3.1" Calcite Crystal Cluster with Purple Fluorite (New Find) - China
This is an intriguing, 3.1" wide, calcite crystal cluster that is part of a new find in Qinglong, China. The scalenohedral calcite crystals are encrusted in small, cubic, purple fluorite crystals. It is claimed that this fluorite is Yttrofluorite (fluorite containing an appreciable amount of the rare earth element yttrium), but we have not been able to independently verify this.
Calcite, CaCO3, is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Calcite crystals are trigonal-rhombohedral, though actual calcite rhombohedra are rare as natural crystals. However, they show a remarkable variety of habits including acute to obtuse rhombohedra, tabular forms, and prisms. Calcite exhibits several twinning types adding to the variety of observed forms. It may occur as fibrous, granular, lamellar, or compact. Cleavage is usually in three directions parallel to the rhombohedron form.
Fluorite is a halide mineral comprised of calcium and fluorine, CaF2. The word fluorite is from the Latin fluo-, which means "to flow". In 1852 fluorite gave its name to the phenomenon known as fluorescence, or the property of fluorite to glow a different color depending upon the bandwidth of the ultraviolet light it is exposed to. Fluorite occurs commonly in cubic, octahedral and dodecahedral crystals in many different colors. These colors range from colorless and completely transparent to yellow, green, blue, purple, pink or black. Purples and greens tend to be the most common colors seen.