Unlike other rocks, people did not create many beautiful legends about this stone. However, fluorite is special in another way. It exists in so many colors that it is called the most colorful mineral in the world. It can be yellow, blue, green, purple and more (Figure on the left, top). It can be even colorless and not only that. It has even more colors when placed under ultraviolet light. Then it shines in another color, like blue, green and others. This phenomenon is called fluorescence (Figure on the left, middle). Finally, some fluorites can also shine when exposed to heat. This is called thermoluminiscence. Unfortunately, this is a one shot deal: once you warm up the fluorite, it will start shining, but then it will fade and you cannot make it shine by heating it again.
Fluorite is a soft stone, its hardness on the Mohs scale is 4.0. Because of that, it has been carved into many jewels. It was used by ancient Egyptians to make stone scarabs. It can be carved into flowers, hearts, and leaves too. Fluorite is also used in industry for iron and aluminum production. The fluorite that is used this way is usually called fluorspar. You can find fluorite in the USA (Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Ohio, New Hampshire, New York, Alaska, and Texas), China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Norway, Mexico, Russia, and Canada, where a famous fluorite mine is in the Burin Peninsula (Figure on the left, bottom). Buy the book by clicking on the image below!
Rene Daniel, M.D., Ph. D. is an internal medicine physician and a scientist in the field of gene therapy, HIV and aging. He published over 40 scientific articles, including papers in Science, Nature Cell biology and P.N.A.S. He is a member of the National Academy of Inventors. Naturally, he enjoys writing, books and travels.