Rock Discoveries

Fluorite: Real or Fake? How to Spot the Difference

Fluorite is a highly sought after mineral with a unique set of characteristics that sets it apart from all other minerals. Its beautiful colors make it a popular choice for collectors, while its industrial uses have made it an indispensable part of many critical processes.

Identifying Real Fluorite

Real fluorite can be identified by its distinct characteristics. Fluorite is known for its wide range of colors, including purple, blue, green, yellow, and white.

These colors can be found in a single piece of fluorite, making it one of the most visually mesmerizing minerals. The color transition in fluorite is gradual, which is another characteristic that distinguishes it from other minerals.

Fluorite is a soft mineral that scratches easily. However, it is still a durable mineral that can withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear.

The fluorescent effect that fluorite has is also a unique characteristic that helps to distinguish it from other minerals. When exposed to ultraviolet light, fluorite will fluoresce in a range of colors, often creating an otherworldly and ethereal radiance.

Fluorite has a variety of uses in different industries. It is used to make hydrofluoric acid which is then used in the manufacturing of enamel, refrigerants, Teflon, and many other items.

Steel production uses fluorite to help remove impurities from the steel, it is also used extensively in the manufacturing of glass and optical equipment. Fluorite has cubic crystals with isometric forms and can occur in various hues.

Even more interesting, it has been found in meteorites from outer space!

Identifying Fake Fluorite

In contrast to real fluorite, fake fluorite is usually a glass or plastic that is meant to imitate the natural mineral. These imitators are often easily identifiable by their lack of natural imperfections and smooth surface.

Fake fluorite can also be spotted by the presence of bubbles, which occur as a result of air left when the fake mineral is made. Fake fluorite is often much lighter in weight than the real thing, it may also exhibit obvious signs of wear and tear such as scratches or a dull luster.

One sure way of telling whether a fluorite is fake or real is by trying to scratch it with a metal object. Real fluorite will be much harder to scratch.

Detecting Treatment on Real Fluorite

Real fluorite may still be treated to enhance its natural beauty. There are various treatments that are commonly applied to fluorite that can change its appearance.

Oil treatment for fluorite involves applying oil to the surface of the mineral to improve the clarity of the stone. Heating is another treatment method that is used to help remove the discoloration from a mineral and improve its tone.

Coloration can also be removed from a fluorite to enhance the stone’s transparency and luster.

Differences between Real and Fake Fluorite

Real and fake fluorite can differ in many ways. Real fluorite is transparent and is harder than fake fluorite.

The surface of real fluorite will have a smooth texture, with occasional grooves that result from crystal formations that are natural. Real fluorite will also have a uniform and consistent color that changes gradually throughout the crystal.

Fake fluorite, on the other hand will have a smooth surface that is shiny and bright. It may also show conchoidal chips that are not present in real fluorite.

When exposed to ultraviolet light, fake fluorite will not fluoresce in a range of colors like the real thing. Moreover, it will have a clearly different weight and form of occurrence.

Conclusion

Recognizing real fluorite is an important skill for mineral collectors and industrial users alike. Utilizing the information discussed in this article will help to ensure that you are getting the real deal, and not a cheap imitation.

The unique physical characteristics of fluorite make it a distinguishing gem that is highly sought after and prized by collectors. When selecting fluorite, it is important to keep in mind that real fluorite will exhibit the natural signs of the mineral’s occurrence, while fake fluorite will bear the signs of fabrication.

Additionally, it is important to consider that certain treatments such as oiling or heating may have been applied to the fluorite to help enhance its appearance.

3) Where to Buy Real Fluorite

For collectors and buyers of industrial grade fluorite, finding authentic sources to purchase the mineral is crucial. One of the best places to buy real fluorite is from local mines where the mineral is extracted.

Some mines may offer fluorite in its natural form, while others may process it and offer cut and polished crystals. It is worth noting that many local mines may be located in areas where the state mineral is fluorite, such as Illinois, and these mines are often abundant in the mineral.

Another source for real fluorite is through reputable gem and mineral shops, either online or local. It’s essential to research the shop and its reputation first before purchasing any fluorite.

Most reputable businesses go to great lengths to find the real and authentic sources of fluorite and other minerals. These sources declare the mineral’s origins, how it was extracted, and whether any enhancements or treatments were done to the crystal.

Authentic shops and dealers can help the buyer identify the true value of fluorite, its unique characteristics, and its uses. It is also vital to examine the form of occurrence of the fluorite.

Forms that occur naturally, such as cubic and isometric crystals, are more likely to be authentic and unaltered. Any misshaping of the crystal or other forms of alteration can suggest that it has undergone treatment or is a fake manufactured crystal.

Risks of Buying Fake Fluorite

Unfortunately, there are various sources online and in the market that offer fake fluorite. Though it may look similar to the genuine crystal, it fails to capture any of the unique characteristics of real fluorite.

Some fake fluorite is made from glass or plastic, manufactured to look like the natural crystal. One key characteristic of fake fluorite is the presence of air bubbles, something that would not be present in real fluorite.

Another way to determine if a piece of fluorite is fake is through the tumbling process. Tumbling is a process used to shape the glass and may be used to mimic the rough-edged appearance of real fluorite.

An experienced collector or dealer can easily distinguish between a fabricated crystal and a natural fluorite crystal. With the rise of e-commerce, online shopping has made it easy for fake and imitation fluorite to enter the market.

Therefore, purchasing fluorite online requires extra caution. An online shop may look authentic, but the crystal may be fake, and the elaborate return policy may hide these issues.

4)

Conclusion

Fluorite is a highly sought after mineral that is used in various industries. The geological environments where fluorite is found range from hydrothermal veins to sedimentary layers.

Florite is a natural material, and demand is high for the natural crystal as well as the processed forms. However, many dealers may offer fake fluorite online, which can make it challenging for collectors and those in the industry to find authentic sources for the mineral.

By knowing the characteristics of real fluorite and the places where you can buy it safely, one can easily determine if the crystal is authentic or counterfeit. Therefore, it is essential to do your research and buy from reputable sources to avoid fake fluorite.

In conclusion, identifying real fluorite requires an understanding of its unique characteristics, occurrence, and uses, while recognizing fake fluorite involves detecting treatments, comparing weight, and UV light tests. The demand for fluorite in various industries and by collectors is high, and caution is advised when purchasing fluorite online, as many sources offer fake crystals.

However, purchasing from reputable sources and mines can guarantee the real and authentic mineral. Here are some FAQs to address common concerns:

1.

How can I identify real fluorite? – Real fluorite has a gradual color transition, scratches easily, and fluoresces under UV light.

2. What are some common uses of fluorite?

– Fluorite is used in making hydrofluoric acid, steel production, glass manufacturing, and optical equipment. 3.

What are the risks of buying fake fluorite? – Fake fluorite may be made of glass, have bubbles, be lighter in weight, and not fluoresce under UV light.

4. Where can I buy real fluorite?

– Real fluorite can be bought from local mines, reputable gem and mineral shops either online or local, and other authentic sources. 5.

What should I be careful about when purchasing fluorite online? – Online shopping for fluorite requires extra caution as fake fluorite may enter the market.

Therefore, it is essential to buy from reputable sources to avoid counterfeit crystals.

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