fluorite (flōˈərĪt) [key] or fluorspar flōˈərspär, mineral appearing in various colors, e.g., green, yellow-brown, rose, and red. Chemically, it is calcium fluoride, CaF2. Its crystals, commonly cubic, are transparent or translucent and under certain conditions exhibit fluorescence. The mineral also occurs in granular and massive forms. Fluorite is found in various parts of the world, especially in England, Germany, Mexico, and in Kentucky and Illinois in the United States. Its chief use is as a flux in metallurgy, but it is also employed in the preparation of hydrofluoric acid and in the manufacture of opal glass and enamel; some of its colorless crystals are used for making lenses and prisms.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on fluorite from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mineralogy and Crystallography