Fluorite and calcite, two mineral types, are vastly different in shape and behavior. For example, fluorite grows using a symmetrical crystal system, while calcite forms asymmetrically. Calcite is considered a common mineral, while fluorite is a semiprecious mineral. The two are found in vastly different environments and locations throughout the world.
Fluorite is a type of mineral in an isometric formation. This means crystals form symmetrical cubes as they grow, so the mineral itself is often found in symmetrical chunks -- though the corners have often been compromised through natural wear. Fluorite forms in hot springs deposits, cavities in sedimentary rocks and in hydrothermal veins. On the Mohs hardness scale, fluorite is rated a four.
The mineral calcite forms in a trigonal hexagonal calenohedral crystal system, making calcite specimens resemble a double-ended pyramid. This species of mineral forms in sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock types, and often forms large slabs in limestone and marble. Calcite has a hardness rating of three on the Mohs hardness scale.
Calcite and fluorite also differ in behavior attributes. For example, fluorite has a melting point of 1360 degrees Celsius, while calcite melts at 1612 degrees Celsius. Both calcite and fluorite will fluoresce under certain light conditions, though only fluorite is also phosphorescent. Some forms of fluorite also glow when exposed to certain forms of electromagnetic energy then heated -- a process known as thermoluminescence, while calcite does not.
Another difference between calcite and fluorite is the color each forms in. Calcite is known to be various shades of white, yellow, red, orange and most earth tones. Fluorite on the other hand, has been found in shades of purple, golden-yellow, green, blue, pink, champagne, brown, as well as colorless forms. Calcite has been found in over 800 morphological forms, while fluorite usually appears in cubes, octahedrons and dodecahedrons.
What Is the Difference Between Quartz & Rock Crystal?
Quartz and rock crystal are both abundant minerals found throughout the world in the Earth's crust. According to Mindat.org, "Quartz is the...
How Can I Tell the Difference Between Fluorite & Quartz?
Quartz and fluorite are two very different minerals, each with a different hardness and crystal structure, although on the surface they look...
Physical Properties of Calcite & Quartz
Quartz and calcite are two common naturally-occurring minerals. In fact, quartz is the second most abundant mineral making up the Earth's crust,...
What Are the Differences Between the Minerals Calcite and Quartz?
Quartz and calcite are common minerals in the rocks around the world. Both minerals form in a variety of colors, such as...
Different Types of Salts Used to Melt Snow and Ice
Spreading salt on sidewalks and roadways is an effective way to melt snow and ice. Salts dissolve in water quickly, breaking down...
List of Naturally Fluorescent Stones
The minerals in some types of stone have properties which cause them, under certain conditions, to glow or fluoresce. This property can...