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Antozonite (historically known as Stinkspat, Stinkfluss, Stinkstein, Stinkspar[1] and fetid fluorite[2]) is a radioactive fluorite variety first found in Wölsendorf, Bavaria, in 1841,[3] and named in 1862.[4]

Stinkspat hg.jpg

It is characterized by the presence of multiple inclusions containing elemental fluorine;[5] when the crystals are crushed or broken, the elemental fluorine is released. It was postulated that beta radiation given by uranium inclusions continuously break down calcium fluoride into calcium and fluorine atoms. Fluorine atoms combine to produce difluoride anions and, upon losing the extra electrons at a defect, fluorine is formed.[6][7] Fluorine subsequently reacts with atmospheric oxygen and water vapor, producing ozone (whose characteristic smell, originally mistaken for a hypothetical substance called antozone, is responsible for the mineral's name) and hydrogen fluoride.


  1. ^ Stinky rocks hide Earth’s only haven for natural fluorine at Nature; by Katharine Sanderson; published July 11, 2012; retrieved October 17, 2013
  2. ^ Carbonatites and alkalic rocks of the Arkansas River area, Fremont County, Colorado. 2. Fetid gas from carbonatite and related rocks, American Mineralogist, vol. 50, November–December 1965; E. Wm. Heinrich and Raymond J. Anderson
  3. ^ Some physical properties of naturally irradiated fluorite, American Mineralogist, Robert Berman, 1956; "The material has been given the name antozonite, after the supposed evanescent gas, antozone. Earlier names were Stinkstein and Stinkfluss (Hausmann, 1847)"
  4. ^ American Journal of Science, 1862
  5. ^ Study of the solid and gaseous inclusions in the fluorites from Wölsendorf (Bavaria, F.R. of Germany) and Margnac (Haute Vienne, France) by microprobe and mass spectrometry, by R. Vochten, E. Esmans and W. Vermeirsch, Chemical Geology, volume 20, 1977 doi:10.1016/0009-2541(77)90047-X
  6. ^ First Direct Evidence that Elemental Fluorine Occurs in Nature, News Release, Technische Universität München, 5 July 2012
  7. ^ Fluorine Finally Found in Nature, Chemistry World, Royal Society of Chemistry, 11 July, 2012

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