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Fluorite vs Fluoride (Are They Related?)

Fluoride and fluorite do share some similarities. However, they have important differences, as well. It is important to note that fluoride is actually an ingredient that you will find in fluorite. 

As you might know, fluoride is a mineral and you will find it in fluorite. Fluorite itself is actually a crystallized form of another material known as fluorine. Fluorine is typically both quite colorful and extremely bright, too. In this article, we will discuss fluoride and fluorite, the properties of fluoride, their similarities and differences, and other additional information you might find helpful. 

What Exactly Is Fluorite?

fluoride and fluorite differences

Fluorite is a colorful material, as we said before, but it is also bright in the most literal sense of the word. You can see fluorite shine when it is exposed to both ultraviolet light and natural light. Fluorite has a well-deserved reputation for being beautiful. 

Due to this fact, fluorite is frequently used in jewelry and there are some collectors that actively seek out fluorite, too. Fluorite and fluoride are deeply linked. In fact, fluorite cannot exist without fluoride. 

Fluorite is the proper term for fluorine’s crystallized form. You can identify fluorite by its appealing purple and green colors. You will notice that these colors become fluorescent when you hold fluorite under ultraviolet light. 

Even the term fluorescent is actually based on the name of the mineral. There are many uses for fluorite. Fluorite is utilized as what is known as a smelting flux in industrial locations. 

This means that it helps eliminate impurities from glasses and enamels. Fluorite is sought after for its aesthetic value, too. Stone lovers look for fluorite because its colors are both rich and vivid colors. 

Collectors often prefer the purple shade of fluorite even more. This is because the purple shade of fluorite looks quite a bit like amethyst. However, fluorite does come in colors other than green and purple. 

What Are Fluorite’s Other Colors?

fluorite vs fluoride

Purple and green are the most common colors for fluorite. You can find fluorite that comes in different shades of blue, though. You can also find fluorite that comes in various shades of yellow, too. 

Many varieties of fluorite exist. There is even a type of fluorite that is actually colorless. Fluorite also comes in brown, black, rose, and pink colors

The majority of fluorite crystals that you will see are one solid color. Despite this, you can see fluorite crystals that include multiple bands of different colors. Fluorite crystals also have octahedral cleavage. 

This means that the mineral’s cleavage is parallel to its octahedral faces. Octahedral simply means that something has eight plane faces. The reason that all this is relevant is that this cleavage means that cutting fluorite crystals into an appealing shape is relatively easy. 

That is one of the reasons that fluorite crystals are so common in both stone collections and jewelry. Their clarity and shape are also part of the reason for their popularity, too. You should also know that fluorite comes at a reasonable cost, too. 

Quite a few more serious mineral collectors have a minimum of one fluorite mineral in their collection. In fact, fluorite is the second-most popular mineral among collectors. The only mineral that is more popular among collectors is quartz. 

Does Fluorite Actually Have Practical Uses?

The answer to this question is a definite yes. We have already covered the fact that fluorite is utilized as a smelting flux to help get rid of impurities. However, another practical use of fluorite is that it is a source of fluorine. 

You can also break fluorite down and create hydrofluoric acid. Hydrofluoric acid is used in quite a few common products.

Pharmaceuticals, herbicides, gasoline, and aluminum are just a few examples of those products. You can also use fluorite in order to add fluoride to many types of water. 

What About the Properties of Fluoride?

It seems to be the case that more people are familiar with fluoride than with fluorite. One thing that should be noted is that the mineral fluoride is actually natural. It occurs naturally in both seawater and freshwater. 

Technically, fluoride is a chemical ion of fluorite and fluorine. Fluorite is a crystallized version of fluorine and fluorine is a gas. The fact that fluoride is ionic means that the human body is capable of easily absorbing it. 

By itself, you can see that fluoride resembles grains of salt. You have probably heard of sodium fluoride at some point. The most common uses for sodium fluoride are for dental treatment and in your drinking water, since it offers health benefits. 

How Are Fluoride and Fluorite Similar?

Fluorite is the crystallized version of fluorine. Fluoride is a chemical ion formed by a combination of fluorine and fluorite. In other words, fluoride is one of the components of fluorite. 

Fluoride and fluorite are chemically related, if you want to put it another way. Another similarity is that fluoride and fluorine are both commonly found in areas that have volcanic or geothermal activity. Of course, they do have differences, too. 

How Are Fluoride and Fluorite Different?

The primary difference is that fluorite is a crystal and fluoride is a chemical ion. Another difference is that you extract fluoride from fluorite. The two things need each other to exist, but you do not have to extract fluorite from another material. 

What Else Should You Know About Fluoride and Fluorite?

You can also find calcium fluoride in natural water fairly easily, since it is common in natural water. The best way to get sodium fluoride is to extract it in a lab and synthesize it for use in products like toothpaste and mouthwash. 

 It is easy to tell fluoride and fluorite apart. Fluorite is a crystal made from fluorine. Fluoride, on the other hand, resembles salt grains when you find it in its solid state. 

FAQs about Fluoride and Fluorite

Q: Can you find multi-colored fluorite?

A: It is possible to find multi-colored fluorite, yes. This is typically called rainbow fluorite. Rainbow fluorite happens when quite a few different layers all fuse together. 

Q: Why does sodium fluoride clean human teeth effectively?

A: The primary reason for this is that sodium fluoride is an antibacterial chemical. In other words, it kills bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth more specifically. Sodium fluoride also helps prevent your teeth from decaying, too. 

Q: I’ve heard that you can find fluorine in hot springs. Is that true?

A: You can find fluorine in hot springs. That is definitely true. Fluorine is common in areas with geothermal activity and such activity is what causes naturally occurring hot springs, after all. 

Don Gerig

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