by Oraia Helene
Fluorite’s color can range from completely clear and colorless to all the colors of the rainbow. (In fact, there’s one variety called rainbow fluorite because of its multiple bands of different colors.) It has a hardness of 4 on the Moh’s scale – in fact, it defines a hardness of 4. It primarily forms cubic and octahedral crystals, though occasionally it’ll form 12-sided dodecahedrons instead. You may be familiar with polished octahedrons of fluorite from gem shows and metaphysical stores; they look like little double pyramids. Fluorite has perfect octahedral cleavage, meaning that it breaks exactly along four different lines to form an octahedron. So while a lot of those polished octahedrons you’ll find are cut into that shape before being polished, you can form one naturally by chipping octahedral fluorite.
Now, it’s easy to get fluorite confused with fluoride, the stuff that’s supposed to be good for your teeth. And the truth is, they are related by way of fluorine. Fluorine is an element on the periodic table that gets its name from the mineral fluorite. (Basically, what happened is that the mineral was identified first before its components elements were isolated.) A fluoride is any chemical compound made from fluorine and some other component that has a positive charge. The fluoride that’s added to tap water in the United States is any one of three compounds containing fluorine. The stone we’re talking about, fluorite, isn’t one of them, but it is technically a fluoride; it’s the mineral calcium fluoride, abbreviated as CaF2.
So I mentioned that the color can vary quite a bit – fluorite routinely comes in many shades of green, blue, purple, yellow, and brown. Rarer colors include pink and red. Some Mexican fluorites are such a dark purple that they appear black without a strong back light. Often multiple colors will form in the same specimen, creating bands of color in some cases (that’s the rainbow fluorite I mentioned earlier.) Sometimes phantom crystals will form, where the color changed as the crystal was growing, leaving nested layers of color. Different origin localities will tend to yield characteristic color patterns that can help collectors identify where a particular specimen came from.
Fluorite often fluoresces very strongly – in fact, it’s the reason fluorescence is called fluorescence, as the word comes from the mineral fluorite. Fluorescence means that if you hold it under an ultraviolet light, it will glow. The colors it shows under ultraviolet light can vary as much as the colors it shows under regular light, and some will show different colors under long-wave UV light and short-wave UV light. I should note, however, that not all specimens will fluoresce at all, while others will show multiple colors under different wavelengths.
Being soft, fluorite carves easily, and you can find carved figurines and other ornaments of fluorite in gem stores and curio shops. In fact, fluorite has been prized for carving for thousands of years; the Romans particularly liked the blue fluorite found in parts of England. Its softness does make it unsuitable for some types of jewelry, though you can find fluorite pendants as well as fluorite beads in many different colors.
Metaphysically, fluorite is generally seen as a stone of the intellect, sharpening mental faculties and improving discernment. It assists with concentration and impartiality, making it a good stone for reasoning and problem-solving.
Now, I was also taught that fluorite was an excellent stone for psychic shielding, though I haven’t seen this written in any of the sources I use. Essentially, fluorite can be used as the first line of defense for psychically sensitive people who feel overwhelmed in groups or populated areas, or who haven’t yet fully developed their own methods of shielding. It acts to dampen the “background noise” but doesn’t completely shut it out, making it easier for sensitive people to stay open without being overwhelmed. And in my experience, it does work well for this, especially when worn as jewelry. Personally, I’ve wondered how this ties into the stone’s ability to sharpen mental abilities as I mentioned earlier, and my hypothesis is that by strengthening and clarifying one’s thoughts, it allows one to see better what thoughts are one’s own, and which ones are coming from outside. This makes it easier to shut out the background noise, though all of this may only happen on an unconscious level. Anyway, that’s how I draw a connection between these two uses for fluorite, and others may disagree.
The various colors of fluorite have specific properties as well. Green fluorite, for example, is good for cleansing and clearing out unwanted energy, especially unwanted emotional energy. Think “minty freshness” in connection with this color. Blue fluorite can be very calming, and stimulates clear communication. Purple fluorite improves intuition, and allows for rational analysis of one’s intuitive impressions, while yellow fluorite enhances creativity. You can probably come up with your own specialized uses for the different colors by connecting them to the body’s chakras, and to the spheres on the Qabalistic tree of life.
So, fluorite is a great stone for keeping your thoughts clear in crowds or chaotic situations, especially if you tend to get overwhelmed around a lot of other people. Plus, it’s pretty!
This article was adapted from the Terra segment of Media Astra Ac Terra Episode #8.