Fluorite: Octahe-do or Octahe-don't!

Chemical Formula: Calcium fluoride, CaF2

Common Impurities: Y, Ce, Si, Al, Fe, Mg, Eu, Sm, O, Cl

Crystal System: Isometric; usually cubic or as penetration twins; less frequently as octahedral, rarely dodecahedral.

Similar Species: Fluorite is harder than calcite, but softer than quartz.

Mohs Hardness: 4

Chakra: Heart, throat, solar plexus, third eye (based on the color)

Candle Colors: Yellow, blue, green, purple (based on color of fluorite)

Associated Fragrances: Eucalyptus, lavender, lilac, marigold, orange

Zodiac: Capricorn, Pisces

Name origin: Latin verb fluere, meaning to flow

Locales: China, United States, France, England, Italy, South Africa, Mongolia

(Crystal Structure of Fluorite, from www.mindat.org, https://www.mindat.org/min-1576.html)

Scientific Information

Fluorite has a chemical formula of CaF2 and a Mohs hardness of 4. It is normally found in cubic structures, sometimes with other minerals attached. It is the only common mineral with four directions of perfect cleavage; this combined with it's crystal structure can also produce octahedrons! In clusters, the fluorite is cubic in nature, but you can also find fluorite octahedrons that exist outside of clusters. These octahedrons can be large or small--same with the cubic clusters.

Although fluorite belongs to the halide group, it is not toxic because the fluorine (F) is bound to two molecules of calcium (Ca2). Many people mistakenly assume that the mineral fluorite got its name from the element fluorine, but the reverse is true. It is the element that is deadly and extremely reactive.

You are probably familiar with fluoride, which is an anion of fluorine (F-, or fluorine with a negative charge). Fluoride is a commonly occurring mineral in bones, teeth, water, air, soil, rocks, and plants. It is used to strengthen your teeth and can be found in your toothpaste, water, and in supplements.

In spectroscopy, it is used as optical windows because it has very clean transmission of visible light. When you look through it with a scientific instrument, for example a microscope or fluorimeter, it has very low "background noise" meaning you are able to measure the optical properties of the sample with little interference from the fluorite window itself. (Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation as a function of the wavelength or frequency of the radiation. Think of light through a prism producing a rainbow. We'll write more on spectroscopy soon.)

Fluorite is used as a flux in steel making and in the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid (fluorite, water, and sulfuric acid combine to yield hydrofluoric acid and gypsum). Due to the fact that fluorite melts at relatively low temperatures, that is why it is used in industrial purposes to produce hydrofluoric acid (chemical formula HF; hydrofluoric acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water). Fluorite was once used for optical lenses, but these have been replaced by synthetic fluorite. It is used as a gemstone and for an ornamental stone (vases and dishes). It is also used in industry in the manufacture of glass, pottery, fiberglass, and enamel (Klein and Hurlbut, 1993). (The Georgia Mineral Society, Fluorite, https://www.gamineral.org/writings/fluorite-gray.html)

***Keeping fluorite the crystal in your home will not render you exposed to anything toxic! But as with any crystal or mineral, due to the treatment and application of chemicals to clean the crystal and due to potential known or unknown impurities from formation or the ambient environment, it is not advisable to ingest. You wouldn't go outside and eat straight dirt form an unknown source, would you?***

Fluorite can also exhibit an optical property called "phantoming". Phantoms are created when a crystal growth is interrupted and then begins to form again. The original minerals get washed away, leaving only the crystal to grow afterward. Multiple iterations of this can cause multiple phantoms within one crystal.

Metaphysical Information

It is believed that fluorite absorbs negative energy and can help with concentration and memory. It helps with positivity and balance in our lives.

Green fluorite is believed to help clear negative energy and bring a breath of fresh air into a stagnant or polluted environment. It may help release unresolved grief from bereavement, even if from childhood. It is associated with the heart chakra; the scents of eucalyptus; and the candle color green.

Blue fluorite is uncommon. It brings logical thought, helps distinguish between fantasy and reality, and helps bring gentle honesty. It is associated with the throat and brow chakra; the scents of lavender, lilac, and wisteria; the candle color blue or purple.

Yellow fluorite is one of the less common fluorites. It helps direct intellect and effort into tangible achievements. A stone to help you organize thoughts. It is associated with the solar plexus chakra; the scents of chamomile, lemongrass, lemon, sage; the candle color yellow..

When fluorite is paired with other stones, such as pyrite, it can amplify things like abundance and luck.

For further reading:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals by Charles W. Chesterman

The Complete Crystal Handbook by Cassandra Eason

The Georgia Mineral Society, Inc. www.gamineral.org

Hudson Institute of Minerology, www.mindat.org

18 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All