.33 % Ca 71.83 % CaO
Fluorine 48.67 % F 48.67 % F
Environment: Low temperature vein deposits
Crystal System: Isometric - HexoctahedralH-M Symbol
Cleavage: {111} Perfect, {111} Perfect, {111} Perfect
Color: White, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue.
Density: 3.01 - 3.25, Average = 3.13
Diaphaneity: Transparent to subtranslucent
Fracture: Uneven - Flat surfaces (not cleavage) fractured in an uneven pattern.
Habit: Crystalline - Coarse - Occurs as well-formed coarse sized crystals.
Habit: Disseminated - Occurs in small, distinct particles dispersed in matrix.
Habit: Massive - Granular - Common texture observed in granite and other igneous rock.
Hardness: 4 - Fluorite
Luminescence: Fluorescent, Short UV=blue, Long UV=blue.
Luster: Vitreous (Glassy)
Streak: White