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Scheelite Meaning, Powers and History

tungsten-scheelite-properties-history-mineral.webp Scheelite was named for Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish chemist who discovered tungsten. Scheelite is one of the major ores of tungsten and the biggest source of tungsten in the US. Tungsten is a very heavy, hard transition metal, which is used in many electrical applications such as light bulb filaments and x-ray tubes. Scheelite is quite soft and therefore not normally used in jewelry. However, it is extremely attractive in the rare occasions when it is faceted and polished, so it appeals to collectors of rare and unusual gems.

scheelite-mineral-properties-gemstones.webp Faceted pieces are mostly from the Pingwu mine in the Sichuan province of western central China. These specimens have an attractive yellow to orange color and very good fire, which of course, appeals to collectors. Scheelite is quite a soft stone, rating only a 4.5 to 5 on the hardness scale. When cutting scheelite, it is important to be very careful as it is extremely fragile. A perfect polish may not be possible with this stone. It is a vitreous and transparent to translucent stone, which varies in color from pale yellowish white to brown, but is usually colorless.

scheelite-flashlight-mining-mineral.webp Scheelite fluoresces a vivid blue color under ultraviolet light, so when searching for the rock, many go at night, using fluorescent lamps to find them. Colorless, synthetic scheelite is used to imitate diamond icondiamond, but can be distinguished by its birefraction. Scheelite can also be colored by trace metals to imitate other gemstones. Scheelite is found in metamorphic rocks. It also accompanies wolframite in pegmatites and in high temperature hydrothermal veins. Very large crystals over one pound have been collected in Brazil, but generally the larger crystals are not sufficiently transparent enough to be faceted.

origin-of-scheelite-mines.webp Scheelite is found in association with the minerals cassiterite, molybdenite, fluorite and topaz icontopaz. It also occurs in contact metamorphic deposits together with vesuvianite, axinite, garnet icongarnet and wollastonite. Scheelite can be found in mines in the Yukon Territory, Canada, Cornwall, England, Inyo Country and San Bernadino Country in California, and Okanogan County in Washington. Scheelite can also be found in various locations around Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Finland, France, and England.