One of the most collectible non-gem minerals on Earth. It’s calcium fluoride, the primary source of fluorine, a highly reactive element and an important industrial chemical. Fluoridated toothpaste and water get their fluorine from this mineral.

Fluorite is found throughout the world. Major deposits are in the U.S. (particularly Illinois & Kentucky), Mexico, South Africa, England, Spain, and France. But collectible minerals come from even minor, non-economic deposits.

Crystals have perfect cleavage (they break really easily!) and are soft – 4 on Moh’s hardness scale. That combination makes the cut stones a bad choice for jewelry. One tiny bump and it can be scratched or crack. Drop it and it’s history!

Fluorite occurs in virtually every color and hue but in its purest form is completely transparent. Purple, blue, yellow and green are the most sought crystals. The cube is the most common form, but other shapes include octahedron, tetrahexahedron, dodecahedron, etc. – and combinations thereof!

I have written extensively about the fluorite deposits of southern Illinois and western Kentucky (see my bibliography). The “fluorspar district” has its own dedicated page, so the specimens shown here are from other locations.


Nancy Hanks claim, Unaweep Canyon in Mesa County, is a mine known for green fluorite.

Botryoidal fluorite formed from intergrown crystals

Wagon Wheel Gap Mine, Saguache County, is well known for fluorite,

Purple cubes – a more classic crystal habit and color
Stalactitic fluorite composed of a myriad of tiny cubes
Cleavage chunk of fluorite showing bands of purple and white with green in the center.
Complex intergrown cubes
Large white fluorite cubes from Stope 1.


Mathes Quarry, Harrison Co. (currently owned by Vulcan Materials and has ceased operation)

Dolomite on Fluorite – fluorite fills in Syringopora coral tubes in the upper part of the photo.

Corydon Quarry, Harrison Co. – is best known for pink dolomite and calcite, but also has a fair amount of fluorite scattered in pockets. Fluorite is usually the first mineral to form in pockets and is often partially or completely covered by later dolomite.

Fluorite in small vugs without other associated minerals.


Irvington Quarry, Breckenridge Co. – perhaps the best fluorite outside of the western Kentucky fluorspar district and the central Kentucky Mineral District. Purple and yellow cubes in a specific layer that is rarely mined these days.

Fluorite and Calcite
Fluorite surrounded by calcite
Yellow fluorite – fluorescent & phosphorescent in UV, with dolomite

Muldraugh dome in Meade County, at Fort Knox – Geodes bearing isolated, usually etched, fluorite cubes occur in geodes found near the center of the geological a structure.

A fuzzy, partially dissolved fluorite cube (about 1 cm wide) from a geode. A real oddity!

Hayden Mine (East Faircloth vein), Mundy’s Landing, Woodford Co. near the Kentucky River. These photos were from a summer 1989 collecting trip. Photos inside the mine will eventually be posted.

Fluorite and barite
Almost gray fluorite crystals with mounds of barite that resemble that mineral from Elmwood mines in Tennessee.
Fluorite and barite
Fluorite cockscomb around barite
Sometimes you can hold the specimen so the barite is hidden behind the cubes – due to preferential accumulation of the mineral on one side.

A temporary quarry was established on the Bluegrass Parkway at KY33 during road work. It was buried and covered in grass and is no longer visible – much less collectable.

A lustrous yellow cube about a cm long.
Fluorite with dolomite and an unidentified white powdery mineral. 3 cm FOV
Vugs with fluorite and dolomite in limestone.
Vugs with fluorite in large purple over yellow cubes & dolomite in limestone.
Closeup of a cube in the above specimen sowing the “city scape” surface
Another fluorite cube in same specimen showing only a small amount to purple fluorite over yellow..
Relatively large fluorite crystals with dolomite in limestone vug.
About half dolomite and fluorite fill this specimen.


Keystone Mountains, Idaho – a location described to me by economic geologist Allen Heyl that I forwarded to Idaho collector Lanny Ream.

Fluorite in small cubes
Vuggy mass with small blue cubes

New Mexico

There are many fluorite occurrences in New Mexico. Some are on claims others on private ranches where collecting is no allowed.

Blue fluorite is common at the Blanchard Claim / mine
Quartz and blue fluorite from the Blanchard Claim / mine.


The Silurian limestone quarries in Ohio are famous for fluorite. It is usually yellow or brown due to organic inclusions like petroleum. As such, they fluoresce brightly.

Fluorite from Auglaize, Ohio. View about 2 cm