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                                                 Mineral of the Month--January


                    Calcium Fluoride


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Photos by Eric Greene, Treasure Mountain Mining


Fluorite: A Global Quest for the Perfect Crystal

by Ken Casey

Colors of Fluorite
Fluorite Coloration
Local Fluorite (Purple)
Exotic Locations
U. S. Occurrences
U. S. Commercial Fluorite Mining & Industrial Uses
World Famous Locales
Exotic Antarctic Fluorite
Fluorescence and Theories
Fluorite Paragenesis
Quarries in our area that have purple Fluorite (Slideshow)
Once You Have Them

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More on Fluorite
Museums & Galleries
World Famous Locales
Photo & Literary Credits
DMS Fieldtrips with Fluorite finds
Past Minerals-of-the-Month
Invitation to Members
(Top Left) Fluorite:  De'an Mine, Jianoxi Province, China
Very sharp, deep green pyramidal octahedrons of fluorite with purple edges. 
Photo courtesy of Isaias Casanova, IC Minerals

(Top Right) Fluorite: Cornwall, England
Gemmy red octahedron from the Dick & Maria Nelson Collection

(Bottom Left) Fluorite on Dolomite: Tagebau, Caaschwiitz, Germany
A pair of gemmy, zoned fluorite cubes from this little known German locality. PrettyTN!  Photo courtesy of Isaias Casanova

(Bottom Right) Fluorite: Berbes, Spain
Transparent pink perfect gem for anyone's serious collection
Photo by Dick Nelson



     Have you ever wondered what gives minerals their characteristic coloring?  Did you ponder on such questions as, ‘Where can I find purple fluorite crystals on our fieldtrips?’, and ‘What gives fluorite its purple color?’  Well, I have some exciting news for you!  

     In this scholarly article, I will present you with theories and facts, useful in your quest for the perfect fluorite crystal.  From fluorite’s chemistry, geology, and science of visible and ultraviolet colors (fluorescence) to nearby and world famous collecting locales, I will guide you by presenting the informational tools you will need for your journey.  (Don’t worry, the other colors will be covered, too.)

     In the end, you will gain an understanding toward acquiring specimens and material for your collection, lapidary work and jewelry-making, and trading with fellow club members and friends.

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Actual Colors of Fluorite Cubes digitally sampled from Fluorite Photos

Colors of Fluorite

     Fluorite has the distinction of occurring naturally in many colors.  Predominant hues are green and purple.  It also occurs in a wide range of yellow to red-orange to brown.   Clear, colorless specimens rival those of the bright blues and pinks.  Our local quarries and those all over world are chock full of amazingly colored crystal clusters for your collection.

     Visibly, its crystal structure is easier to understand than most minerals, as it occurs mainly in its characteristic cubes or octahedrons.  Many-sided hedral shapes occur more rarely, as well as twins.   Sometimes color can be matched to a particular crystal form (paragenesis).

     Massive purple fluorite also colors rock veins, usually associated with calcite in our club's collecting area.  Fluorite can sometimes exhibit a 'fluorescence' or glow, under specialized ultraviolet lamps.  It may or may not fluoresce, depending upon the presence of a chemical element 'activator'.  There will me be more on fluorescence later.

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La Beix, France Saxony, Germany Rossport, Canada
Above images courtesy of Dick Nelson © 2005

Fluorite Coloration

     What makes Fluorite so colorful?  Well, as pure Fluorite (or Calcium Fluoride, CaF2) is colorless and clear, some mechanism must exist to pose visible color throughout its crystal matrix.  “Pure fluorite (CaF2), made of the elements calcium (Ca) and fluorine (F), is colorless. The various colors result from tiny amounts of other elements substituting for the calcium in the crystalline structure.”[i] This is the simplest explanation.

     A more complex geochemistry has been debated over the last century: “The cause of color in fluorite has been studied and debated for almost 100 years.  Several enduring theories have arisen for some of the numerous colors in which fluorite occurs. These include electron transitions on structural defect centers, specifically Frenkel defects, impurity-associated defect centers (i.e. REE coordinated F centers), and impurity ions, such as divalent REE, themselves [1].”[ii]  Such rare and sometimes radioactive constituents are referred to as REE, or Rare Earth Elements.

     Quantitative analysis has shown that certain Pennsylvania purple fluorite consists of CaF2 with iron oxide as a trace element:  Ca 50.87%, F 49.20%, and Fe2O3 (trace amounts), totaling 100.07%.”  A study of the green variety shares near identical results: Ca 50.91%, F 49.00%, and Fe2O3 (trace amounts), totaling 99.91%.[iii]   No radioactive components are shown present.

     Iron oxide is a known ‘chromophore’ or coloring agent in minerals.  Mostly transition metals on the Periodic Table of Elements comprise nature’s arsenal of coloring agents.  Ferrous iron (Fe2+) promotes green coloration.[iv]  “In some cases the color is attributable to appreciable amounts of an element, such as iron, that has a strong pigmenting power.”  Also, “[t]he ions of certain elements are strongly light-absorbing and their presence in small, even trace, amounts may cause the mineral to be deeply colored.  Chief among these elements known as chromophores are: Fe, Mn, Cu, Cr, Co, Ni, and V.” (p. 190)[v]

     Crystal structure is the real key to understanding this phenomenon.  Sometimes the radiation of RREs contribute to widen the range of coloration.[vi]   Most purple fluorite found on our fieldtrips in PA has been either massive or simply cubic.

    This author would argue that our local purple Fluorite consists of Calcium Fluoride with no rare earth element (REE) believed to act as either chromophore or ‘activator’ towards fluorescence, as upon ‘UV lamping’, the specimens did not fluoresce.  One test for “[p]urple fluorite found in association with radioactive minerals becomes colourless on heating above about 175°C [347°F]…”[vii]

     Though, purple fluorite can be an indicator of the presence of uranium[viii], this is not yet proved to the author’s satisfaction in quarries we visited in southeastern Pennsylvania.  And since, iron oxide is not known to activate fluorescence; therefore, with only visible color to contend with, the producing agent of its purple color is, most likely, iron oxide.  So, our search for the perfect purple fluorite crystal leads us to search for locations containing iron oxide.

 Local Fluorite

     Of all the minerals our club has collected on recent field trips, which has the most color variations?  That would be Fluorite, of course; it is a favorite of collectors worldwide.  Okay, so where do we search for fluorite locally?

     The Fluorite that we know from nearby Pennsylvania is usually purple, based upon our experience.  Also small crystals of colorless, white, green, blue, or yellow have been found.[ix]   “Fluorite has been noted…in numerous places throughout the State [of Pennsylvania], especially in calcite or dolomite veins in the limestones.  Most of it is purple, but the light green variety has also been found.”[x]

IMGP2242.JPG (2372 bytes) Purple fluorite cubes on pink dolomite saddles, Kurtz Quarry (Photo by Ken Casey ©2004)

     In essence, the best places to look for good crystals are in Pennsylvania limestone quarries.  As it is known that the application of water to crystals can dull their luster, the freshest specimens, protected from the rain, are found in active quarries.  Also, we need to scour the map to locate typical assemblages of hydrothermal deposits.  These fluorite associations include: calcite, dolomite, pyrite, limonite (pseudomorphs after pyrite, or ‘iron oxide’), quartz, and sometimes barite and sphalerite.  These are places that we have visited on recent field trips.  

Past Field Trips

Exotic Locations

     We also find green fluorite in New Hampshire at the Wise Mine (NEFTA fieldtrips).  Specimens in all colors of the rainbow can be found as near as the Midwestern U. S., and as far as China.  In fact, this mineral can be found on all seven continents, even Antarctica![xi]  Bob’s Fluorite Gallery lists specimens and pictures from all six, but our southernmost landmass.

U. S. Occurrences

     Some famous locales to visit (with permission, of course) follow.  Some require club membership or participation in a field trip alliance, like NEFTA, to collect there.  Whereas, some mine owners may charge a fee per visit or quantity of material collected.  Here, we provide links to the organizations sponsoring such trips, or have reported on the highly prized occurrences after which we seek.

William Wise Mine, Westmoreland, New Hampshire (superb green octahedrons)

Ballard Mine, Sweetwater, Tennessee and Elmwood, TN area (gray, green & purple cubes)

Fluorite Mine, Cady Mountains (Afton Canyon area) located about 50 miles east of Barstow, California (green)

Purple Passion Mine, Wickenburg, Arizona

Monarch Mine, Wickenburg, AZ on BLM land (green & purple octahedrons up to 2 inches)

Bluffton Stone Company Quarry, Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio (purple, brown, pink, clear, white, yellow, gold, brown, brownish black) cubes or trisoctahedrons, with phantoms)

 To view a listing of world famous fluorite sites by color:

U. S. Commercial Fluorite Mining & Industrial Uses

     Fluorite ranks as an important commercial mineral.  It is used as flux in steel-making, glass-making, enameling, as well as uranium production and the manufacture of hydrofluoric acid (HF).  The Midwestern United States boasts viable deposits.  Four western states have also supported its extraction: Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, and Utah.   Today, very little, if any, U. S. fluorite mining is going on.  The last and largest domestic fluorspar mine closed in 1995, leaving tailings for future collection.   “The Kentucky-Illinois fluorspar area once was ranked first in the United States in the production of fluorite.”[xii]

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Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) (Cave-in-Rock, Rosiclaire Maps)
Fluorite:  Minerva Mine # 1, Cave in Rock, Illinois (5.5x5x3 cm) Photo: Isaias Casanova
Bluish cubes of fluorite with rich purple zones and minor black spots of hydrocarbons.

    Important mines in Rosiclaire and Cave-in-Rock, Illinois were part of this famous mining district.  In fact, in 1965, the state’s General Assembly made Fluorite the official Illinois state mineral.[xiii]   Today, an historical marker stands near the famous Rosiclaire site, erected on June 3, 1995.[xiv]  For us collectors, we can note that some deep purple fluorite found here does fluoresce, and can still be collected.

World Famous Locales

    As fluorite occurs so frequently in deposits, and was mined since early Roman Empire times, locations developed around the globe are too many to mention within the scope of this article.  Since we are mainly focused on finding the perfect specimens, I will allude to only some of the world’s most famous locales.  I have listed links to several academic, commercial, and collector’s galleries for you to explore within and at the end of this article.

     There are many famous collection locations for Fluorite around the world.  Most notable locales exist in the U. S., England, Spain, Italy, China, and France.  The original hotspot for collectable fluorites is in the United Kingdom.  In England, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Durham, and mines in Saxony have shown the most promising specimens.  For example, the Rogerley Mine in Weardale, England has historically supplied collectors for over 150 years.  Specimens from this locale are bright green and fluoresce blue in strong daylight.[xv]

    Whether you would just like to view and study these phenomenal collections, purchase them at a local rock, gem & mineral show, or plan a travel adventure for self-collecting, here are a few resources, organized by major locale:

     Spain boasts at least two major collection locales for purple: Asturias and La Vescias.

    Italy offers superb violet cubes from Cagliari’s Is Murvonis Mine, and light green cubes hail from the Su Zulfuru Mine.

   China has light and deep green octahedrons, and colorless, and purple cubes from Hunan Province.

     France shares some hearty, pink octahedrons from the Argentiere Massif, Mount Blanc, Chamonix.

Exotic Antarctic Fluorite

     Though this author has yet to find a specimen or photo of fluorite from this snow-covered continent, literature abounds, alluding to its existence.  Some observations are based on satellite and geophysical surveys, others by mining companies exploring for resources.

     Surface deposits have even been explored.  “The sediments of the Tarn Flat [Antarctica] lake derive from local materials, modified in silicate fraction and enriched in calcite and fluorite.”[xvi]   Even the USGS lists Fluorite in its Commodity Inventory of Antarctica.[xvii]

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Credits: (L. to R.): NSF, National Geographic Society, Lynn Teo Samarski (NSF), Ann Parks Hawthorne (NSF)

     “There has never been any commercial mining in Antarctica, there are no current plans to mine Antarctica and mining is currently completely banned by the Antarctic Treaty. There are no known future plans by any of the Antarctic Treaty nations to reverse this decision.”[xviii]

     So, collecting here is prohibited.  Some lucky few of us might join a geologic expedition in the future.  To our Junior Members (and the rest of us, young-at-heart), finding well-preserved fluorite crystals on Antarctica, may rival your desire to search for life on Mars.  If you wish, I hope you get to do both, one day. 

     For the future, you will need a map or guide.  Here is one theory of exploration that can lead you to at least geologically analogous sites on four nearby continents:

      One theory set forward by David Leach of the USGS uses the process of Continental Drift as proof.   In that Australia was once connected to Antarctica (as part of the ancient supercontinent, Pangea), geologies of the formerly joined landmasses must be similar.   And that, “The series of intense tectonic events associated with the assimilation of Pangea in Devonian to Permian time account for at least 71% of total MVT Pb-Zn metal that have been mined to date.”[xix]  Also, “These deposits account for the bulk of the world's resources for lead and zinc together with significant resources of Ag, Ge, Co, fluorite, and barite and Ni (the largest resource for Ni in the U.S. is in the old lead-belt MVT district of Missouri).”[xx]

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     Therefore, if one finds fluorite at the connective boundary in Australia, another may find it at its corresponding boundary in Antarctica.  The same goes for the southern tip of South America, the African coast, and India, as well.

     Though, never mined, purple fluorite does exist there.  I would imagine that legally procuring a specimen or even a photo would be a grand achievement.  As the world is full of this spectacular mineral, one could spend decades combing our planet for specimens, and relegate oneself to dreaming of the day toward participating in a grand expedition to this frozen continent.

       Courtesy of the University of Texas


Fluorescence and Theories

     Akin to collecting rainbow specimens from exotic locales, is the phenomenal ‘performance’ of these specimens in the privacy or your own home, museum, or rock show (in person and online).  That action is ‘fluorescence’.  It is the amazing, seemingly supernatural, glow exhibited by certain fluorites upon ‘lamping’ by an ultraviolet light source.

     We have two major choices at lighting: one, the sun, and two, a specialty UV lamp.  Our number one choice is free, but limited to exciting a scant few specimens from locations such as England.  Our number two choice costs a few dollars, but delivers the freedom to view in brightly glowing color any fluorescing fluorite we would have the desire to make glow.

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     Neither the Early Roman metallurgists (BCE/AD), nor the Renaissance chemists of 1549 AD[xxi], knew to use fluorite’s fluorescent properties.  They only utilized its property of ‘ease of flow’ under heat, making the mineral perform as flux [Latin, fluere, to flow] in their metalwork.[xxii]

     The person credited with this discovery was the British scientist Sir George Gabriel Stokes.  In about 1851, he noted that certain English fluorites glowed bright blue in sunlight.   He coined the term ‘fluorescence’ after the mineral’s name in a paper of 1852.[xxiii]

     He published on “Stokes Law in 1852. Sometimes referred to as Stokes shift, the law holds that the wavelength of fluorescent light is always greater than the wavelength of the exciting light.”[xxiv]   Like Sir Isaac Newton, Stokes was an advocate of light study and optics.  He has laid some immense groundwork for our modern, mathematical understanding of our favorite fluorite.

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© 2004 Photo by Chris Thorsten


Specimen from Franklin, NJ under UV Light

Fluorite (variety "chlorophane") - FL blue-green, SW
Fluorapatite - FL peach-orange, SW
Willemite - FL green, SW

     Now, how does this apply to our purple fluorite specimens?  Well, it is the play of color that excites most students, scientists, and hobbyists.  It seems as magic to illuminate a fluorite cube with an invisible beam of light and observe a bright emanation of ‘dayglow’ colors; especially, if the emanating color is different from the daylight color of one’s specimen.  Without its discovery, we would only marvel at the myriad hues we observe in daylight—if that is not enough!

     To proceed, let us properly define our application of fluorescence.  “Fluorescence in minerals is the result of bombarding the mineral with invisible ultra-violet light waves. This releases visible light waves (photons) of different wave lengths (colors) from the mineral.”[xxv]   There are two major delineations of UV light for our model: longwave and shortwave.   A collector can purchase, borrow, or share a dedicated UV lamp that may one or two outputs, covered by a purple glass, known as Wood’s glass.  Each output will produce either a longwave, or a shortwave light.  A mineral’s fluorescence may behave differently under each wavelength.

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     Most simply, for our purposes, “[f]luorite fluoresces best under the long wave U. V. light. This usually produces a blue light. In our long wave case the green fluorite fluoresces blue.”[xxvi]

     “Many Fluorites fluoresce a blue-violet color due to traces of europium; this is usually best under longwave UV. Fluorite also fluoresces green, yellow, red, and white. Some will fluoresce one color under short-wave, a second color under longwave, and even a third phosphorescence. Other activators in Fluorite include Yttrium, Samarium, and some organic impurities.”[xxvii]  For example, “[f]luorite from Weardale fluoresces brightly purple while fluorite from Derbyshire rarely fluoresces.”[xxviii]

     “Certain electrons in the mineral absorb the energy from these sources and jump to a higher energy state. The fluorescent light is emitted when those electrons jump down to a lower energy state and emit a light of their own.”[xxix]   Sometimes the fluorite will glow for several seconds after the UV lamp is turned off.  This bonus light is termed ‘phosphorescence’.

     With this application we can further enjoy our perfect specimen!

Fluorite Paragenesis

     “In addition to discovering the cause of color, geologists have also linked the particular impurities or trace elements to particular colors of light emitted by exposure to ultraviolet light (fluorescence), and to certain associations with desired metal sulfide ores to be mined commercially.  In fact, a fluoride’s paragenesis (or conditions of creation) can be linked to this effect.  The fluorescent effects are gauged by prospectors as indicators of the geochemistry of the minerals to be mined.

     When fluorite is not the desired mineral to be mined in commercial quantities, even as a gangue mineral can be used as clue to the presence of desired metal sulfide ores.  “[G]angue and ore minerals in many instances are genetically related.”  For example, the presence of a dark purple fluorite may indicate the availability of uranium, lead, or zinc ore bodies nearby.”[xxx]

     Two Russian mineralogists, Ganzeyev and Sotskov, stated in a 1976 article on the composition of their native fluorites that: “Overall, the trace REE's encountered in the highest concentrations were ytterbium (Yb), cerium (Ce), samarium (Sm), and lanthanum (La), in that order. Also found in fluorite were europium, terbium, lutetium, and strontium (not a REE, but tested for anyway).”[xxxi]  And that “…the amounts of trace REE's corresponded with the conditions under which the fluorite crystallized.”[xxxii]  

Quarries in our area that have purple Fluorite

     Though our club’s interest leads us more toward the collection of crystal specimens, rather than the raw geology that has created them, a basic understanding of the natural processes that govern their formation can aid us in prospecting for the finest specimens.  For example, by finding even a bit of massive purple fluorite running in a vein of white calcite from a southeastern Pennsylvania limestone quarry, we can ascertain that a possible association of other desirable minerals could be close by.  Various pink and white dolomite saddles, multi-faceted clear calcite crystals, and even some cubes of pyrite perched upon the two could be the vug-find of the day, if one searches with aplomb. 

     As a matter of fact, we discovered a bonanza of such finds at our November 20, 2004 fieldtrip to Kurtz Quarry in Denver, PA.  Bob, Karissa, Joe, John, Tim, Guy and Wendy reaped the benefits of a basic geologic knowledge of the quarry.  Eric and Jake found the nicest pyrite/calcite vein I’ve seen in awhile!

purple_fluorite_franklin.jpg (160482 bytes) Fluorite in calcite vein, Franklin, NJ (Photo by Ken Casey ©2004)

Fluorite Slide Shows:

Slide Shows are best viewed by using "Full Screen" or "F11".

Local Area Quarry Fluorite Slideshow (IE)    Local Area Quarry Fluorite Slideshow (N)

Fluorite Gallery #1 (IE)       Fluorite Gallery #2  (IE)    Fluorite Gallery #3 (IE)
Fluorite Gallery #1 (N)       Fluorite Gallery #2  (N)    Fluorite Gallery #3 (N)

IE = Internet Explorer; N = Netscape


     Other Pennsylvania quarries offer similar possibilities.  In 2004, we have visited a few: the Kurtz Quarry in Denver, the Binkley-Ober Quarry in East Petersburg, PA, Meckley’s Quarry in Mandata, and a NEFTA trip to Doylestown, PA.   Known locations of others are: Oak Hall Quarry, College Township, PA and the Ormrod Quarries of Heidelberg Cement.  Our VP of Fieldtrips, Bob Asreen, is working to setup an excursion to Martin Limestone’s Burkholder Quarry in Lancaster County.  The Nittany Mineralogical Society has reported finds of “some handsome fluorites” there.  This is just in our own backyard!


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     Fluorite shares a common, visible crystal structure with such minerals as Pyrite.  It crystallizes in the Isometric System and usually forms cubes, octahedrons (less likely), and rarely dodecahedrons (12-sided figures).  Often nature combines the forms into twinned, interpenetrating cubes, or cubes with their corners modified.  One could speculate that since iron pyrite (FeS2) forms cubes like our predominantly purple fluorite (with trace amounts of iron oxide) that fluorite’s tendency toward forming cubes in our local area would be worthy of investigation.

For more on Fluorite, see:

     On recent fieldtrips, we have found mainly purple cubes, measuring about 1-5 mm.  It is possible, that upon future adventures, we will come across larger, green cubes for sampling.

Once You Have Them

     One you have them, what next?  Well, there are many means of enjoying and sharing your most excellent specimen of fluorite.  The first thing is to prepare your crystals for viewing.  That is best done with a very soft-haired brush, as fluorite scratches easily (Moh’s Hardness Scale of 4).  Though insoluble in water at temperatures collectors use, brushing with water can dull the luster of the crystal faces, I’m told by fellow collectors.   Or, soak them in water and dish soap for a few days.[xxxiii]   The use of acids is ill advised.

     Next, it’s up to you.  You can display it at home, show it at our next club meeting, or junior members and teachers could show it as an educational tool.  Trading or selling your specimen is entirely up to you.  And, if you deem yourself generous enough to give it away or donate to a school or museum, you reap the intrinsic rewards of sharing.

     Some folks go one step further, and process their finds into stonework or jewelry, using lapidary techniques.  Being relatively soft, fluorite takes shaping and polishing easy enough.   Though somewhat fragile, it makes for brilliant cut stones, vases and vessels, spheres, and most popularly today, beads.

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     Once you have collected the perfect specimen of fluorite, you may never go back to the ordinary, less colored and less-photoactive minerals.  Thanks for joining me on our adventure.  If you are in the neighborhood, drop by one of our meetings to discuss this article and more.  (We meet the second Monday of every month, except July and August.)  Until we can meet upon the frozen shores of Antarctica, Happy Rockhounding to you on every continent.

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Antarctica Photo Credits (L. to R.):  Lynn Teo Samarski (NSF), Bert Rowell (NSF)

Stay tuned for an upcoming article: “Fluorite and Fluorescence: A Colorfully In-Depth Look”

Stay tuned for the follow-up article: “Fluorites of Antarctica: An Unspoiled Treasure”


Museums & Galleries

Smithsonian Institution’s Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals Virtual Tour (Their site is under construction)


World Famous Locales


UK Mining Ventures, England

Webliography/ Bibliography

Illinois State Geological Survey “Geobit 4: Fluorite—Illinois’ State Mineral, November 7, 2003, ISGS. January 5, 2005

NM” Eleventh Annual V. M. Goldschmidt Conference (2001): 1 page. 3 Jan. 2005

Miller, Benjamin L. Lehigh County Pennsylvania Geology & Geography, Fourth Series Bulletin C39. Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs, Topographic and Geologic Survey: 1941. Lehigh  University Digital Library, PA. 2 Jan. 2005<

Aber, Susan Ward “Course Lecture: GO 340 Gemstones & Gemology: Visual Properties”.
Emporia State University. 28 Dec. 2004. 30 Dec. 2004

Hurlbut, Jr., Cornelius, and Klein, Cornelis, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D. Dana), 19th
edition, London: Longman Group Limited, 1976.

Bean, Rachel “Course Lab: Geology 202a: Mineralogy: Lab 3: Mineral Colors”. Bowdoin College.
Due: 4 Feb. 2003.  22 Dec. 2004

Deer, W. A., Howie, R. A., and Zussman, J. An Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals.
London: Longman Group Limited, 1976.

Hagemann, Steffen “Geology 364: Ore Genesis Lecture Notes: Hydrothermal Alteration
Systematics”. 2001. 2 Jan. 2005

Barnes, John H. Rocks and Minerals of Pennsylvania, Education Series 1, 4th series.
Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 2004

Read, Stephen E., Cooper, Alan F., and Walker, Nicholas W. “Geochemistry and U-Pb
geochronology of the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Koettlitz Glacier Alkaline Province, Royal
Society Range, Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica.” Geology Department, University
of Otago, New Zealand, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, Dunedin, New
Zealand. 20 Nov. 2002. 30 Dec. 2004

“Rocks and Minerals of Kentucky: Fluorite”. Kentucky Geological Survey, University of
Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 30 Dec. 2004

“Fluorite Mining”. Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield, IL. 4 Jan. 2005

Specimen #M255. Mt. Lily Gems, Burnsville, NC.

BERTELLE, M., LEOTTA G., CALOGERO, S., Universitą di Venezia, Venezia, Italy;
ODDONE, M. Universitą di Pavia , Pavia, Italy “CHARACTERISATION OF SEDIMENTS

Eastern Minerals Team. "USGS Fact Sheet: MRDS Quarterly Reports: Commodity Inventory
by Continent 01/03/00 Antarctica (2)". U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. 30 Dec. 2004

Ward, Paul. “Cool Antarctica: Human Impacts on Antarctica and Threats to the Environment -
Mining and Oil”. 27 Dec. 2004. 30 Dec. 2004

Leach, David. “Sediment-hosted base-metal deposits”. U. S. Geological Survey, USGS
Central Region Mineral Resources Team, Reston, VA. 24 Sep. 2003. 2 Jan. 2005

Jolyon, Ralph. “Fluorite”.—The Mineral Database. Croydon, Surrey, London,
England, UK. 20 Dec. 2004

Gem & Mineral Miners, Inc. “Fluorite: Mineral Information Page”. 14 Jan. 2001. 2 Jan. 2005

Abramowitz, Mortimer (Oympus America, Inc.), Johnson, Ian D., Parry-Hill, Matthew J.,Flynn,
Brian O., and Davidson, Michael W. (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, The Florida
State University, Tallahassee, FL). “Fluorescence”. Tallahasee: Molecular Expressions.
21 Sep. 2003. 2 Jan. 2005

Cross, Bob. “Fluorescence in Minerals…”. San Jacinto College. 3 Jan. 2005

“Fluorescence in Minerals”. 30 Dec. 2004

Macolm, Gavin. “Mineral Gallery: Fluorescence in Minerals”. UK: The Russell Society, 2003.
2 Jan. 2005

Amethyst Galleries, Inc. “The Fluorescent Minerals”. 2002. 28 Dec. 2004

Thorsten, Christian. “CR-Scientific Minerals & Earth Science newsletter, HTML archive
version: II. Mineral Spotlight…Fluorite”. February-March 2003. 2 Jan. 2005

Rylands, C. J. P. “The Rock Candy Mine: Plates of Fluorite, Barite and Quartz!”. 1997.
4 Jan. 2005

Photo, Graphic & Literary Credits

With our grateful thanks to:

Dick Nelson (c/o IC Minerals)
Isaias Casanova, IC Minerals
Eric Greene, Treasure Mountain Mining & eBay store
Chris Thorsten, CR Scientific and at Chris's Mineral Collecting Page
Karissa Hendershot, President, Delaware Mineralogical Society
The National Geographic Society, (through the NSF)
The National Science Foundation (NSF):
Lynn Teo Samarski, Ann Parks Hawthorne, Bert Rowell
Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas (Pangea)
Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) (Cave-in-Rock, Rosiclaire Maps)

© 2005  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of enjoying this scholarly article.  They are used gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.

Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express written permission of the author,
Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and graphics.  Use of all other
credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately.

End Notes

[i]   Illinois State Geological Survey “Geobit 4: Fluorite—Illinois’ State Mineral,
November 7, 2003, ISGS. January 5, 2005

[ii] C. L. Wright and J. Rakovan, “COLOR, ITS CAUSE, AND RELATION TO REE

[iv]Susan Ward Aber, “Course Lecture: GO 340 Gemstones & Gemology: Visual
Properties”. 28 Dec. 2004.

[v] Cornelius Hurlbut, Jr. and Cornelis  Klein, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D.
Dana), 19th edition, London: Longman Group Limited, 1976, p. 190.

[vi] Rachel Bean,“Course Lab: Geology 202a: Mineralogy: Lab 3: Mineral Colors”.
Bowdoin College. Due: 4 Feb. 2003, pp. 8, 10.

[vii] W. A. Deer, R. A. Howie, and J. Zussman, An Introduction to the Rock Forming
Minerals. London: Longman Group Limited, 1976, p. 512.

[viii] Steffen Hagemann, “Geology 364: Ore Genesis Lecture Notes: Hydrothermal
Alteration Systematics”. 2001.

[ix] John H. Barnes, Rocks and Minerals of Pennsylvania, Education Series 1,
4th series. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 2004, p. 26.

[x] Miller, p. 449.

[xi] Stephen E. Read, Alan F. Cooper, and Nicholas W. Walker, “Geochemistry
and U-Pb geochronology of the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Koettlitz Glacier Alkaline
Province, Royal Society Range, Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica.” Geology
Department, University of Otago, New Zealand, Institute of Geological and Nuclear
Sciences, Dunedin, New Zealand. 20 Nov. 2002, pp. 1, 5.

[xii] “Rocks and Minerals of Kentucky: Fluorite”. Kentucky Geological Survey,
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 30 Dec. 2004.

[xiii] ISGS, 7 Nov. 2003.

[xiv] “Fluorite Mining”. Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield, IL. 4 Jan. 2005

[xv] Specimen #M255. Mt. Lily Gems, Burnsville, NC.

[xvi] M. BERTELLE, G. LEOTTA, S. CALOGERO, Universitą di Venezia, Venezia,
Italy; M. ODDONE, Universitą di Pavia , Pavia, Italy “CHARACTERISATION OF

[xvii] Eastern Minerals Team, “USGS Fact Sheets: MRDS Quarterly Reports:
30 Dec. 2004.

[xviii] Paul Ward, “Cool Antarctica: Human Impacts on Antarctica and Threats
to the Environment - Mining and Oil”. 27 Dec. 2004.<

[xix] David Leach, “Sediment-hosted base-metal deposits”. U. S. Geological Survey,
USGS Central Region Mineral Resources Team, 24 Sep. 2003.<>

[xx] Leach.

[xxi] Ralph Jolyon, “Fluorite”.—The Mineral Database. Croydon, Surrey,
London, England, UK, 20 Dec. 2004

[xxii] Gem & Mineral Miners, Inc. “Fluorite: Mineral Information Page”. 14 Jan. 2001.

[xxiii] Mortimer Abramowitz, Ian D. Johnson, Matthew J. Parry-Hill, Brian O.
Flynn, and Michael W. Davidson (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory,
The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL). “Fluorescence”. Tallahasee:
Molecular Expressions. 21 Sep. 2003.

[xxiv] Abramowitz, et al.

[xxv] Bob Cross, “Fluorescence in Minerals…”. San Jacinto College. 3 Jan. 2005.

[xxvi] Cross.

[xxvii] “Fluorescence in Minerals”, 30 Dec. 2004.

[xxviii] Gavin Malcolm. “Mineral Gallery: Fluorescence in Minerals”. UK:
The Russell Society, 2003.

[xxix] Amethyst Galleries, Inc. “The Fluorescent Minerals”. 2002. 28 Dec. 2004.

[xxx] Hagemann, 2 Jan. 2005.

[xxxi] Christian Thorsten, “CR-Scientific Minerals & Earth Science
newsletter, HTML archive version: II. Mineral Spotlight…Fluorite”.
February-March 2003.

[xxxii] Thorsten, February-March 2003.

[xxxiii] C. J. P. Rylands, “The Rock Candy Mine: Plates of Fluorite, Barite
and Quartz!”, 1997.


More on Fluorite

DMS Flourite Finding Field Trips

Binkley-Ober Quarry Field Trip, 11-13-2004
Kurtz Quarry Field Trip, 11-20-2004
Meckley's Quarry Field Trip, 9-26-2004


Past Minerals of the Month

December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite

November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite

Invitation to Members


Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

For February or March 2005, we are looking for contributors on "Agate", to tie-in with this year's March Show theme: "The World of Agates." 

aniagate.gif (1920 bytes)


All of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips, thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at:, or tell me at our next meeting.


                    Photos by: Dick Nelson, Isaias Casanova, Eric Greene, Chris Thorsten, Karissa Hendershot, Ken Casey, NSF, NGS
Drawings by: Ken Casey

Article and content contributed by permission of author(s) © 2004-5.

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:14:43 AM

Next Meeting

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill

Special Meetings:

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips


Past Fieldtrips

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report






Fossil Forum

"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"


MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?


Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy