The mineral CaF2 is known as 'Fluorite' (modern name), also as 'Fluorspar' and 'Fluor Spar'.
Fluorite (Fluorspar) is an ionic solid that consists of the elements calcium and fluorine arranged in the cubic system of crystal symmetry. This system of crystal symmetry is the simplest of all crystal symmetries because it takes the form of three axes at mutual right-angles, all the same length as each other.
Fluorite is mined in many locations in the world and may be found either alone or together with metallic ores and other minerals such as baryte, calcite, celestine, quartz and topaz. It is a crystal of much beauty and is of interest both for decorative purposes, and also for its metaphysical properties and associations. For both of these reasons fluorite is extremely popular for use in jewellery, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings and pendants. Despite its beauty, fluorite is not used or classified as a precious stone because of its mechanical properties (relatively soft and easily cleavable).
The name 'fluorite' is derived from the Latin verb 'fluere', which means 'to flow'. It is so named because of its low melting point, hence it is used as a flux in in the smelting of metals.
Structures of Fluorite
Fluorite (Fluorspar) crystals are usually cubic. Other configurations include octahedral, rhombdodecahedral, and combinations of these structures, for example combinations of cubic with octahedral, or cubic with rombdodecahedral.
Distinguishing features of fluorite
This is how to tell if a crystal is fluorite rather than another similar material.
All of the following apply to fluorite:
- Cubic crystal form
- Hardness 4
- Lack of effervesence with hydrochloric acid
- Dissolves in sulphuric acid releasing fumes of hydrogen flouride.
Associations of Fluorite
Fluorite has various metaphysical associations, including:
- Impartiality and objective reasoning
- Mental and intellectual achievement and concentration
- Balancing and stabilising influences on relationships and groups
- Uses in crystal healing - to help with a wide range of conditions
There are other metaphysical associations with particular colours of fluorite. These are summarised in the following section.
Colours of Fluorite
The colour of fluorite (fluorspar) varies considerably. Common colours include colourless (transparent), green, and a wide range of shades of purple. Yellow and blue fluorite are also available. Less usual colours of this crystal include magenta, pink, red and black. The transparency of fluorite ranges from transparent to translucent.
The following table indicates some of the additional metaphysical associations of particular colours of fluorite crystals:
Type of Fluorite
Logical thought, well-ordered record-keeping.
Communication skills - both on the physical plane and with other planes.
Uses concerned with healing and spiritual strengthening, such as clearing/energising the aura, aligning chakras, and stimulating the crown chakra.
A fresh cleasing energy that may aid clearing of negative energies and transformation of these to energies of love and light.
Intuition and communication of information that is psychically received; psychic and spiritual growth.
Creativity and intellectual pursuits; group energies and co-operation between group members; connectivity between all things.
brown; green; grey; red-brown; yellow.
Energies to support increase in wealth and to aid mental sharpness. May assist with self-fulfillment and manifestation. Also associated with service to others.
Single crystals may vary in colour and are often colour banded - as shown below.
The photograph above is of a sample of polished fluorite.
Industrial uses of Fluorite
Fluorite is used in the chemical industry as a flux in the smelting of iron and other metals. It is also used (in smaller quantities) in the manufacture of specialized optical equipment. Fluorite has also been used for decorative and ornamental items for many centuries as indicated by many archeological finds.