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May-June 2016

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Blue Fluorite from France

Fluorite is a fascinating mineral, with astonishing variations on the cubic form and a host of colors and associations. To many European collectors, particularly the French, it was the king of minerals because of its availability in the late 1960s, when mineral collecting was beginning to become popular. At that time many mines were still active here, and it was relatively easy to buy specimens from miners or even to find them for oneself. The mineral quickly became sought after—sometimes almost an obsession—when the spectacular large clusters of blue cubes from the Beix mine raised its status to almost that of a myth—a myth that was sometimes, but not always, justified.

Alain Martaud, a geologist, is a fine-mineral dealer and is in charge of the special mineral exhibition at the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Show.

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