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A comprehensive summary is provided on the subject of heavy metal fluoride glasses. This includes discussions on glass compositions, preparation, structure, fiber drawing characteristics, and intrinsic and extrinsic optical properties. Other relevant glass and fiber characteristics such as strength, durability, and thermal Shock resistance are also outlined. Particular emphasis is given to the measurements of optical attenuation in fluoride glasses and their potential for use in ultralow-loss fiber optic waveguides. An excellent bibliography of recent work in the area of heavy metal fluoride glasses has been generated for those seeking more detailed information on this topic.