Illinois State Mineral Still Newsworthy

Fluorite resembles gems in its many colors and crustal structure, but is very soft and requires special care if it is set as jewelry. The January 2010 issue of Outdoor Illinois, published by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, reported on fluorite, the state mineral of Illinois. Illinois State Geological Survey geologist Zakaria Lasemi provided much of the information for the article, titled "The Gem in Your Toothpaste." Lasemi is quoted several times in the article. He provided information about the origin of fluorite, the rise and decline of fluorite mining in the state, and the future potential of this mineral. He also indicated some of the mineral's many uses, which include smelting metal alloys, refining aluminum and uranium, and use in optics, lubricants, toothpastes, and plastics.