Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

18.2 Famous Fluorescent Mineral Localities


18.2: Famous Fluorescent Mineral Localities

The Schneider and Robbins books listed on Back-up page 18.1 provide information about fluorescent mineral localities around the world. For this activity, I encourage you to point kids toward those books or the web. Here are just a few famous spots:

The Franklin & Sterling Hill zinc mines of northern New Jersey are probably the most famous localities in the U.S. with brilliant yellow-green willemite, calcite in shades of pink and orange-red, pectolite that glows purple, and many more minerals and vivid colors. Most fluorescent mineral collectors started with minerals from these areas.

St. Lawrence County in north-central New York once hosted major mines, many now closed with the land being reclaimed, but you can occasionally still go on club-organized trips to mine dumps for sphalerite, calcite, diopside, fluorapatite, norbergite, and more.

Arizona has more mines than can be succinctly listed that have been prime producers of fluorescent minerals of all sorts.

The Terlingua area of Texas is home to mercury mines famous for 'Terlingua calcite', which glows blue in SW and pink in LW UV, with a high degree of phosphorescence.

Sweetwater County, Wyoming, yields gray Sweetwater agates speckled with black dots. While drab in regular lighting, they glow vivid apple-green under UV.

Mont Saint-Hilaire in the province of Quebec, Canada, is an important mining and mineral locality where over 270 minerals have been collected. One authority has catalogued over 60 fluorescent minerals from this region.

The Bancroft District of Ontario is another important Canadian mineral area, featuring a mineral museum, an annual mineral show, and dig sites yielding such fluorescents as feldspar, scapolite, calcite, zircon, sodalite, hackmanite, fluorite, scheelite, apatite, etc.

Mexican mines have produced some great fluorescent minerals from such places as Mapimi in Durango County and Cerro del Mercado.

Durham, England, has mines with some of the most spectacularly fluorescent fluorite.

Greenland may be a bit out of the way for most of us but is making a name for itself as a source of fluorescent minerals from what‘s known as the Ilimaussaq Complex.

Afghanistan, particularly the Sar-e-Sang district along the Kokcha River in Badakhshan Province, is well known for tenebrescent sodalite known as hackmanite, which shows up at a lot of gem shows. It also has fluorescent fluorapatite, calcite, scapolite, etc.

Pakistan, particularly northern Pakistan, is a great source of fluorescent minerals, along with a wonderful variety of gemstone minerals.