|a white, brownish, or greenish mineral, usually fluorescent, consisting of calcium tungstate in tetragonal crystalline form with some tungsten often replaced by molybdenum: occurs principally in contact metamorphic rocks and quartz veins, and is an important source of tungsten and purified calcium tungstate. Formula: CaWO4|
|[C19: from German Scheelit, named after Karl Wilhelm Scheele (1742--86), Swedish chemist]|
calcium tungstate mineral, CaWO4, that is an important ore of tungsten. It acquired commercial value in the 20th century when tungsten became used in alloy steels and electric-light filaments. The mineral is named in honour of the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, who obtained tungstic acid from it in 1781. Scheelite commonly occurs as compact or granular masses in contact metasomatic deposits, high-temperature veins, and granite pegmatites. In the United States it has been mined extensively in North Carolina, California, and Nevada. It also occurs in Cornwall and Cumberland in England, and in Bolivia, New South Wales, New Zealand, Siberia, Switzerland, and France.
Learn more about scheelite with a free trial on Britannica.com.