Fluorite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Topics Covered

Introduction to Fluorite
Properties of Fluorite
How to Identify Fluorite
Global Distribution
Occurrence of Fluorite and Useful Mineral Association

Introduction to Fluorite

Chemical Formula – CaF2

Fluorite is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride. This mineral has an isometric crystal system and a cubic morphology. The mineral derives its name from the Latin word fluere, which means ‘to flow’.

Properties of Fluorite

The following are the key properties of Fluorite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: Fm3m
    • a = 5.4626
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Cubic
    • Point Group: 4/m32/m.
    • Cubes, octahedra, rarely dodecahedra, or combinations, with many other forms; rounded or stepped, to 2m.
    • Nodular, botryoidal, rarely columnar or fibrous; granular, massive.
    • Twinning: Common on {111}, interpenetrant, flattened.
    • X-ray powder pattern: 1.931 (100), 3.153 (94), 1.647 (35), 1.1150 (16), 1.366 (12), 1.253 (10), 0.8637 (9).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SiO2 0.05 -
    MgO 0.03 -
    Ca 51.24 51.33
    F 48.29 48.67
    LOI 0.22 -
    Total 99.83 100.00
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Isotropic; weak anomalous anisotropism.
    • n = 1.433–1.448.
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 3.10 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Fluorite = 3.18 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEFluorite = 6.67 barns/electron
    U = PEFluorite x ρElectron density = 20.66 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.0006


    Fluorite is not radioactive.

How to Identify Fluorite

Fluorite can be observed in blue, red, green, yellow and white colors. It has transparent to subtranslucent appearance with a white streak, vitreous luster and perfect cleavage. The fractures to this minerals are uneven producing coarse, disseminated crystals. This mineral exhibits fluorescence, and has a relative hardness of 4 and an average density of 3.13 g/cm3.

Global Distribution

Fluorite is distributed in the following places:

  • Cornwal, England
  • Durham, as at Weardale, England
  • Castleton, Derbyshire, England
  • Bex, Var, France
  • Le Beix, Puy-de-Dôme, France
  • Mont Blanc, near Chamonix, Haute-Savoie
  • Göscheneralp Uri, Switzerland
  • Berbes, Asturias Province, Spain
  • Nikolaev mine, Dal’negorsk, Russia
  • Kara Oba, Kazakhstan
  • Xianghuapu, Hunan Province, China
  • Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Musquiz, Coahuila
  • Ojuela mine, Mapimi, Durango
  • Macomb, St.Lawrence Co, USA
  • Penfield, Monroe Co., New York
  • Clay Center, Ottawa Co., Ohio
  • Hardin Co., Illinois
  • Elmwood mine, Smith Co., Tennessee
  • Sunnyside mine, San Juan Co., Colorado
  • Pine Canyon deposit, Burro Mountains
  • Grant Co., New Mexico
  • Madoc, Ontario, Canada
  • Rock Candy mine, near Grand Forks, British Columbia
  • Huanzala, Huanuco, Peru
  • Okorusu, Namibia
  • Nagar, near Karimabad, Gilgit district, Pakistan.

Occurrence of Fluorite and Useful Mineral Association

Fluorite occurs in an accessory mineral in granite, granite pegmatites and syenites; around fumaroles; in carbonatites and alkaline intrusives. The mineral can also be found in low- to high-temperature hydrothermal veins and stratabound deposits. It is closely associated with apatite, scheelite, wolframite, topaz, cassiterite, sulfides, celestine, barite, calcite, dolomite and quartz.


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