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January-February 2013

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Fluorite Occurrences in the Southeastern United States

Fluorite is a very widely distributed mineral in the southeastern United States, occurring in a variety of geological environments that range from Paleozoic limestones through metal-associated veins and plutonic rocks of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces. Such a broad distribution is not surprising in light of fluorine's high mobility under a wide range of temperatures and pressures and the universal abundance of calcium. When one eliminates the well-known occurrences such as those of the Elmwood-Gordonsville and Kentucky-Illinois districts and less-important though similar traditional Mississippi Valley–type deposits, there are still dozens of potential specimen-producing localities that are either well known to modern collectors or are represented in the mineralogical and economic geology literature.

Dr. Robert B. Cook, an executive editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geography at Auburn University.

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