Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

18.3 Collecting Fluorescent Minerals


18.3: Collecting Fluorescent Minerals

Most minerals do not fluoresce. In fact, according to one report, only about 500 out of some 3,600 named minerals fluoresce, and not even all of them fluoresce all the time. It depends on whether they contain the necessary activators. Some are truly exotic minerals that are difficult to collect because of their scarcity or the few places they may be found. But others are fairly common, either if you are personally collecting in the field or if you are buying from a mineral dealer. Here are some that kids might consider as they build their own fluorescent collections. These are sure to please! Keep in mind that colors may vary from what‘s presented in this chart, depending on the locality.

Mineral Natural Color SW UV Color LW UV Color
Agate (esp. Sweetwater Agates) varies: Clear, White, Gray, Blue, etc. Green, Yellow-Green Faint Green
Albite White Velvet Red, Purple-Red Purple
Aragonite White or Yellow White, Yellow, Green Cream
Barite varies: Many Colors Creamy White Bright Creamy White
Calcite varies: Clear, White, Pink, Yellow, etc. varies: White, Red, Orange, etc. varies: White, Red
Chalcedony Geodes from Mexico White Bright Green Faint Green
Celestite Colorless, Blue, Yellow Faint Blue Faint Blue
Corundum, var. Ruby Red, Purple-Red   Bright Cherry Red
Fluorite varies: Purple, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Clear, etc. Blue-Green Violet Blue, Purple
Halite varies: White, Pink, Blue, etc. Pink, Bright Orange  
Hardystonite White, Gray, Tan Purple Blue Weak Purple-Blue
Hydrozincite White Bright Blue-White Dark Blue
Opal (Common) White Bright Green  
Pectolite Clear Weak Pink, Purple Orange-Pink, Lavender
Scapolite, var. Wernerite Yellow or Greenish-Yellow Dull Yellow Intense Yellow
Scheelite Creamy White, Yellow Blue-White Cream Yellow
Selenite Golden-Yellow Pale Blue  
Sodalite Blue Orange, Red Bright Orange
Sphalerite Black, Brown, Yellow, Reddish Yellow-Orange, Blue Yellow-Orange, Blue
Willemite varies: White, Gray, Red, Yellow, Brown Green Green, Brown-Yellow
Wollastonite Gray or White Bright Orange, Yellow Weakly Yellow
Zircon Often Dark Brown Yellow-Orange Brown-Yellow

 Help kids build a collection with some of these minerals that glow with dramatic brilliance. Kids who become especially fascinated by fluorescent minerals might be encouraged to join the Fluorescent Mineral Society.

Note: Kids can use this activity to satisfy requirements toward earning the Collecting badge simultaneously (Activity 5.1).