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March-April 2013

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Fluorite in Granitic Pegmatites

No pegmatite mineral collection is complete without octahedral or cubic fluorite crystals perched on earlier-formed minerals.

Fluorite is almost always a late-stage mineral in pegmatite cavities, forming a colorful, attractive icing on the more spectacular crystals of beryl, topaz, and tourmaline. Even the common minerals of microcline, bladed albite, and smoky quartz are enhanced by a purple or green cube of fluorite hanging from a crystal face or nestled on a crystal druse. Although fluorite occurs in both granitic and syenite pegmatites, only that from granitic pegmatites is described in this article.

Mark Ivan Jacobson is a mineralogist-geologist by training, with a long-term specialty in collecting pegmatite minerals. He currently works in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, as a development geophysicist for Chevron in a joint venture project with Petrochina.

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