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Fluorite is a mineral composed of calcium fluoride and is the most common halide mineral. It is an important industrial mineral used in a variety of applications, including glassmaking, ceramics, and metallurgy. Fluorite is also a popular mineral for collectors due to its wide range of colors and interesting crystal shapes. In order to understand the properties of fluorite, it is important to investigate its cleavage and fracture.

Cleavage is the tendency of a mineral to break along certain planes of weakness. Fluorite has a perfect cleavage in four directions, meaning that it will break along four planes of weakness. This is known as cubic cleavage and is a result of the crystal structure of fluorite. The cleavage planes are at right angles to each other, forming a cube-like shape. This makes it easy to identify fluorite in the field.

Fracture is the tendency of a mineral to break along irregular surfaces. Fluorite has a conchoidal fracture, meaning that it breaks along curved surfaces. This is due to the crystal structure of fluorite, which is composed of layers of calcium and fluoride ions. When the mineral is subjected to stress, the layers break apart along curved surfaces. This type of fracture is often seen in glass and other brittle materials.

The cleavage and fracture of fluorite can be used to identify the mineral in the field. The perfect cubic cleavage and conchoidal fracture are both unique to fluorite and can be used to distinguish it from other minerals. Additionally, the cleavage and fracture of fluorite can be used to determine the quality of the mineral. A mineral with good cleavage and fracture will be of higher quality than one with poor cleavage and fracture.

In conclusion, the cleavage and fracture of fluorite are important properties that can be used to identify the mineral in the field and to determine its quality. Fluorite has a perfect cubic cleavage and a conchoidal fracture, both of which are unique to the mineral. Understanding the properties of fluorite cleavage and fracture can help mineral collectors and industrial users alike.
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